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Check Before You Click On Links

ThreatAdvice Course Overview

Phishing attacks are the most common methods in which hackers deceive users. Hackers will often send malicious links within phishing emails in hopes of getting users to make a misguided click and fall victim to the attack.

False links are not always easy to spot, as many hackers have developed more sophisticated approaches. A common method that cybercriminals use is link cloaking, which involves hackers disguising a malicious link with a legitimate-looking website. Many hackers send phishing emails that communicate false urgent messages with links that claim to lead to the user’s bank account.

Users must take action to avoid falling victim to malicious links. Here are three methods in which users can use strong cybersecurity awareness by checking before clicking.

Hover over the Link

While the link may look legit, hovering over the link without clicking may reveal that the link has been cloaked. Hovering will show the user where the link will actually take them if they click on it. Oftentimes, the true link will be a combination of numbers and letters that don’t relate to the cloaked link. Users shouldn’t navigate to any link that doesn’t match where they expect to go.

Scan the Link

Links can be scanned before being opened. Users should copy the link without opening it and paste it to a credible link scanning website. Once submitted, the URL scanning site will detect any dangers that may be associated with the link. Users should use this method if they feel uncertain about the link after hovering over it.

Expand the Link

Similar to hovering, expanding the link showcases the link in its original form. Expanding shortened URLs to their original form can reveal titles, keywords, authors, and search engines in which the link can be found. To expand links, users should utilize credible link expanding websites or secure browser extensions.

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Summary

Hackers will often send malicious links within phishing emails in hopes of getting users to make a misguided click and fall victim to the attack. Users must take action to avoid falling victim to malicious links. Three methods in which users can check before clicking on a link include hovering over the link, scanning the link, and expanding the link.

For assistance in evaluating your strategies, technical requirements, staff evaluations and communications contact a ThreatAdvice Professional to learn more.