No Clickity, No Doubt.
January 28, 2019
It’s happened to all of us at some point: you get an email from an old (or current) friend and you excitedly click on their message only to realize that your “friend” is urging you to click on a link in the email. You roll your eyes and text the friend to let them know they’ve been hacked and you’ve been targeted.
At least...we HOPE you do! That right there is the best case scenario when you get one of those emails or Facebook messages that say they’re from a pal or acquaintance and include a link that you’re instructed to click. But far too often, the worst case scenario happens and...you click the link.
Hackers are getting better and better at what they do. They’re learning how to make your “friend” actually sound like your real friend They’re sending messages that are more and more believable and seem trustworthy. So you click and when you do disaster strikes.
We urge you to never click on a link in an unexpected email, even if it seems legitimate, before you contact the sender via another avenue of communication to ensure that it is safe. Because, here’s what happens when you click those links:
- Malware is downloaded to your computer and in many cases your entire network including your servers and even your hot spots -- basically ruining ANYTHING connected to the Internet.
- Your passwords and any stored credit card information you use online are exposed.
- Your sites and online properties could be held for actual ransom by these hackers, who change your passwords and de-active your property until you pay a fee.
Unfortunately, we’re not exaggerating here! And though our services can fix many of these messes, this is one of our skills we are hoping our clients never need.
Here’s how to protect yourself from these phishing scams:
- Have us install safety software on your network. We can put many failsafes in place if you or someone who uses your network clicks on a bad link.
- Examine email addresses carefully. An email that says it’s from Google, that comes from an email address such as Google846@yahoo.com is clearly not from Google.
- Watch out for links and attachments. Always regard them as suspect and make sure they are legit before you click.
- Hover over the hyperlink with your mouse, and see where it’s saying it will take you. If it looks odd, don’t click!
- Verify via another means of communication if you get a suspicious email from a “friend”
- Be wary of typos. These are often a dead giveaway of criminals whose first language is not English trying to pull one over on you.
Worried about whether or not you’re already infected with some malware? Give us a call! We’ll be happy to come out and run a check to make sure your networks are clean as a whistle, and put some safeguards in place to keep it that way!