Q&A Vetting And/Or Visiting Unknown Websites?

Stretch_

Level 1
Sep 25, 2021
15
38
I've come to rely on visiting the Web of Trust website (Mywot.com) to vet sites I am unsure about. However, many sites are unknown on mywot.com. I have also used virustotal to scan a web page I am interested in visiting if I am unsure about it.

My web surfing is honestly pretty tame. I am not involved in anything criminal or seeking out malicious type content. However, researching some subjects often leads off the beaten path and I'm curious how others approach such situations.

I am somewhat against site-vetting plugins for privacy reasons.

Also, for those who choose to visit unknown sites, what browser security settings do you put in place to avoid infection?
 

oldschool

Level 63
Verified
Mar 29, 2018
5,254
38,353
I have also used virustotal to scan a web page I am interested in visiting if I am unsure about it.
VT is ok. You may also depend on Smartscreen in Edge. And you may use Windows Defender Browser Protection, BD Trafficlight, Malwarebytes Browser Guard or Netcraft extensions in any other browser. These are all reliable with decent detection rates.
 

dabluez98

Level 3
Oct 2, 2018
140
288
And if you are really paranoid, just add a good anti-virus to kaspersky in addition to the suggestions above...with kaspersky you dont even need a browser extension, it will automatically block any malicious parts of the site, and it will do a prompt at the bottom of the screen. my own personal view is that a good antivirus is more essential than extensions, etc...but i mean having good extension as well is helpful. Running more than 1 security app however, need to know exactly which ones and always check/careful for silent conflicts from them.

btw for kaspersky must be KIS, not KAV i believe.

If I'm sceptical about a website being potentially malicious, I'll open it in a any.run instance beforehand.

Just curious, any.run needs registration beforehands?
 

SecureKongo

Level 23
Verified
Feb 25, 2017
1,244
8,676
I'd recommend using either Netcraft or Malwarebytes Browser Guard extension. If you want an extensionless approach then I'm sure that setting up NextDNS as your DNS-provider is the best option.

NextDNS: NextDNS
 

SecureKongo

Level 23
Verified
Feb 25, 2017
1,244
8,676
I have found the MB Guard extension somewhat deadly in CPU/memory usage, anyone else find this or just me? Has it changed?
Never faced any problems...

Just curious, any.run needs registration beforehands?
To analyze files and websites an account is required. The basic plan is free, so just set one up. :)
 

SeriousHoax

Level 39
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,815
23,244
I have found the MB Guard extension somewhat deadly in CPU/memory usage, anyone else find this or just me? Has it changed?
Yeah, MB Guard extension is CPU heavy and also use more ram than some other alternatives. Though I don't feel any impact, but it can clearly be seen if you check your browser's task manager. BD TrafficLight is much lighter.
 

SeriousHoax

Level 39
Verified
Mar 16, 2019
2,815
23,244
How effective is BD TrafficLight, though? Also, does it check malicious scripts in a webpage?
It's very good. One of the best. They say they block malicious scripts/third-party sources, but I have never managed to reproduce it or see it in action. Of the ones I tested, only McAfee Web Advisor can block third-party connections that I can assure. Maybe MB Guard also can since it has optional adblocking functionality and also when I checked the log they seem to scan third-party connections too, but I haven't personally seen it blocking.
 

dabluez98

Level 3
Oct 2, 2018
140
288
It's very good. One of the best. They say they block malicious scripts/third-party sources, but I have never managed to reproduce it or see it in action. Of the ones I tested, only McAfee Web Advisor can block third-party connections that I can assure. Maybe MB Guard also can since it has optional adblocking functionality and also when I checked the log they seem to scan third-party connections too, but I haven't personally seen it blocking.
many thanks
 

Moonhorse

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 29, 2018
1,996
9,994
EIther run UBO in Hard Mode/Medium mode or use noscript. NS saved me a couple of times when I've mis-spelt a link but I prefer the UBO Hard mode approach.
average joe would be safe if they only would use ublock origin or adguard, but they dont

If youre either advanced user or do some research yourself about hard mode or noscript and youre patience enough to whitelist sites + keep backup of settings , yeah why not


I just use emsisoft extension on edge ( allowing only edge store extensions) will probably deny injecting any adware chromestore extensions

On firefox i use trafficlight

Its very user dependent what you need and what not
 

SpiderWeb

Level 7
Aug 21, 2020
300
2,082
I've been thinking about this alot recently. And in conclusion (lol), I had to ask myself when was the last time I ran into a malware website? Honestly maybe somewhere in the 2000s. I have to make a serious effort to find a malware site that hasn't already been filtered out by Google, stopped out by nextDNS, blocked by Firefox or uBlock Origin. You see there are many layers and I think if you have layers of security. I think the best way to vet is to use brain.exe. Is the site unfamiliar? Navigate away, don't even click. Stick to familiar reputable sites, don't click on Spam. Don't seek out illicit sites.

I do not like WOT, Traffic Light or Malwarebytes. They give you little security in exchange for sending a list of all the websites you are visiting. That's not a good deal at all.
 

Kees1958

Level 4
Verified
Sep 5, 2021
176
965
I agree with most posted. A layered approach is best.

Use a DNS service with rogue URL protection like Quad9 or NextDNS to off load the heavy work at data/server centers of the DNS back bone.

Some routers offer URL filtering also. When your router has it, you might as well use it.

Use the build in bad URL protection of your browser (Smartscreen or Safe browsing).

Most AV's have got URL filtering also. In case your AV does not have it, you could add an url/malware protection extension from one of the leading AV's.

URL filtering is a numbers game, so the obvious choices would be Microsoft Defender Browser Protection, Avast/Norton (I guess they will be sharing data) and Bitdefender Traffic Light.

My old friend Peter2150 (rip) always said that MalwareBytes had the best URL protection (in his tests with malware), so this would qualify MalwareBytes browser guard also as an extension option.

As with most free things in life, most of the above mentioned solutions use your data to improve their services.
 
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Moonhorse

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 29, 2018
1,996
9,994
browsers have evolved, and adblockers are doing wonders , you can play cookie clicker and open tons of pron sites and not single drive by malware will even exist

phishing ( dox+ social media aswell) and older people are worrying me most

any basic antivirus will detect most adware/malware and only companies are targeted with bigger bait
 
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