How the Cyber-Grinch Stole Christmas
He’s a mean one, Mr. Cyber-Grinch,
He really is a heel!
He’s here to steal Christmas,
And infect you as part of the deal!
His scams, they often catch
When for your tracking number you watch,
Or when you click on a link in an email
And to a fake website you dovetail.
Before you click on that link, just wait!
Is it real or a fake?
With some simple hints,
We can stop that Cyber-Grinch,
Who pretends to be a store
And often a bit more!
Who is the email really from?
In Outlook, the real ‘from’ address is right beside the sender’s name, in <…>. In Gmail, simply hover over the person’s address. Does it look like email@example.com or more like firstname.lastname@example.org? Real messages come from domains like amazon.ca or apple.com.
Where does that link go to?
Now that we think the sender is correct, it’s still prudent to check links before we click them. In Outlook, simply hold your mouse over a link. A popup box will show the full link you’re going to. Read it through and make sure it’s directing you where you think it’s going. Is it really Amazon or Apple, or some strange address like “dingobabyeat.trade” (yes, that’s real from my junk mail!).
Note: Most newsletters use a different link (like “something.list-manage1.com” for MailChimp). If you’re unsure, it’s worth investigating before you click the link!
Don’t let the Cyber-Grinch catch you!
Don’t expect Mr. Cyber-Grinch’s heart to grow three sizes this day,
Instead, now you know some ways to catch him mid-play!
Mike is a technology strategist, project superhero, and cyber-security simplifier with a passion for helping companies be more successful. He is a partner at Incrementa Consulting. You can connect with Mike on Twitter or LinkedIn.