So You Clicked on a Phishing Link. Now What?
Red flag alert!
If you receive a suspicious text or email that looks potentially legitimate, but most likely not, then you’re probably being phished. We’ve talked about phishing before—the common tool cybercriminals use to steal people’s personal data or financial information, or even install malware.
But what happens if you click on the phishing link? This post will explore just that.
What Phishing Texts and Emails Look Like
Ever received a message like this?
Hi Jim! Thank you for submitting your cell phone payment. You’ve won a $100 Amazon giftcard. Click here to redeem it: [suspicious URL]
How about this one?
Please pay your mortgage immediately or your home will be seized. To avoid foreclosure, go to your portal here: [suspicious URL that resembles Sandra’s actual lender’s website]
These are phishing emails. And while hopefully you didn’t click the link, there’s a chance you might have. Fortunately, you can still take action after the fact.
How to Proceed After Clicking a Phishing Link
First off, don’t panic. Breathe.
Then, take these steps as soon as possible:
Disconnect from all networks and connected storage drives.
Either turn off your device or run a virus scan. Delete any malware you find.
Reset and change any passwords that might have been compromised in the attack.
Contact your IT department immediately, and keep in touch while you sort out what’s next. If your company works with an IT support company, reach out to them ASAP.
After taking the above steps, don’t sweat it. Simply use this experience as an opportunity to learn. We’re confident this’ll be the last time you click that dreaded phishing link.
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