You get an interesting looking email in your Inbox… it looks like it’s from a credible source so you quickly click where they ask you to. That’s where the trouble begins. That one click could infect your computer, grab sensitive data, capture your online searching history, download your entire contact list, etc., etc.
Hackers are using all kinds of sites like facebook and Twitter to infect your mobile devices.
Note the ad I recently got for a supposed new professional social network actually uses the facebook logo. That is supposed to lull you into thinking this site must be safe, right?? Nope.
When I researched “the professional social network” on Google, predictably LinkedIn popped up first in the organic listing, then a whole list of articles about social networking sites. Nothing was an actual match for “the professional social network”. Huh.
Then I searched for the site I thought was related to the email address of the sender – something called getinvolvednow.net. I found nothing on this score either.
Why? Because on closer inspection of the actual web address linked to the emai:
Makenzie ruiz <[email protected]>
several red flags are obvious.
- the name - has lots of numbers around it – your brain should be screaming “RED ALERT – DO NOT CLICK ANYWHERE”
- The word “involved” was misspelled as “invloved” and that domain was issues to someone in Germany in November 2011 – here’s the URL where I found that info out.
Over the past month I’ve gotten bogus emails (with less graphics, but nonetheless very professionally designed with all the logos and disclaimers in the “right” places) from PayPal, assorted banks that I don’t bank at as well as those I do claiming that I need to log on and update my data, Federal Express, The Better Business Bureau, etc.
The moral of the story – bogus business ads are popping up everywhere. It may take a few independent searches using your choice of browser & search engine – but avoiding potential bots, hackers, or viruses is well worth your time!
DON’T CLICK on anything until you reassure yourself that whatever you think is a credible business, non-profit, etc., actually is. A good rule of thumb is to never click – just open your browser and Google the business or non-profit name in order to access their site directly. There you can locate the special or whatever the email is claiming to offer or ask for.
As soon as you’ve identified a SPAM or JUNK email – alert the business by researching where they want you to forward any phishing or fraud attempts. Dispose of the bogus email in your Junk mail folder and then immediately delete all the contents in your Junk mail folder.
Have you ever had the worst happened by clicking on a suspect email/link? What bogus emails have been crowding your Inbox – we want to know….Post your comments below!