CYBER BLOG: Clicked on a Dodgy Link? What's Next?

CYBER BLOG: Clicked on a Dodgy Link? What's Next?


Over the weekend I received a message on Facebook that looked like the picture below.

This is a classic scam used by criminals to try and phish for information from unsuspecting users. Firstly it looks at first glance that there is a YouTube video attached to this message and it’s trying to entice me in to clicking the link by suggesting that I am the star of the show.

Unfortunately, this link would take you to a fake log in page for either Facebook or possibly to a fake Google Drive page looking of log in details. The possibilities of what could happen after that are endless. It may try and trick you in to downloading a malicious piece of software or just try and steal log in credentials. In an attempt to spread the virus further, the attackers will log in to your Facebook account and message all of you friends with the same message. Without actually clicking the link to analyse what happens there is no real way of knowing.

There is a lot of information about what these links can do and also stories about being careful and not clicking on these links. But what should you do if you accidentally click on one of these links?

The first thing to do is shut the browser down and make sure that nothing has downloaded to your computer. Have a look in the downloads folder to see if there is anything there that has recently downloaded. Next, check your anti-virus is up to date and run a scan to make sure that there is nothing malicious on your system.

Once this has been done, the next step is to change your Facebook password (and any other site that shares the same password!). Facebook allows you to see lots of log in information for your account and this can be handy at this time.

Firstly, have look in the Settings, then Security and Login option. In here you can see a list of all the places that Facebook believes that you are currently logged in. If you see something suspicious, then you have two options. You can either log out or you can go through a “Facebook Security review”. This isn’t a difficult process and Facebook will walk you through steps to secure your account. This includes changing your password and checking any recent activity on your account to make sure that it was you.

The best advice is to make sure, even if you haven’t clicked on any suspicious links, that you turn on two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, means that you need not just your password to log in to an account but also a six digit code. This means that if someone does find out your password, they still need to enter this code to get access to your account. The code is sent to another device, such as your mobile phone, so it is very unlikely that an attacker would have access to both at the same time.

If you need any further help or advice please email [email protected].


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