You can certainly overcome the possibility of downloading malicious programs to your computer by avoiding visiting websites that support malicious software. URL scanners scan links that you open in your browser, and notifies you if any suspicious activity is noted. As such, URL Scanners prove to be of great use in keeping malicious programs away.
Google Chrome includes features built upon Google’s Safe Browsing system which warns if a site or download is malicious But if you are looking for more protection, you can check out this list of URL Scanners that you may like to add to Chrome as plug-ins. They are completely free!
URL Scanners for Chrome
You can run a scan, then. Simply select the page of choice and wait for few minutes. The program downloads up to 10MB of content, scans for problems and displays any results immediately.
Accuracy of the test can vary. Most of the time the program misses some threats and so flag innocent pages as “potentially suspicious”. So, you will need some web development and security experience to properly understand its reports.
Short URL Scanner
Short URL Scanner is a free Google Chrome plugin used to scan short URLs for malicious items. It uses McAfee SiteAdvisor (siteadvisor.com) to retrieve reports on various websites you visit. Occasionally, you may need to restart the browser to make it work correctly.
All you need to do is, highlight the URL you need to check for malicious content and hit the browser action icon for Short URL Scanner. After few seconds or minutes an alert pops up showing if the link is safe for you to browse or not.
VTChromizer from VirusTotal
VTChromizer is a Google Chrome browser extension that simplifies the process of scanning Internet resources with VirusTotal. It allows you to scan links directly with VirusTotal’s web application.
Unlike VTzilla, VTchromizer does not embed itself in the browser’s download dialog, only in the context menu. Google Chrome still does not offer an API to modify the download dialog. You can still scan any file that you want to download by right-clicking on the link to the file and choosing the Scan with VirusTotal option.
Have a look at Safe Preview extension for Chrome too. It lets you check the safety rating of a web page before loading it.
If you do not use Chrome, you may have a look at Website URL Scanners & Link Checker addons post.
Let us know if you have any favorites.