As your bank, we take information security very seriously. Take a few moments to remind yourself to stay safe when browsing the internet. Many of these are simple reminders.
1. Think twice before you click.
Just like links in Phishing emails, links on websites or in search engine results are opening a website or document. If that website or document is malicious, this can lead to a quick infection of your system. Unfortunately, antivirus software doesn’t catch everything. Try to make a habit of slowing down when browsing and using the same healthy skepticism you apply to email links.
2. Where does the link go?
Just like in email, when you hover your mouse over a link on a website it will tell you where it is going. Most browsers will show the actual URL in the Status bar at the bottom of the browser window. Again, if the URL at the bottom of the window doesn’t look anything like where it should go, be very cautious.
3. Sites that were safe yesterday may not be today.
It is common for legitimate sites to be compromised or modified in a way to present malicious content the next time you visit. There is no way to know ahead of time, so the best way to protect yourself is to be wary of any new behavior of a site you frequent. If you were to go to a trusted site that you frequently visit and were presented with a prompt to install software or enter sensitive information, this is a big red flag.
4. Casual browser beware.
This is common sense but bears repeating. Many users get in trouble on the web when visiting sites they probably shouldn’t be at anyway. Searches for “free” anything, song lyrics, videos, or “workplace inappropriate” content are surefire ways to get into trouble. Forums or places where users post questions and answers can also be dangerous, because they allow anyone to edit them and malicious content can be uploaded.
Many of these are common sense, but it is easy for anyone to be in a hurry and click on something they will regret. It is important to remember that links will open a webpage or content that could be on a server in New York, a server in Russia, or on a PC sitting in a hacker’s basement. All of it can look the same if you don’t take a closer look. Just like an ocean surfer, be careful out there!
These tips are provided thanks to 10D Security.