To Link or Not to Link? How legitimate is that link is the question…
Statistics show that 1 out of every 101 emails is malicious. This may not sound like a lot but considering the hundreds of millions of emails that are sent and received daily, the number of malicious emails and the people that fall for phishing scams is much larger than you may think.
This week we are pointing out some of the nefarious tactics hackers use with embedded links that aim to trick you.
Links that are embedded in emails, such as those that say, “click here”, or provide a URL link to change a password or claim a refund, may or may not take you where you want to go.
Many times, these links are taking you to a phishing website where the scammer has done a convincing job of making the site look legitimate enough that you feel comfortable giving away your personal information.
Another issue is that when you land on a malicious site, you could unknowingly be the victim of an auto download that puts malware on your computer. This is the most common method for spreading malware, simply because it works so well.
Remember, no amount of anti-virus protection can protect you against malware if you install the malware yourself. When those warnings appear asking if you want to allow a program to make changes to your computer, double check that the provider listed is who you expect it to be. The same goes for antivirus warnings about downloading files; they may seem like a pesky extra step, but they prevent unwanted malware from installing itself without you noticing, or under misleading titles.
Opening a malicious link or visiting a phishing site that add malware to your system, is like inviting a thief to dinner, and then stepping out of the house for the night. Once malware is let loose, it begins doing damage, and you will not even know what is being encrypted or stolen from you until it is too late.
To avoid these scenarios, you will want to inspect not only the text link that is presented to you in your email, but by hovering over the link (and not clicking), inspect that the address in the link that pops up is the right address.
Again, make sure it is a legitimate site and address, better yet, if you are being asked to “update your Chase password” or “Claim your credit card refund” – open another browser and type in the URL you know to be true.
Looking to stop those pesky emails from coming? Do not be too quick when unsubscribing.
We often get spammed with emails from places we have shopped, or websites we have visited, but did you know that malware can lurk behind that UNSUBCRIBE NOW button?
Yes, providing a double whammy, some phishing schemes involve trying to trick you to get your information at the exact place you are trying to stop unwanted information from littering your inbox.
Rule of thumb? Whenever you are about to click on a link, for whatever reason…scroll over and double check it before you do.
For many, cybercrime is a full time and lucrative job. The tricks and the schemes are constantly evolving. Staying on top of the latest scams is important to keeping you, your data, and your company safe.
If you are ready to take the next step in training your team to spot fake emails, malware, and phishing schemes, we can help. Contact tech trainer extraordinaire, Brian Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more!