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How to check a link for viruses

Submitted on 08/23/2019

Popular browsers have a built-in indicator of potentially dangerous websites, but this tool shouldn't be compared to comprehensive antivirus software or specially designed services. There is always a chance to stumble across a page with malicious files. In order to protect your personal data and computer, we recommend to check suspicious links and websites for viruses. 

We've listed methods from the most simple to the most complex one and the step-by-step manuals provided by us will suit the needs of a user with any level of computer literacy. In this material you can also find some manuals for webmasters.

Checking via online services

Popular antiviruses have free online services for scanning links and this procedure can be performed in a few clicks.

Kaspersky Virus Desk

Kaspersky Virus Desk is a website where you can check files and suspicious links for viruses. Databases are updated almost every day, however the service is free for home use. 

  1. Go to the website https://virusdesk.kaspersky.com/
  2. In the center of the page there is a bar for entering a suspicious link you want to check. Copy and paste the address of the website you need into the search bar and click on "Scan". 
  3. The service will quickly scan the data and display the result and if you see it, this means that this website is safe according to Kaspersky.

VirusTotal

VirusTotal allows you to check the safety of any website and examine its files for viruses. The service works with more than 70 antivirus scanners, so you shouldn't doubt the quality of the results. However, often VirusTotal can be too suspicious and in the results you might find a file or link which aren't malicious. 

  1. So, click here in order to go to VirusTotal website. 
  2. Here you can check a file or link and since we're more interested in the second option we choose "URL" and go to the search bar where we insert the link. 
  3. It only remains to wait for the results. The example shows that the website has successfully passed the security check: it's clear according to all bases. If the service shows few detections, there is no need to worry, most likely it's a false alarm.

Dr.Web Online

Dr.Web offers online scanning of links for phishing and redirect viruses. Its own antivirus database which has proven itself over the past 10 years is used for these purposes.  The service can be used both via its web interface and Dr.Web Link Checker extension for Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers. We're going to talk about the online service. 

The checking of an URL is performed in the same way:

  1. The service is available at: Dr.Web Online
  2. Insert the full address of a link (or domain, i.e. website address) in the text field, 
  3. Press "Check", wait until Dr.Web examines HTML and JS codes of the page,
  4. The results given by Dr.Web are more detailed than by Kaspersky. The service also reports whether the checked link will redirect you to another page or not.

Yandex and Google services

The main search systems have their own tools for checking websites for viruses. They are designed for webmasters who own websites or are engaged in providing technical support. In any case, in order to be able to work with these services you have to confirm your ownership of a website. 

Moreover, Google will help you to check the safety of any website with the help of a special search operator. 

Paste the following link into the address bar and specify a website after "=" icon:

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

Checking for viruses via a browser: Avast Internet Security extension

Quite often a tool for scanning websites via a browser comes together with antivirus software. Mostly such add-ons are already included in paid antiviruses. But, if necessary, you can use it as a browser extension since it's distributed for free and doesn't require the presence of the antivirus on your computer.

We took Avast Internet Security extension for Opera browser as an example. Other tools for checking websites for viruses are installed in the same way and it applies to other popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Yandex as well. Now let's get back to the point:

  1. Download the extension for your browser.
  1. Press "Add" and wait for the extension installation to finish.
  2. You can find the Avast icon in the top right corner of your browser and right-click on it in order to open the settings.
    Standard parameters are set in the optimal way, if necessary, you can disable the extension via the corresponding menu.

When installing various antiviruses, try to pay attention to additional features: in some cases, browsers tools are already present in advanced versions of software. Make sure the tool is enabled: the extension icon must be active. Otherwise, antivirus scanning of a page won't be performed. 

Installing an antivirus scanner on a hosting

Specialized scanners, for example, AI-Bolit (the official website for download) will be useful for webmasters.  A local or online version of a website can be checked for viruses (phishing, redirect or malware). 

  1. On the main page you can choose the tool you need, you might have to pay for some of them.
  2. After downloading the scanner, install it on your hosting and specify the website.
  3. Now the tool will monitor all files, pages, as well as PHP and JS codes.

Offline check of a website for viruses

If you are engaged in creating or promoting a website, you need to pay attention to its protection and regularly perform virus scanning. You can check the website files without internet connection on your computer. In order to do this, you have to put all the files related to your website in one folder. 

Run the scanning of this directory via an antivirus which is suitable for you. As an example we took free software Dr.Web Curelt and you can download it from the official website or at this address.

  1. Open the installed app, Dr.WEB will prompt you to accept the terms of use and you should agree.
  2. Next, click on the "Select objects for check" button.
  3. Press "Select files and folders" as shown in the screenshot.

[image]

  1. It's only left to click on the search icon and wait for your website to be checked for viruses.
  2. If any malware is detected, the program will notify you and offer to remove it.

If after a certain time there will be viruses on your website again, it's necessary to check the page code for the presence of "gaps" due to which your website can be hacked. With the help of Dr.Web you can scan the entire computer, but the process will last for several hours.

A tip: You should run a full scanning of your computer via antivirus software on a regular basis and follow the browser security extension recommendations. In order to avoid losing valuable data, we recommend to copy it to external hard drives and cloud services.

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