I want to give you two handy tools that you should bookmark so that you can check out "bad" websites.
1. The first scenario involves a website that normally works, but doesn't at the time you want to access it. It worked yesterday. My neighbor said she uses it all the time, but it is not working now. The question that I am sure you are asking yourself is --- is it down for everyone or just me?
Some bright person took that question and turned it into a domain name. The next time you are wondering about a particular site please visit
2. The second scenario involves a far more serious matter. Let's say that you receive a link in your e-mail and you are not sure about the security of the website. It seems like a real website but you don't want to take a chance. You may have received the link to this site in an e-mail from a reliable person or a company that you have used before. However, you want to be sure.
Copy or write down the address and enter it into the Virus Total database. Virus Total is owned by Google and it will scan the web address you give it through 30+ anti-malware detection engines. This is done for you free of charge.
You can access Virus total here --- http://virustotal.com
As you will see when you get to the page, you can also run a file you may have downloaded through Virus Total or conduct and Internet search with suspicious sites being flagged for you.