If there’s anything you learn being very active online, it’s to be wary of any downloads from unfamiliar and suspicious sources. Open a malicious file, and you can immediately unleash all kinds of hell on your computer (viruses, zip bombs, Trojans, malware, etc.). But what about malicious websites themselves? Are you vulnerable to attack just by visiting them?
With straying from the known and normal not exactly uncommon to wordpreneurs and writers (how do you think I manage to find some of these cool resources for the Toolbox?), it’s risky. VirusTotal is a big help at minimizing that.
Besides letting you upload files for it to check out, VirusTotal also lets you enter website URLs. Besides doing its own quick checks for basics, it will tell you whether any security vendors have flagged the site as malicious, and if any members of its security community have found anything questionable.
Foolproof? Heck no—it’s an on-going arms race, so absolutely nothing out there is—but VirusTotal is some serious and convenient as-needed help. Free and no signups required to use either!