How Do You Know If a Link Is Safe?


Protecting yourself and your employees from cyber threats maintains the prosperity and reputation of your business. Data breaches are nightmarish as they lead to downtime, additional costs, and lost revenue. Unfortunately, human error continues to be a weakness that cyber criminals exploit.

Here we explore the importance of verifying link safety, learn how to spot malicious links, and understand the necessary steps to take if you or any of your employees accidentally click on a harmful link.

Why Should You Check If a Link is Safe?

Phishing, a deceptive social engineering attack, remains a significant threat. Cyber criminals often disguise malicious links as legitimate sources, tricking unsuspecting victims into clicking on them.

Once clicked, these links redirect users to fake websites that aim to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials. Additionally, these malicious sites can inject malware into devices, wreaking havoc on digital security.

Tips to Verify Link Safety

When it comes to emails with unsolicited links, the presumption of guilt is your safest bet.

Hovering the mouse over the link reveals a preview of the URL, showing the link’s destination. In some cases, the URL is immediately suspicious as the text does not relate to the intended destination.  Cyber criminals, however, often use clever tactics, making the link text appear legitimate while luring victims toward completely different and dangerous websites.

Google offers a handy tool known as the Google Transparency Report, which can verify the safety of URLs and bolster the link safety verification process.

What to Do If You Click on a Malicious Link

Despite our best efforts, accidental clicks on malicious links can happen. In such a scenario, it’s crucial to act swiftly and follow these steps:

Avoid Entering Any Data

No personal or login information should be entered on the malicious website. It is also highly recommended that you and your employees always create strong and unique passwords to prevent further harm in the event of a compromised account.

Refrain from Clicking on Anything

Clicking on any links or advertisements on an already suspicious website can spell disaster. Malvertisements, or malware-infected advertisements, are highly likely to be prevalent on such sites.

Disconnect from the Internet

A quick response is essential to limit the damage caused by malicious links. Disconnecting from the internet prevents cybercriminals from remotely accessing infected devices and spreading malware to other devices on your network.

Alert and Notify Relevant Parties

Inform your IT team, management, and relevant stakeholders immediately about the cyberattack. Time is of the essence in responding to such incidents, and swift communication can help set up a coordinated response. Depending on the nature of the attack and the type of data compromised, you may also need to notify customers, partners, and regulatory authorities in accordance with data breach notification laws.

With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats, understanding how to identify and verify safe links is crucial for ensuring your company’s digital security.

At BSC Solutions, we provide a wide range of cybersecurity services and solutions.  Contact us today to book your consultation!