How to Safely Open Unknown Web Pages at Work?
Some web pages may contain inappropriate or NSFW content. Here’s how you can read such web pages at work without getting caught!
You are at work and a friend sends you an email with a link to some web page that he wants you to check now.
You have unrestricted access to the internet in your office but they keep logs of everything, so it is probably not a good idea to go to NSFW (not secure for work) websites from your office computer.
Another problem, you do not have individual cubicles in the office but there is a fairly open scope so that your colleagues (of course, inadvertently) can see your computer screen.
Avoid stumbling into inappropriate material at work
If you are unsure of the contents of the web page then what should you do, but still can not resist temptation to click? Here are some ideas:
If that link is a short URL (like bit.ly/FJKw), you can go to longurl.org to know the actual web page where the link will take you to click. Long URL supports nearly every popular URL shortening service including recently launched goo.gl.
LongURL will not only expand the small URL, but it will also show a short thumbnail preview of the web page so that you know what to expect after landing on a shared site that your friend shared with you.
Occasionally web pages can have NSFW text and it can flag the Internet monitoring system in your office. To avoid such a situation, you can download the web page as a PDF file without opening the original page in your browser.
You can do this with the help of PDFmyURL.com, a free service that will make all the conversions on their own server. The logging software will not be able to read the contents of the web page, even if that page is now saved to your local hard disk.
Desktop search programs and sniffers can sometimes index the contents of PDF files so that if you want to be extra safe, do not secure PDF (as explained above) but instead take a screenshot with aviary.
Aviary will convert a web URL into an image that you can easily read in the web browser but the monitoring system can not be given as a bitmap image of the web page that can not be scanned for NSFW words.
Protect Your Screen from Private Eyes
Eyes are everywhere and there is a chance that some hidden webcam or even an eager associate is watching your computer monitor while you are busy reading web pages. To avoid this, try a simple trick. Copy the URL into the variable SFW and start moving the scroller to the right until the content is barely visible.
The convertible SFW basically adds a black mask to the webpage (unknown and sometimes NSFW), and when you move the scroller, the mask becomes transparent, so that it shows what is under it. Only you can see the material because you are very close to the computer but only one black screen will appear to a colleague at the distance. Try it.