Mar
02

Don't Get Flagged As (or scammed by) a Phisher!

Tag: Quick Tip
What's a Phisher?

Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.  [wikipedia]

For example:  If you receive an email from PayPal saying that, "You've won $100, just log in to your account to to claim!".  http://paypal.com/login

Clicking that link will take you to a page that looks like the Pay Pal log in page (or wikipedia in this case), but when you enter your username and password it's captured by the "Phishers", who can now use that information to access your Pay Pal account!

The trick is to disguise the link to look like a legitimate link when in fact, it's not.  It's "bait" and you're the "Phish"!  Always log in to your sensitive accounts by using a bookmark or directly typing the url into the address bar. 

Warning!

in order to track click through on the links in your email newsletters, we have to change the url to direct to our stats engine, which then forward to your intended destination. 

So if you just enter a url for your link:

http://yoursite.com/checkthisout  <- your intended destination

We'll change the destination but leave the text intact so while it says "http://yoursite.com/checkthisout" it's going to send the user to:

http://bionicentrepreneur.com?tracker&fwd=http://yoursite.com/checkthiso... <- our tracker with forward to your destination

So, because the link text still says one URL but the actual link URL doesn't match, you've inadvertently created a link like a phishing scam would.

Some modern email reading software now scans for this and will insert a warning, alerting the reader to a "possible phishing attack"!  Clearly, you don't want to alarm your readers like this.

The Solution

To avoid this terrible situation use descriptive link text, instead of the link URL.  It's easy to just paste the url into your text and let it automatically get converted to a link, but then you end up with Phishing links.  Instead, type descriptive words like, "Log in here".  Then highlight that text and use the "link tool", in the editor to enter the url that text should link to.

Like this!

Because the link text isn't a URL, it won't cause a mismatch with the link URL and will not trigger a phishing filter, (or is it Phishing Philter?!?!)

 

To your success!

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In this brief article I reveal the secrets of "Phishing Scams" and how to avoid them.  eMail Marketing software can inadvertently make you look like a "Phisher" to your readers. This can erode your readers trust!  Learn how to not accidentally trigger Phishing alerts in email software as well as how to protect yourself from scams!

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