Quick way to see if a website is malicious

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Every day, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of new malicious websites coming into existence on the internet. It’s very common now, when you do a Google search, for many of the search results to be websites that you should definitely not click on. You’d think Google would have that figured out by now, so that those sites don’t show up so well in the rankings. But they are still there, so you have to be very careful.

malicious website

 

The question is: How can you know if a site is safe or not, unless you click on it?

The answer is: Let Google check it for you

Not many people know about it, but Google offers a “safe browsing” check so that you can get their evaluation of whether or not a site is malicious – and you never have to visit the website itself to do that.

Here’s an example of how you would check on the safety of visiting a particular website:

Let’s say your computer starts crashing sometimes, and it’s starting to happen often enough to become annoying. And, you don’t really know what is causing it to crash. But every time it freezes up, it comes up with this error message that seems to be giving you some kind of report of what happened, but it looks like a bunch of computer code that doesn’t mean anything unless you’re a computer geek that knows that language.

So you do a Google search for “Windows crash report” to see if you can find any helpful information. And what do you know – there’s a website that comes up in that Google search that seems to be just what you’re looking for. The website is Windows-Crash-Report.info. Wow, it sounds like exactly what you need, right? It must have all the answers! WRONG.

When a scammer is creating a website, he wants you to think it’s a legitimate website. He wants you to think this site has the answers you are searching for. He wants you to think it’s safe to click and view the website. Don’t fall into that trap – because in some cases, as soon as you click, you’re in trouble.

Instead, check the site using this website address format:

http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=SuspiciousWebsite.com

But instead of “suspiciouswebsite.com” at the end, you would just put in the website you want to check on. Note that you don’t include “http” or “www” or anything like that, and nothing after the “.com”. Just the domain name by itself.

So if we wanted to check on the site I mentioned above, we would type this address into the address bar:

http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=windows-crash-report.info

When you hit enter, Google comes up immediately with a brief report that tells you what their evaluation is for that site and whether it’s probably safe to go there.

In this case, Google has this to say about that website:
malicious website report

 

As you can see, Google is not coming out and clearly stating “this site is dangerous”, but they do state that the site had some suspicious activity detected over 90 days ago, and for me that’s enough to keep me from clicking through to it.

Does this seem like a lot of hassle to go through, just to see if a website is malicious before you visit it? Yeah, maybe. But from my standpoint, I can tell you that I have people bring me computers all the time that have gotten infected just because someone decided to click an unknown link “just this once” out of curiosity, and almost immediately they regretted it. You can avoid that. Be safe!

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Richard
November 17th, 2015

Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at
work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get
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I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!