Quick Ways to Check the Safety of Links

Before jumping to this week’s tip, I want to call your attention to two webinars coming up this week. First, on Tuesday Rushton Hurley and I will answer your questions during Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions. Second, on Thursday I’m hosting an updated version of Search Strategies Students Need to Know.

One of the best ways to protect your computer and network from malicious software is to simply avoid opening links that appear in your email from unfamiliar senders. Additionally, you should avoid clicking on links that you weren’t expecting and those that just set off your spidey senses.

When you do come across a link that you think might be okay, but you’re not entirely sure it is okay, you can check its safety with Google’s Transparency Report Site Status tool without having to open the link on your computer. This free tool will tell you if there is anything suspicious on a web page. You can see the Transparency Report Site Status tool in action in this short video.

On a similar note, when you come across URLs shortened with Bitly or TinyURL, there is an easy way to quickly determine what’s behind those links without actually clicking on them. The trick is to simply add a “+” to the end of any Bitly or TinyURL address. When you add the “+” the URL will redirect to the Bitly or TinyURL page (respectively) on which the shortened URL is hosted and will show you what the original link was. Videos of how that works can be seen here.

majority of those problems can be traced back to malware or spyware that was installed by clicking on nefarious links. Using tools like Google’s Transparency Report Site Status or the Bitly+ and TinyURL+ tricks can help students avoid accidentally installing malware. Of course, the bigger solution is to teach students to be wary of clicking on links that they don’t expect or don’t trust.

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!

50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integrators, and media specialists in mind. In it you’ll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions. Get a copy today! I’ll host a free webinar for any school that purchases ten or more copies of my eBook.

Two Webinars This Week!

You can join me for two webinars this week. On Tuesday, join me and Rushton Hurley for Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions. On Thursday, join me for Search Strategies Students Need to Know.