Should you be clicking to open on those links you just received in your email or website? Despite all the headlines about zero-day threats and state-sponsored attacks, the rather less dramatic truth is that the majority of security incidents start with a user simply clicking on a malicious link or opening a dangerous attachment threats that we’ve been tackling for many years.
The reason why these attacks continue to be so widely spread is that they work so well, employing crafty social engineering to dupe users. Clicking into them without thinking, gives the malware an opportunity to implant itself onto a vulnerable computer/phone or taking the unsuspecting victims to a phishing page designed to steal their passwords.
The extraordinary increase in popularity of Smartphone’s has actually increased the problem of clicking on dangerous links become even greater. This is because it’s not necessarily as easy to tell where a link will take you on a mobile phone as it is on a desktop or laptop computer.
So I, for one, am pleased to see Google do its bit to make the internet that little bit safer. Google has come up with a solution that it is bringing anti-phishing security checks to its Gmail app, displaying a warning when a user clicks on a suspicious link in a Gmail message.
This link leads you to an untrusted site. Are you sure you want to proceed to <example>.com?
In Google’s own words, you are recommended to use caution before proceeding “because the link is likely unsafe. Only proceed if you’re confident there’s no risk.”
You certainly should be cautious, as chances are that the link you have been sent is likely to take you to harmful phishing page.
If you do decide to click on a link that Google knows to be dangerous you’ll see an even more strongly-worded warning against visiting the URL:
Warning – phishing (web forgery) suspected
The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery, intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information.
You can continue to <example URL> at your own risk.
Other measures you can put in place is having an up to date antivirus on your phone and laptop. The ESET products for examples have the anti-phishing ability and are able to block these untrusted and malicious links. Consequently, the anti phishing feature is able to warn you prior before you even think of clicking the link. Do not fall victim. Ensure you are protected. ESET, Proven, Trusted and tested.
Below are a few images of examples of this links;