There are so many online dangers out there that it can cause anyone to become a little paranoid. You may even reach a point when you suspect that links and files you get from people you know might be infected with malware. You know that they would never send you a malicious link through WhatsApp on purpose, but maybe they didn’t check if the link was clean. How can you check to see if the WhatsApp link you got is safe to open?
How to Safely Open Links on WhatsApp
There are times when WhatsApp will clearly indicate in red that the link you received is suspicious. WhatsApp will show you this message when the link you get has a combination of characters that is not usually seen in links. By tapping on the link, WhatsApp will highlight the unusual characters. After that, you can choose to open the link anyway or go back to the chat. More info on how to stay safe with suspicious WhatsApp messages later.
One way you can check to see if a link is malicious is to copy it and check it on sites such as Norton Safe Web. Once you’ve copied the link, paste it on the site, and it’ll show you whether the site the link leads to is safe or not.
If you see the green Ok, you can tap on the link without having to worry if it is malicious or not. Just in case the Norton site is down for some reason, you can also check to see if a WhatsApp link is safe by going to URLVoid. When you check the link on this site, it’ll show you the site’s information in green if all is clear. It’ll show you the last analysis, Blacklist status, Domain registration, Domain information, and IP Address, and more.
Did you really think that Google wouldn’t have a service for something like this? Well, they do. Where you paste the site might be a little difficult to find since it blends in with the site but looks for the words Check site status and paste the URL there.
Highlighted in green, you should see a message letting you know that if Google found any unsafe content or not. If one site fails, you can always try the others.
How to Identify a Suspicious WhatsApp Link
When you get an URL on WhatsApp, be careful not to open it as soon as you get it. Spammers will try and trick anyone into making you think you’re going to tap or share a link that goes to a legitimate site. Look at the link carefully and look for anything out of the ordinary, such as dots under characters.
Also, don’t open links from people you don’t know. It’s better to miss out than have your device infected. Also, shortened links are a red flag. Your bank or other legit services don’t shorten their URL.
If the person sending you the link is always just as careful as you are with checking links, then you might not suspect that the link might be malicious. But, it’s always a good idea to check anyway; no one’s perfect, and mistakes do happen. Do you check every single link you get on WhatsApp? Share your thoughts in the comments below.