Hackers Hide In Hyperlinks

Hackers Hide in the Hyperlinks: Spotting Malicious URLs

Whether browsing the Web, using social media, or checking your email, it's important to exercise caution when encountering links. Cybercriminals actively craft deceptive links to steal personal information or infect devices with malware.

Here’s what to look out for:

Hover Before You Click

To identify a malicious link, you must first see where it goes. Hover your mouse cursor over the link's text, but don't click on it. This allows you to preview the full destination address before deciding whether to proceed. Be very wary of links trying to send you to an unknown site other than what's expected based on the context.

Look for HTTPS at the Start

Legitimate websites will use "https://" to indicate that the page connection is secured using SSL encryption. However, just seeing the "s" does not guarantee safety, so further inspection is needed.

Observe the Subdomain

It's important to pay attention not just to the overall domain name but also to any subdomains listed before the main domain. This is often just “www,” but it can be anything. You might have seen something like “mail.google.com,” and that’s perfectly legitimate.

However, an attacker could use the subdomain to look like the actual domain. For example, “google-mail-login.fake-domain.com.”

The domain you will go to when clicked is “fake-domain.com,” not Google.

Watch out for Special Characters

Look out for hyphens in the domain name. A hyphen alone doesn't mean a website is malicious – many websites have hyphens in their domain names – however, it is a common trick to emulate a well-known domain name.

For example, a link to “www.g-oogle.com” would be suspicious, as Google's actual domain is simply “www.google.com.” The extra hyphen is a red flag that the site could be impersonating Google.

Look at the Extension

Another essential aspect to scrutinize regarding domains is the top-level extension at the end. Common extensions for legitimate websites include “.com,” “.org,” “.edu,” “.gov,” and country-specific endings such as “.ca” for Canada or “.uk” for the United Kingdom. However, cybercriminals may use alternative extensions, hoping to disguise malicious sites. Be wary of unfamiliar extensions or ones that don't align with the expected use case. For example, a banking site using “.net” instead of “.com” could indicate a phishing attempt.

Staying vigilant and taking the time to inspect links quickly can help shield you from the majority of online threats. If any part of a link raises concerns about where it may lead, it's usually best not to risk clicking until you’ve had a chance to verify the context through other trusted means.

Maintaining cautious Web habits is the easiest way to help avoid becoming the victim of deceptive scams or malware attacks online.

If you think you have clicked on a malicious link, contact us at 131546 today and see how we can help.

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    Our journey with Jim's IT for our business fit out was nothing short of exceptional. From the very start, their team demonstrated a profound understanding of our needs, crafting a tailored solution that perfectly aligned with our brand identity and operational requirements. Their attention to detail, coupled with open communication throughout the project, ensured a stress-free experience. What truly set Jim's IT apart was their commitment to excellence in craftsmanship. Every aspect of our office redesign, from the sleek workstations to the integration of state-of-the-art technology, was executed with precision and care. The result? A workspace that not only looks impressive but also fosters productivity and collaboration among our team. Without hesitation, I would highly recommend Jim's IT to any business seeking a partner who delivers on both expertise and creativity.

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    This is about the third time I have asked Peter for help - first with my desktop, and now with my laptop. Apart from being a really kind person, his service is friendly quick, to the point, and really affordable. Couldn't ask for better! Gitte

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    April 29, 2024

    Leith was professional, and very accommodating. He got me the best price for what I needed as well as great advice. He will be my IT go to guy from here on in.

    Hepa Taahi (Hepacan) Avatar Hepa Taahi (Hepacan)
    May 2, 2022

    Big Thank you to the guys at Jim's I.T! I had booked in my Work Station Laptop for a repair due to my computer not reading my SSD, I was extremely worried as my data on there was priceless! Brad & Tony both called me back within 30 Minutes of putting a request through online, making me feel valued, they treated me as a Priority. They had my Computer back to a1 functionality within 2 days! I was expecting to lose most of my data as I had taken the laptop to a store in western suburbs Melbourne and they had told me the drive was corrupted and could not be recovered , I was then quoted $300 for a simple SSD replacement witch I could not justify! I contacted the guys at Jim's IT the following day and I am blown away by the service, They explained each step of the process making me feel like I was in the loop at all times! I have now recommended them to the rest of my company and we will be using them as our 1 stop shop for all computer and I.T related enquiries! 10 out of 10 service, Can not recommend them enough 🙂

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    April 30, 2024
  • Brad was fantastic! Quick to respond, and to resolve my issue. I would highly recommend him to anyone! Thanks again!

    Riccardo D'Alberto Avatar Riccardo D'Alberto
    September 2, 2023

    Laith went above and beyond to ensure my computer was fixed. This is the standard of service I would expect but rarely experience. Nothing was too much trouble for Laith even being prepared to do a delivery on Christmas Day. Highly recommend Laith - I have used another repair organisation in the past and had to demand my money be refunded - no problems now that I know about Laith

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    Had major internet issues with our site from a different supplier. Tony was out there within 24 hours with a new modem and an internet connection that actually worked plus reconfigured all our PC’s. Couldn’t be happier.

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    March 29, 2023

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