Something we all get are internet links
embedded within our received email. If the link is from someone we know, or a
company or bank we do
business with, we expect that they are trustworthy. Well, think twice
about that. If you have a link, say from Bank Of America, you can test that
by placing the mouse pointer over it (but do not click it yet
) and look
the bottom of the window. Email programs and browsers should show the
actual link. Make sure it is going to where you expect. If in case of
Bank of America...
you might see
something else (example - "http://flubber
The last part of the address just before the ".com" or ".net" etc. is
the link actually leads to. I run it to this almost every day.
If you are visiting website, say
the is a
link pointing to "ABC.com", there can still be a problem. Use the same
method as above, check and see where it is actually going. If it looks like
"http://ABC.com" or "http://123.ABC.com", it should be ok. If it looks
"http://ABC.123.com", it is most likely a scam site.
The phrase "HTTP://" or "HTTPS://" will
link. The difference here is "HTTPS" is a secure, encripted method of
connection. All banks and many others will use it. If not on their home
page, it will be on the pages where you might have to input personal
information such as credit card numbers etc. (Capital or lower case
letters do not matter in web addresses.)
Something I always harp on: Install an
and keep its database up-to-date. Most all A/V programs will examine
email and web connections attempting to find bad links and block them. While this is not
perfect, you still need to do it. Likewise they will examine websites
and warn of
suspisious ones. Again, this if not foolproof. Not even the best will
catch everything. See our page on Anti Virus software.
Here are some basic rules to follow...
- Keep one Anti Virus program installed and up-to-date (ONLY
- When you receive a link to a website, and you do not know
the sender, DO NOT CLICK IT!
- TEST the links in email you receive as explained above in
the first paragraph.
- Do the same when visiting websites.
- PASSWORDS - Use good passwords where they are required.
names of those that may be easily guessed. Never use the following...
- login or logon
- qwerty (most will not applw this)
- 1122333 - multiple same character
They are obviously the easiest to guess, and you would be supprised how
many use them because they forgot to change defaults or other reasons.
Passwords should contain both upper and
letters and at least one number. Sequential letters or numbers, more
that 2 are frowned upon. Some sites will not allow this. See our page on passwords for more.
Practice "Safe browsing/emailling"
(If you have comments,
questions, suggestions, use the "Click here to send..." at the bottom
of any HPRA web page.)