Network Productivity Group

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Technical tip #56, October 21,  2003: Follow up to tech tip #53, Watch those embedded web site links.

Shortly after sending out tech tip #53 ("Are the emails I'm getting legitimate?") we got a similar one from Earthlink.  They added one concern to the ones we pointed out that is worth passing on.

A link embedded in a web page or email may be a phony.  For instance, consider this one:

http://customerservice.symantec.com/criticalupdate.asp

Looks pretty legit doesn't it?  The domain immediately preceding "dot com" is one you know, so all the words preceding "symantec" must be sub-domains of Symantec, right?  Must be okay, right?

Wrong.  If you follow this link it will actually take you to tech tip #55. If we were  a real bad guys we could take you to a very legit looking page that could encourage you to give us all kinds of data you should not be sharing.

Earthlink suggested always cutting and pasting web links into a new browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL) page.  If you do that with this link you will get a "Page not found" as http://customerservice.symantec.com/criticalupdate.asp doesn't really exist.

A quicker way,  when using Outlook Express or Internet Explorer, is position your cursor over the link and the "real" address will appear near in the lower left hand corner of the window.  Check it out.  In AOL, if you place your cursor over the link you will get "tooltip text" that shows you the real link.

 

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