Suspicious EMAIL and Browser Links

    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 link by placing the mouse pointer over it (but do not click it yet) and look at 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 - "" or ""). The last part of the address just before the ".com" or ".net" etc. is where the link actually leads to. I run it to this almost every day.

    If you are visiting website, say "" but the is a link pointing to "", there can still be a problem. Use the same method as above, check and see where it is actually going. If it looks like "" or "", it should be ok. If it looks like "", it is most likely a scam site.

    The phrase "HTTP://" or "HTTPS://" will begin each 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 Anti Virus program 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 ONE).

  • 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. Never use names of those that may be easily guessed. Never use the following...
    • password
    • passwd
    • admin
    • 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 lower case 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.)