Watch out for those hyperlinks

Posted: December 21, 2010 in Musings, Technology
Tags: , , ,

We’ve all come across a slew of applications brought to us by Facebook. Though some of them are site-approved, a number of third-party programs are used by cybercriminals to carry out their heinous deeds. These scammers have been using social networking sites to extend and spread their notoriety on the Web.

A sample 3rd-party app on Fb via TweetDeck. Now hidden from my news feed. Just me being cautious.

This may be a simple tip, but it’s definitely effective in staving off a potentially regrettable decision from your clicker-happy mouse finger: 

The Status Bar is your friend!

Some people may not be aware of this, but if it’s not viewed I would suggest everyone to enable the Status Bar of your favorite web browser. Since it is a mighty tool, with it you’ll be able to see where a seemingly innocuous link is being directed to.

Some online scammers try to disguise viruses or nasty phishing tools as a plain-looking hyperlink pointing to another page. But if you hover your mouse over that link and peruse the status bar, it’s actually pointing to a suspicious site, a dubious application (.exe) download, maybe even a virus. No matter how tempting the wordings in a link would say, I’d recommend resisting the urge and just not clicking through the link.

So, for the most part—be it on Facebook, or on any other websites, for that matter—make it a habit to always look over your status bar first, before proceeding to clicking a link. It may already sound trite to us, but it is still better to be safe than sorry.

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