Internet Security

At a computer club meeting a few days ago we were discussing how to stay safe on the internet, receiving emails, etc. Of course there are AV and malware programs one can run, which help, but it was the consensus opinion that the biggest deterrent to getting a virus or malware is us and common sense.

One of the items discussed was the use of shortened URL links, and how they possibly could contain malware, or direct one to a malicious website. It's possible for one's email address to be hijacked and emails sent out under your name and which contain a malicious link. For example, you might receive something like this: "take a look at oogle news here". Although it says "Google News" you don't know where clicking that shortened URL will take you. Before clicking it you should put the cursor on the link and at the bottom of the screen it will show you where the link actually goes.

Another approach is to simply use almost the full URL like this:

ctually, here is the full URL:  ne can simply delete all the verbage starting with the ? mark and to the right. This will simplify a long URL.

Just something to think about if you receive emails with shortened URLs. And be cautious of what you click, either on a website on in an email.

Jim Hamm