We recently got an email that appeared to be from Microsoft, asking us to upgrade our anti-virus protection. Two things immediately made us suspicious. First, Microsoft doesn’t send this kind of email. Second, the sender’s address was from microsoftx.com, not microsoft.com (note the extra letter “x” in the fake name).gmail-link

What made it tricky of course was that the link had Microsoft in the name and if you weren’t paying close attention you were in trouble. You can create a link in an email address and have it take the viewer anywhere you want. In Gmail, for example, you highlight any word or picture and click the link symbol, which is a tiny picture of a chain. Then tell Gmail where you want the user to go when they click on that word. You can also do this in Word by highlighting and right-clicking a word and choosing “hyperlink.” It’s handy when you have long web addresses, but is also used by hackers who have evil intents. In general, never click on a link in an email unless you are sure that the sender is someone you want to contact.


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