Phishing assaults are not only increasing in frequency but also changing. According to Barkly, the number of spam emails containing phishing URLs more than quadrupled between 2015 and 2016. Additionally, it is believed that over half of all emails sent are spam, with the majority of them including dangerous attachments and links.
To be secure, you need to understand how to test phishing links without clicking on them. Consider some of the tried-and-true methods for checking for dangerous links without clicking on them.
Make use of a link scanner
As a result of technological advancements, there are powerful and user-friendly link scanners available for testing a link before clicking on it to visit the site. Examples of the best are ScanURL and URLVoid.
Active antimalware scanning in “Real-Time”
The majority of good anti-malware software has real-time or active scanning capabilities that are intended to identify viruses before they infect your computer. While enabling this option increases the number of system resources that the program consumes, it also protects your computer against dangerous malware such as ransomware and keyloggers.
Maintain an up-to-date antivirus
Naturally, if your antivirus software does not contain the most up-to-date virus definitions, you will be unable to identify the infections. If you click on the phishing link, the virus will be effectively installed on your computer or mobile device. You may prevent such situations by keeping your antivirus software updated. One way to do this is to use the “auto-update” option, which instructs the program to look for and install updates automatically as soon as they are made available by the software provider.
Expand shortened links
The majority of fraudsters use link shortening services to decrease the length of their links to conceal the true website URL. Fortunately, there are tools and websites that allow you to enlarge a short link to determine the actual website URL before clicking on it. Additionally, there are browser extensions available for this purpose. Certain link expander websites maintain a database of scamming websites and will check to see if the link is connected to any of them once it is expanded.
Phishing is a danger to people, businesses, and governments alike. These four steps can help you avoid being a victim of hackers who use this method to scam innocent individuals.