For starters, let’s define what a malicious link is. A link itself cannot be harmful at all. Therefore, there is nothing to be worried about if you receive a suspicious link.
However, it can lead you to a fraudulent site created by scammers. It is called a phishing link. Black hats send links that lead users to fraudulent websites where users must enter their identifying data, credit card credentials, and other sensitive information. All the entered data is sent to hackers simultaneously.
Also, there is another type of malicious link that starts file downloading upon a click. In most cases, the downloaded file contains malware. The file may have the form of a picture, PDF file, documents, etc.
Things To Do after Clicking a Malicious Link
If you already clicked a malicious link, don’t enter any data and download anything. It will keep you safe from scammers, as links are not harmful by themselves. They are used to cheat on users, steal their personal information, and spread malware.
However, if you’ve submitted personal details on a suspicious website or downloaded a strange file, there are four steps that you have to perform to secure your data and devices.
Disconnect your Device
Isolating your devices from the network is the foremost step to keep your devices safe. Even if you were reading DoMyHomework123 reviews to find if the service is worth using, stop doing that and shut down the Internet immediately. You will be able to finish reading the reviews after completing the steps below. By disconnecting your device, there is a chance to prevent the malware from spreading on other devices in your network and stop possible files downloading from your device.
Run a Security Check
After disabling the Internet connection, you have to run a comprehensive security check by using anti-malware software. If you have any other devices connected to your network, run a security check on them as well. It may take a lot of time, so you need to be ready to spend a few hours offline. Don’t forget to keep anti-malware software on your device up-to-date for getting effective protection.
If you’ve submitted any sensitive information on a fraudulent website by following a phishing link, you need to update your login details or block your credit card. As usual, scammers don’t use the mined information simultaneously. If you are not the main target of hackers, your data is likely stored in a database for further selling. Therefore, you have some time to update your login details before scammers start using them.
Recover Important File
After finishing the security check, some of your files may be erased or damaged. If so, don’t panic. Files are not erased until other files do not overwrite them. In most cases, they are only unavailable for viewing.
Being a student, who lost your academic writing due to malware, feel free to reach a data recovery specialist. If you’re short on time, you may order a new paper at EssayPro, an assignment writing platform. Feel free to check out the Essay Pro reviews to learn more about this company.
How To Detect a Malicious Link
If you want to keep your devices and personal information safe, it’s vital not to hit any suspicious links at all. However, how to distinguish a malicious link from a safe? Well, there are a few ways to test a link without clicking it.
Shortened or Encoded Links
Most scammers shorten their links by using the corresponding services. The most popular are:
By shorting links, scammers mask the real URL-addresses of their fraudulent site. Therefore, never click on shortened links, especially if you receive them from strangers. Firstly, you need to find a service that inspects short links and shows the full URL-address. Some services also provide information if the checked link leads to a trusted website.
You also need to be aware of links that contain strange symbols. As usual, such links are encoded to hide the real URL-address. Don’t hesitate to encode and inspect such links before clicking them.
Some malicious links can be hidden in the text. Suppose you’ve seen tons of “Click Here” text in messages in your spam folder. They also may have the form of buttons. Hover the mouse pointer over the hidden link so that your browser will show the full URL-address in the left-bottom corner.
Also, such a link can be revealed by using the code inspector in your browser. Just open it and choose the link. The inspector will show the real URL-address in a separate window.
Link Safety Tip
Never hit any suspicious link, even if you receive it from your friends. Their accounts may be hacked and used for spreading phishing or malware links. Also, it’s recommended to double-check all the information. If your Facebook friend recommends you to use EssayShark, a paper writing service, don’t be shy about surfing the Internet and reading reviews from real users.