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I Clicked on a Phishing Link. Now what?

March 12, 2024
min read
Yellow lure on a fishing hook

What to do when you click on a phishing link?

What is a phishing link?

A phishing link is a link to a website that is used by scammers to initiate a scam. 

Phishing links are strategically placed in emails, texts and websites with urgent and manipulating messaging used to trick people into clicking on the link without thinking. When left alone, they are harmless. However, when you click on the link there may be consequences. 

What happens when you click on a phishing link?

A scam begins with a victim taking an action. The goal of the scammer is to have the victim take the action without even realizing it. Once the victim has clicked the link, the scam begins. 

You can think of it like... well, fishing (hence the name!). When a person drops a lure into the water the goal is to trick the fish into taking a bite of the lure. The closer a lure imitates food, the more likely the fish is to bite on the lure. 

Clicking a phishing link can cause one of 4 consequences:

  1. Signals that the victim is a live target
  2. Initiates a malware download (Learn more about malware here)
  3. Gives the scammer remote access to your computer allowing them to wreak havoc 
  4. Takes the victim to a fraudulent website where the victim enters personal information

It's difficult to know what's behind a link, therefore it is critical to be cautious about what links you click on regardless of the device you are using. 

What if I clicked on a phishing link?

When you click on a phishing link you may not know which of the four consequences has occurred. Therefore, the safest thing to do is…

  • Disconnect your device from the internet
  • Scan your system for malware

If you've entered personal information into a fraudulent website. Take these actions immediately

  • Change your passwords
  • Call your financial institutions to ensure they’re on alert for suspicious activity
  • Ensure you have 2FA/ MFA turned on

Navigate Confidently

The best and immediate defense is to be on alert and think BEFORE clicking on the link. 

However, we all slip up. It’s ok. But remember time is your enemy, you need to act fast. 

With these tips and tools you can take control of your online presence, ensuring a safer and more secure digital experience. 

Reach out to us with any and all inquiries on how to stay safe in an increasingly scary digital world.

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