How to safely display the actual content of a hyperlink

&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GizmosTechTips+%28Gizmo%27s+Tech+Tips%29 Note from Dan: In order to carry out some of the testing of a link discussed in this article, one must visit the link above to have the actual link highlighted. Malware writers and phishers often disguise links. The text that is displayed on a web page can say anything. To check that a link is really related to what you see on a web page, hover the mouse pointer over the link. The actual hypertext for the link will be displayed in the lower left corner of the screen on major web browsers. Try it on this link: If using screenreading software , visit the link above and locate the same link. Then press the application key followed by the letter r for examining the properties of this link. Read the hyperlink very carefully Once you see what the hyperlink is, you need to decide if it is safe. If it is a well-known web site that you recognize, then you can proceed. However, the hyperlink must be read carefully. Malware writers and spammers often use web addresses that contain the names of well-known sites or software. For example, they might try to fool you with something like There are also a number of ways to obfuscate, (to make obscure or unclear), a web address so that the real address is hidden. This link has a discussion of ways that web addresses can be obscured or made misleading. Check the target page of a hyperlink There are various ways to check the target of a link. One way is to copy the link to the clipboard and then paste it into some test feature. To copy a link, right-click it (not left-click) to open a context menu, then select “Copy link address” (in Chrome), “Copy Link Location” (in Firefox), or “Copy shortcut” (in Internet Explorer). This copies the URL to the clipboard so that you can paste it into any search field for testing. This article ” How to Tell If A Website Is Dangerous” at Gizmo’s discusses a number of security sites where a link can be tested. Sometimes the URL may be in one of the shortened formats from services like,, or This article ” Find Out Where Shortened URLs Lead To Without Clicking” Found at gives sites that will reveal the actual URL behind a shortened link. There is also a website to enter and unshorten short URLs at Browser add-ons and link scanners Of course, there are also any number of browser add-ons that can help you check out an URL so another approach is to skip copying the URL and instead rely on a browser feature or add-on to warn about potential bad web pages before you actually go there. This article ” Best Free Internet Safety Check” Submitted by Midnight Cowboy Found at the link below: lists a number of browser plug-ins and extensions that will provide safety checks for URLs. One favorite at Gizmo’s is Web of Trust (WOT). And there you have it – how to avoid those phishing and malware links.]]>

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