All of us come across links in today's fast moving, online environment. We find them in blog comments, in emails, in Twitter and more. However, we never really know what is lurking behind those links. They could connect you to sites harboring viruses, trojans and other web nasties that could infect your computer and our online network.

To help you avoid such security threats, we put together the following tools. While they are not perfect, these services do provide an additional layer of protection.

Expanded link scanners

Please copy any suspicious expanded URL, and paste them into one of these link checking services. Expanded URLs are those that include a domain name, ie: www.mass.gov, www.boston.com, etc.

Google Safe Browsing Tool

This link checking tool, provided by Google, requies the user to append a URL to another URL provided by Google. It then returns a report which details any threats discovered in the last 90 days.

To make this tool easier to use, we created a form, which will combine the two required URLs. To view the Google report, simply paste the questionable URL in the box below, and click on the submit button.


Norton Safe Web

Norton Safe Web is published and maintained by Symantec, the company that offers Norton Anti-Virus. Paste the url in the box on this webpage, and click on the submit button.

Link Scanner Online

Link Scanner Online is published and maintained by Exploit Prevention Labs, the company that offers AVG Link Scanner. Paste the url in the box on this webpage, and click on the submit buton.

Shortened link scanners

Unlike a normal "expanded" URL as described above, shortened URLs do not include a domain name. Instead, they use the domain of the shortening service. Examples include bit.ly, ow.ly and is.gd.

Shortened URLs are useful because they save character spaces in a link. However, they also create an additional security risk because you are unable to visually see where the link leads before clicking on it. To check a shortened URL, copy and paste it into one of these link checking services:

After you get the "extended" URL, you further verify the link by pasting it into one of the expanded link scanners listed above.

Improving Facebook Security with HTTPS

Get detailed instructions about establishing a secured connection to Facebook using HTTPS. This will ensure that the information you send remains private. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from various public Internet access points.