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Edit: It has been observed that my question may already have an answer here How to check whether a link is safe or not? [closed] and here How do I safely inspect a potentially malicious website?. Even if I find the suggestions therein very useful, I believe that my questions below are somehow different. Let me try to rephrase them:

  1. After visiting a suspicious website, is it possible to detect if a potentially malicious content was triggered? That is to say, is it possible to detect a potential threat?

  2. If a browser runs into a "This site can’t be reached. [] took too long to respond" error page, is it possible that it triggered some content of the page or not at all?

  3. If someone visits a webpage without interacting with it, is this enough to expose the computer to a malicious threat?

Probably my original message was too verbose, apologies. At the moment I am more interested in knowing if there exists a way of detecting potential negative effects of browsing a webpage after visiting it and in how a "This site can’t be reached. [] took too long to respond" error (or other errors) affects the answer, than in how to check whether a webpage seems safe or not.

Original question: During a live event on LinkedIn, I erroneously clicked on a link in the chat, whose base url was live (dot) tvstreaming4k (dot) com and that I consider suspect. This led to a "This site can’t be reached. [] too long to respond" error page. It even does not appear in my browser history. I have a Windows 10 OS and I was browsing the web with Chrome version 119.0.6045.200. A Google search afterwards led to nothing, in my opinion, and I started to be (irrationally, probably) worried.

As a consequence, I felt the need to increase my awareness on digital threats:

  1. I am aware that visiting potentially dangerous webpages may lead to security threats, but how can I understand if something really happened or if my suspects were unfounded?

  2. Since, in this specific case, the site could not be reached, does this mean that my browser did not receive any answer at all and so it did not trigger any potentially malicious content of the page?

  3. If someone clicks on a link, is stopping loading the webpage a way of preventing potentially malicious content to trigger? And what if someone realizes the link was not what they were expecting only after the webpage is loaded?

I googled the url, hoping to find information about the webpage or at least questions or comments from other people that made the same mistake before, but I found nothing.

I looked for information about the "This site can’t be reached. [] took too long to respond" error page, to understand myself what happened and to try to answer my question, but I only found page on how to fix this error (even trying to explicitly exclude "fix" and synonyms).

I searched for reliable information about how to detect a threat or a potential attack, but I found only lists of comments in the spirit of "it happened to me that..."

I dug the Stack Exchange Network to see if somebody already discussed these topics before, without success.

I am aware of How can I make sure if my computer is infected and know if I have to nuke it from orbit?, but in this case I do not have any "symptom" and, apparently, I even did not visit the page.

I am also aware of How does a virus infect our computer just by visiting a website and Can visiting a website virus your computer if you have JavaScript disabled?, but they do not seem to be related to my case.

I am also aware of Help! My home PC has been infected by a virus! What do I do now?, but I do not know if this is the case. How can one detect if a computer has been infected?

I beg your pardon if this is not the correct forum where to post this question. I already made this mistake once by asking this question in the wrong place. I was also warned there that this is a "open ended discussion/opinion-based questions", but to me this does not seem to be the case.

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  • There is no definite way to find out if this is a threat or not. Even if the site looks innocent from one place it might serve different and malicious content to other users. And having no symptoms can mean that either there is nothing or that it is sophisticated enough to prevent detection. Based on your description the chance is very high that there is nothing malicious - but the chance that there was something malicious is not zero either. Or in short a) there is no definite answer and no universal detection approach b) analysis of specific sites, infections, ... is off-topic here anyway Dec 5, 2023 at 16:14
  • You can try looking at the WHOIS register information about the domain, that might point into somewhere or nowhere at all... Dec 5, 2023 at 16:20
  • Your edit is too many questions together. #1 "how can I detect that I've been infected" is too broad to answer. #2 it is still possible that the server (or an intermediary site) sent data to your client and therefore infected/affected #3 has many answers here already (it's called "drive-by infections")
    – schroeder
    Dec 5, 2023 at 22:38
  • @schroeder: thank you for your comment and, in particular, for introducing me to the term "drive-by infections", of which I was not aware. You are right and also my original thread consisted of 3 questions together. I am trying to understand how things go to be able to rationally assess future events, so I have many questions (also because I do not want to rely only on rumors or simply stay worried my whole life), but probably this is not the correct place were to ask them. Thanks again for your time and your help. Dec 6, 2023 at 7:52
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    You can ask these questions here, but not in a lump. And if you separate the questions, then you can start to investigate each individually.
    – schroeder
    Dec 6, 2023 at 8:14

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