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What Can Make Websites Unsafe?

Sometimes your browser or antivirus software will attempt to prevent you from visiting a website perceived to be unsafe or malicious.

Browsers have their own security built-in, and your antivirus software may install a plugin for an additional layer of security.

Here are some examples of the threats and dangers potentially presented by websites:

  • Trackers that attempt to build a profile of your private browsing history and interests.
  • Advertising that could be infected with malware.
  • Malicious code that can secretly infect your computer.
  • Potentially unwanted programs that may try to download and install.

Why Would a Well-Known Reputable Website Be Reported as Unsafe?

A well known generally reputable website that you have visited regularly for years may one day suddenly get flagged as malicious. Perhaps the site has recently become infected. A few years ago, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security website became infected. The New York Times website has served up malicious ads on more than one occasion.

Websites Incorrectly Identified as Unsafe

However, sometimes a website will be reported as dangerous, even when no known threat has been reported. This is because some security systems react to unexpected or suspicious website behavior. Here are some website security and reputation checking sites you can use to get additional information about a potentially malicious website.

Website Safety Scanning and Security Reporting Services

Here are some tools that can help you check the security of a website. Replace with the website you would like checked. So, you can click any link below, and on the resulting report page, change the URL (web address) at the end to the website address you want checked.