Suspicious and malicious hyperlinks concept
Suspicious and malicious hyperlinks concept, spam url or website address, safe browsing and alert notification

NordVPN has launched its new Link Checker tool to help stop the “growing scale” of phishing attacks on fake or malicious websites, and it’s completely free for anyone to use.

The manual URL checker scans websites for different types of malware and notifies users of fake websites and phishing scams using public and private resources. The cybersecurity company, known for its NordVPN service, aims to combat threat actors stealing personal data, such as login details and banking information.

As for how it works, the tool scans the domains of websites you want to visit and compares them against a list of websites from third-party sources known to contain scams or malware. These sources are databases regularly updated by cybersecurity experts, meaning even new malicious URLs can be detected.

Moreover, the Link Checker tool uses NordVPN’s machine learning model, which can recognise zero-day vulnerabilities and phishing attacks on websites. As the company notes, the new tool incorporates information on 95% of the most popular domains mimicked by cybercriminals.

NordVPN Link Checker Tool
NordVPN Link Checker tool on website via NordVPN

“Malicious websites are becoming harder to spot with the naked eye,” says Vykintas Maknickas, head of product strategy at NordVPN. “Well-known typography tricks, such as replacing ‘Amazon’ with ‘Arnason’ in a URL, which has worked for well-known domains, have now been upgraded to suspicious elements hidden under a URL shortener, often making phishing websites look legit. Link Checker is a response to the growing scale and intricacy of phishing attempts online.”

NordVPN’s Link Checker is similar to other safety tools that check URL links but continues to stay on top of malicious domains by “combining substantial third-party databases with machine learning techniques” from NordLabs.

It’s a handy tool to use before clicking on a suspicious link, and it’s worth having around since it’s free to use – no subscription needed. Link Checker is available on all devices and browsers, and you can check it out right here. Looking for the whole VPN service experience? Check out our NordVPN review.

This online security feature follows Norton Genie, a free AI scam detector app from Norton. It uses cybersecurity data and AI “trained on millions of scam messages” to identify scam messages, emails, links, or posts received online. 

Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from the mischievous world of online security to washing machines designed for earbuds. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for laptops into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. When he's not checking out the latest devices and all things tech, he can be found swimming laps, watching terrible shark movies, and trying to find time to game.  Previous Editor at Laptop Mag and News Editor at Time Out Dubai, specialising in food culture, nightlife events, gaming, tech and entertainment.

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