Links are like the doors that take us deeper into the Internet. You start in one place, let’s say reading an informative article about the history of the ham and cheese sandwich, and next thing you know, you are on the Wikipedia page for some indie rock band learning about how their lead singer enjoys playing Flappy Bird while he uses the restroom. You just never know where the links you come across will take you… but with the abundance of bad people on the Internet, maybe you should.
Don’t be scared of links anymore, as these awesome Chrome extensions will let you know whether the extensions you are clicking on are safe.
We’ve covered some awesome Chrome link preview extensions before when Google decided to do away with its beloved Instant Preview, plus a couple of other ways to preview and read links in Chrome, so if none of these tickle your fancy, make sure you check out these lists as well.
As you can probably guess by the name of this extension, it’s aimed at allowing you to check whether or not a website is safe. You simply right click on a link, jump down to the Safe Preview option in the menu, and click “Is it safe?” From there a window will open that tells you whether the site is safe based on many popular virus scanners and services. For most places on the Internet, you won’t have to worry about anything, but if you find yourself in some of the deeper trenches of the web, it’s good to know whether a site has anything malicious hiding.
Like some other popular Chrome extensions, you can also see a preview of the website in a new window, so if the extension tells you that it’s safe, but you want to actually see the content of the website, you can use this feature. Additionally, you can open a site in Incognito mode using the context menu, which will let you quickly open a site that you don’t want stored in your history.
A key thing to note about this extension is that, even though it’s always running in the background, it’s nice and light. On my system it was using 12k memory and no CPU while idling, so you can safely run it without worrying about it sucking down those precious system resources.
We’ve previously covered WOT (Web of Trust) in detail, which is a cool service that lets users give reputations to the websites they visit on the Internet. This gives you a really broad idea of whether or not a website is safe, and because the results come from many other users, you can feel confident knowing that people just like you have provided the ratings.
Much like SafePreview, you can check if a link is safe before clicking it within the right-click menu. You will see an option that reads “Open WOT Scorecard” that will show you all the ratings of the website. Not only can you see ratings based on trustworthiness and child safety, but you can actually read reviews from users where they go into more detail about the safety of the link in question. If you want to know more about a site, digging into these reviews is going to be right up your alley.
I mentioned that the ratings and reviews on WOT are from users, and guess what: you’re a user too. That means you can use the extension to leave ratings and reviews on the sites you visit. Now, not only will you be able to venture into the dark depths of the Internet with confidence, but you can actually contribute to safety of other Internet users by leaving reviews. It truly is a win-win situation for everyone.
The extension runs all the time, but it’s quite light. It clocked in at 25k memory and no CPU usage while idle, so even though it still uses a little more than SafePreview, it’s negligible to your actual system.
Now Go On, Enjoy The Power Of The Interwebz
With the power these extensions have bestowed upon you, browsing the web will become a more joyous experience. You’ll now be able to know exactly what you are clicking on before you even click it. It’s almost like magic!
Need more? Make sure to check out our Best Chrome Extensions Page for all kinds of fantastic ways you can make your web browser a better place to work (and waste time).