Published on September 9, 2015
1. PHISHING EMAILS What To Do If You Click on a Suspicious Link
2. We’ve all done it. Even security pros make mistakes when they’re tired or busy! If you’ve clicked on something you shouldn’t have, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to correct the problems that may arise.
3. If you’re part of a company, call your IT department or security department and report the incident; this can save you and your company lots of time, headaches, and problems down the road. 1
4. If you’re not part of a company, think back to what was asked of you when you clicked. Were you asked for some sort of account credentials? Were you asked to enter a username and password? Were you asked to download a file and install a ‘program’? 2
5. If the site asked you for an account, and you entered the credentials or you entered a new username and password, then you have to take some pretty quick and decisive action. First, you need to determine if you use that same user ID and password combo anywhere else. If you do, immediately go to those places and change your username and password. 3
6. If you have an account with the company mentioned in the e-mail and entered those credentials, call the company to tell them that you might have given your credentials to a nefarious group. Get the company to change your credentials immediately to help make sure your account is safe. 4
7. Monitor your important accounts and make sure nothing ‘funky’ is going on. Change your passwords in those key accounts to give you maximum protection. 5
8. If you installed a program as a result of the e-mail, there’s a good chance you might have installed a virus, Trojan horse, or other malicious piece of software. You need to clean your computer and change most of your account usernames and passwords on another clean machine (or you can do it on your own machine right after you clean it). Call a professional and seek some help if you don’t know what to do with viruses and malware. 6
9. You need to do these things as soon as possible, but freaking out only makes a bad situation worse. Take a deep breath, form a plan of action, and fix the things that can be fixed immediately to stop any further harm from occurring.
10. For more ways to protect against phishing, check out PHISHING DARK WATERS The Oﬀensive and Defensive Sides of Malicious E-mails by Christopher Hadnagy and Michele Fincher
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