When the Internet was first put together, the hyperlink method was kind of a genius idea to help users get around the Internet without having to remember and type web addresses and long strings of letters.
Links are still great, but they can be used by bad guys to get you to go someplace where you really don’t want to go.
You need to be cautious while you’re connected to the Web and clicking on links included in emails you receive.
It’s possible that some of these emails you get are phishing emails.
A phishing email attempts to look like it’s from a legitimate company, preferably a company that you know or already have a relationship with. This email tries to get you to click on a link, visit what you think is the legitimate company’s website and then attempt to log in to your account.
When you attempt to log in, the phishing emailer records your login and password and will attempt to use those details to later get into your account at the real company’s website.
Fortunately, many of these phishing attempts are poorly done. You can often easily spot the spelling and grammatical errors in the email that a legitimate company would never allow to be sent in a professional email. Many of these emails are written by non-English speakers (and you can tell).
Plus, in most cases, you won’t even have a relationship or account with the company the email is purporting to be from.
But once in a while, you may get an email that is well-written and mentions a company that you do have a relationship with. So you may have questions regarding its authenticity.
If you receive an email that you are unsure about, don’t click on any link that’s in that email. Simply go to your account and log in the way you normally would if you wouldn’t have ever received the email. That will guarantee that you are accessing the company’s actual secure website.
You should also be cautious of links contained in emails that appear to be from a friend.
Bad guys can find email addresses of people and then send out emails to their friend list. These emails can contain links to bad locations.
If the email and the link seem unusual, you don’t have to click on it. It might not be from your friend after all.