How many times have you ended up on a website and things just didn’t seem right? There may be subtle clues such as spelling or grammatical errors. There may have been no contact information or the associated social media account may no longer exist.
It’s usually a good idea to deal with your instincts when things aren’t the way you expect them to be. Scammers will often forge legitimate websites and bury malicious code in them that will steal your data. Book trips? Scammers create bogus sites to lure you in.
If you’re concerned about accidentally visiting a malicious site, help is on the way. We found a tool that checks websites for you and searches for malware. Keep reading to find out how it works.
Here’s how the tool works
We share content with friends and family all the time, but are you sure the link you received isn’t hiding anything outrageous? It can be difficult to spot fake or dangerous sites, and it can get worse if the webpage was apparently designed by a professional.
For those cases, online security company Sucuri has developed a checker that tells you if a website contains anything that could harm you.
By simply entering the URL of a website, SiteCheck scans as much information on the page as possible. It checks for common online suspects such as known malware, viruses, blacklisted status, website errors, outdated software and malicious code.
After the URL is entered, the results will be displayed in seconds. It gives you a general overview of the site’s security and alerts you if there are any issues.
As part of the scan, the checker runs through various online blacklists to compare them with. These include domain scans from Google Safe Browsing, McAfee, ESET and Sucuri Labs proprietary database.
Under the Website Malware & Security option, any issues or things you should be aware of will be displayed. This includes internal server errors, defacements, injected spam or if the backend of the website is up to date.
When a site is unsafe
If it returns with an unsafe warning, you should avoid that site. You should also advise the person who sent you the link to avoid it.
There can be several reasons why a site is flagged as malicious. In the case of a fake website for an Android version of the Clubhouse app, the scan failed – which is automatically a problem.
A failed scan immediately places the website in the Medium Risk category, but in this case the domain test of Google Safe Browsing and McAfee also failed. The domain has been blacklisted by those services, which means it could be a malicious site. Spoiler alert: it is harmful.