The following tools are useful for investigating suspected malicious Internet websites and links:
1. The BEST tool to evaluate links: ZULU RISK ANALYZER - Zulu.zscaler.com
Don't assume that a website is OK if the Zulu URL Risk Analyzer calls the website "benign." It isn't a perfect tool! Use your knowledge and intuition to help you make an evaluation.
2. WHOIS Lookup Services: Use a WHOIS to determine who owns a domain and see where that domain is being hosted. Some domain owners hide their identity behind a "proxy service." A domain that hides the owner's name should make you suspicious!
3. Reverse IP Lookup: Sometimes scammers don't show you a domain. Instead they show you an "IP", or Internet Protocol address. This will appear as a set of 4 numbers. For example, 184.108.40.206 is the IP for our email server (mail.brookwood.edu) and the IP is owned by Comcast. Use ALL of these tools to look up an IP and find out where it is registered and who is using it.
DomainTools Reverse IP Look-up
4. Lengthen Shortened URLs: Many services online will take a long web address (URL) and shorten it for convenience. Scammers often use these services to hide malicious links. You have no idea where the shortened link leads to until you click, unless you lengthen it first! (NOTE: Not all shortened URLs can be lengthened.) Click the image on the right to see an example of a short URL scam that hit a teacher's iPhone. (This short URL has been identified as malicious.)
Check Short URL
5. Miscellaneous Tools:
Screenshotmachine.com - Take a screenshot of a website you cannot visit because of suspected malware!
IP Location.net - Where in the world is this website located?
VirusTotal.com - Check for malicious content (not always accurate)
Sucuri Website Malware & Security Scanner - Check for malicious content (not always accurate)
Google Banned Site Checker Tool - Check if a domain has been banned by Google
6. 2-Letter Country Codes:
NationsOnline.org List of country codes (Does not include a few such as .eu)
Wikipedia's List of country codes