the link on various sites. The problem being that the Link "Face" can show anything, NOT necessarily where it really will take you. Updated versions for things like Adobe Flash & Shockwave are favorite items since they're so powerful & if they're corrupted by adding say a trojan,
they can create serious havoc! At least, buy copy & paste, you might see the "real addie" at bottom of your screen & be warned, or using your own favorites /bookmarks for a site you're much safer.
Even many legit sites these days are found to be "hosting" malicious links & often they don't know it until someone notifies them. Scary when the sites are Banks, Tax Departments, Major News services etc.
There are some Free programs around that should show that an address is "Spoofed" such as Spoof-Stick. Many of the latest browsers & AV programs are now including such pre-scanning of links although it may tend to slow browsing, especially if it holds you up while scanning not only the primary link you click, but also all the embedded links that are on the page you plan to visit.
Unfortunately Security & Convenience are pretty much direct opposites & trading one for the other is problematical. mind you, the time lost waiting will certainly be less than the time required to remove an infection/attack.
Beyond that, there are a few sites where you can enter the URL addie & gain an opinion of how safe the site is such as Site Advisor & they even offer a downloadable scanner that works much the same by connecting to their site data base to warn you off IF URL is listed as trouble. Personally, I prefer not to have the scanner onboard but do sometimes do the URL entry thing.
Unfortunately I have not kept myself upto date on the later entries into the field so perhaps others (Mods?) may have more to offer.
It is good you're aware & asking the question!! Many are not & maybe this thread will catch their eye & help spread the warning.
If I copy and paste a link into a browser, if that a safe way to open links? There are some I would like to open but am concerned with all the viruses. Or if I write the link into a browser and don't even copy it.