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How to Identify Malicious Links On Internet


With the growing age of the internet where anything can be taught and learnt online, the number of people involved in cyber-crimes and online frauds have also increased significantly. Such an attempt is spreading malicious links over the internet. Its important to know about these type of malicious links to protect yourself from cyber fraud.

In this Cyber Security article you will get information about Various types of malicious links you may find on internet, and how to protect yourself from them.


Phishing links

Phishing is the most common example of such an attacks. Despite various cyber-awareness campaigns and programs, every year people fall victim to online phishing scams due to their negligence towards cyber-security. Thus it is necessary to be aware of phishing attacks and to learn how to identify them. 


What Is Phishing

Phishing is a cyber-fraud in which an attacker creates malicious links and send such links to various people to get their credentials like usernames or passwords. 

The fundamental work behind every phishing attack is to forge phishing links. These links look normal to people who are not concerned with technology and cyber-security but are links to malicious web pages and websites hosted by the attacker. 


How does phishing work?

The simple scenario behind phishing attacks is -

•  The attacker creates a webpage looking almost genuine to the users.

•  The attacker then send links to such web pages to different people who might end up getting tricked.

•  The attacker then steals the credentials of those users. 


Phishing Methods

Attackers have developed several new ways for spreading phishing links over the internet. Attackers spread these phishing links through various methods like:

•  Text messages 

•  Fraud E-mails 

•  Through Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc.

•  Via Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.

•  Online forums and discussion websites.


How Identify Phishing Links 

Identifying a phishing link is not too hard. A phishing link can be easily identified by looking at the URL in the address bar of the web browser. 

Assume you are visiting the Facebook website. Now, look at the address bar whether the URL is facebook.com or not. 

Similarly, if you are visiting any website always check the address to ensure the authenticity of the website you are visiting.


Security: 5 signs of an insecure website


How to protect yourself from phishing?

People always get hacked due to their carelessness, thus you must take all possible steps to minimize or even eliminate the possibilities of falling for phishing attacks. Always follow these steps:

  • Use browser extensions which may automatically identify phishing website.
  • Always check the address bar of the website you are visiting.
  • Always verify whether the website is authentic or not by its working and behaviour. 
  • Try to not open every link people send you online.
  • Do not believe in fake text alerts or spam emails.


Location Tracking Links

Clicking on random links on the internet can also reveal your real-time location to attackers. People try several ways to track the location of people for unethical purposes. One such method is sending malicious links to track location. 


How does Location Tracking work?

It is not hard to track location through link sharing. There are dozens of websites on the internet that allows people to track location through these methods. The scenario behind location tracking is the concept of IP Address. Every system connected to the internet has a unique identity of its own – Its IP Address. When someone opens location tracking links their IP Address is revealed to the website they are visiting. This IP address may contain some vital information including the location of the visitor.


cyber security: What can be done with an IP Address


How to be safe from getting tracked?

To protect yourself from being tracked never open links random people send you on social media platforms and online groups. Along with this simple step, you can also follow the steps mentioned to minimize the risk:


• Do not allow unnecessary permissions asked by websites.

• Use anti location tracing browser extensions

• Use VPN for downloading files from the internet.

• Avoid opening random links on the internet.


Links That Can Install Viruses & Malware on Your System

Attackers try different methods to spread viruses and malware over the internet. They upload malicious programs on the internet and send their links to people who might download them. Once downloaded and installed, these viruses run in the background without the users ever noticing and the users lose their confidential data and information. 


How malware spread through links?

Attackers try to click-bait users by creating highly interactive web-pages, which fascinates the users and they end up downloading those malicious viruses. 


How to protect yourself from such viruses?

These steps can be taken into consideration for protection against such malicious viruses.

• Do not download software and applications from unknown sources.

• Do not open pop up advertisements.

• Disable pop-ups through your browser settings

• Always have antivirus software installed on your system.


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