How to Test a Phishing Link without Clicking on It
The incidents of phishing attacks are not just increasing but also evolving. According to Barkly, the number of spam emails with phishing links increased from 2015 to 2016 by 4 times. It is also estimated that more than half of all emails that are sent are spam and most of them contain malicious attachments and links.
There is a need to learn how to test phishing links without clicking on them to be on the safe side. Let us look at some of the proven ways of testing this malicious links without clicking on them.
Use a Link Scanner
Thanks to advancement in technology, there are robust and user-friendly link scanners that you can use to test a link before clicking on it to visit the site. Examples of the best are ScanURL and URLVoid.
Active Antimalware “Real-Time” Scanning Option
Most of the reputable antimalware software has real-time or active scanning options that are designed to detect viruses before they infect your device. Sure, activating this option will increase the system resources that the software will use, but it will keep your computer free of any malicious software include ransomware and keyloggers.
Ensure Antivirus is Up to Date
Needless to say, if your antivirus does not have the latest virus definitions, it will not be able to detect the viruses. As a result, the virus will be installed on your computer or mobile device successfully once you clicking on the phishing link. You can avoid such scenarios by making sure that your antivirus is up to date. One of the guaranteed ways of doing this is by activating the “auto update” option to allow the software to check for updates and install them automatically as soon as they are made available by the software company.
Expand Shortened Links
Most scammers using link shortening sites to reduce the length of the link to hide their real website URL. Luckily, there are tools and sites that you can use to expand a short link to know the true website URL before clicking on it. There are also browser extensions that you can install for the purposes. Some link expander sites have a list scamming sites on their database and will check if the link is associated to any of them after expanding it.
Phishing is a real threat to not only individuals but also companies and governments. These four tips will ensure that you do not fall prey to hackers who use this technique to defraud unsuspecting people.