When a malicious link checker phishing, malware may install on the device and encrypt data such as login credentials and credit card information. It can also infect devices with a botnet, launch drive-by download attacks and bombard them with malicious ads. Some of these attacks may even cause users to lose access to their device or computer. Fortunately, it’s easy to check a link before clicking on it using a suspicious URL checking tool.

These tools are often free and easily accessible. They work by comparing a URL against the list of known scams and malware. They can also provide blacklist checks, ensuring that you aren’t linking to websites flagged as suspicious. Some of these tools can even check for malware in shortened links.

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The most popular suspicious URL checking tool is VirusTotal, which is widely used in the cybersecurity community and offers more than 70 virus analysis engines, domain blacklists and other tools. The site can scan files, URLs and hashes, as well as provide detailed reports on the results.

Another option is PhishTank, which is a user-driven website that relies on communities to report phishing sites and verify their legitimacy. It also has paid functionality that allows for more advanced security testing, including blacklist checks, parked domain verification and SSL certificate verification. For those who want more automatic scanning, there are also browser extensions available from major antivirus software companies like Norton and Bitdefender that evaluate links automatically as you browse the web.

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