Be Careful To Visit The Original Website

If you don’t already know, there are many scams out there that are going to land on your inbox or on your social networking account. These often tell you that your account has been compromised or that there is a problem that requires your immediate attention. Included in such a message is a link that looks like it goes to the web site of your bank, Paypal, or any other site you may use with a password and user name. For the sake of your safety, never click on this link. Instead, open a new browser and make sure you type in the address of the original website on your own. Otherwise, your information will be compromised.

The link that shows up in the message you receive looks like it goes to the original website but it does not. In fact, if you hold your mouse pointer over the link in the email you should see at the bottom left of your browser (with IE) where the link really goes. If it is a false message, the web address will not be the company’s original web site. Sometimes they try to make it look like the original website address, but there will be small differences. In other cases, they assume you will blindly click and they won’t disguise it at all.

What will happen next depends on what you do. If you click the link, you will be taken to something that looks like the original website. One clue might be that something looks different. Perhaps the log-in area is not where it normally is or pops up when it normally does not. Perhaps some of the font looks just a little smaller than usual or is a different font that is not quite right. The original website will have https:// rather than http: in front of the address. If you sign in on this fake page, you have just given someone your user name and password to access your Paypal, bank account, or other online account you have.

Your email is not the only way that you may be tricked into going to something that is not the original website of any company through which you do business. You may get a message on a social network site to watch some video or to click a link suggested by a friend. The problem is that someone was in that friend’s account and sent you the bogus link. Instead of signing in to something, you are putting your information into a program that steals the info and then uses your account for the same purpose. The reason for all of this is to get your information, tie you to your accounts, and then hope you use the same passwords on other sites, which you may very well do.

If you are careful you will never fall for one of these scams. Your bank or your credit card company, web sites like Paypal, and any other important sites linked to companies with which you do business will never tell you there is a problem or a special issues you must address via email. They would call you or send you snail mail. If you get an email and you are not sure, the only way to make sure is to open a new browser and type in the original website address as you know it and log into your account that way. Do not click the link included in the email.

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