Virtual world has been the single biggest innovation of the last century. But, like two sides of a coin, the online world is fraught with dangers lurking around. One of the most feared threat is whether a device can be hacked or compromised, simply by clicking on a malicious link? Can click on random link install viruses and other malwares onto the devices? If yes, how to remain safe and secure from these malicious links?
Every day, users receive multiple links to click on via emails, text messages, messenger etc. Most of these links are secure because they come from trusted sources. But cyber criminals may impersonate such trusted sources e.g., by spoofing attack. Then they can entice you to click on similar trustworthy looking link but actually containing malwares.
The following write-up discusses the dangers and solutions.
Malicious Link Threat:
Phishing is a commonly understood malicious link meant to direct users to a fake website in the control of fraudsters. Often, fraudsters create impersonate a legitimate website and hope gullible users to part with their login credentials by entering these details. The threat can be taken care of by looking at the URL address bar carefully enough.
But, if you click on a malicious link can it automatically catch the virus, or you would have time to recover from the grave threat? The answer to the question depends on the type of link created and sent by the hacker. If the link you click contains malicious payloads, it is entirely possible for you to download a malware or virus onto your device. The same stands true, even more if your device is not running on its latest version. This is because, outdates systems and applications, often have vulnerabilities, and it can prove to be grave mistake. As per latest reports, 70% of the data breaches could have been avoided by fixing vulnerabilities. The easiest way is to regularly run updates on all your applications and to make sure that only the latest soft-wares are installed onto the devices(s).
On the other hand, if the link does not contain malicious code/ payload, most probably you will be re-directed to a phishing website meant to harvest credentials or to lure you to download malicious soft-wares as genuine ones. You can prevent yourself from threat by exiting the browser or by turning off the device.
When you click on unverified links or download suspicious apps you increase the risk of exposure to malwares. Malwares have adverse impact on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems. They can potentially inflict catastrophic damage as shown below:
Thus, click on links can initiate automatic download of malwares onto your device, which can create passage for hacker to compromise your device.
You become more vulnerable if you don’t update your soft-wares to their latest versions as it leaves them open to various exploitable vulnerabilities. Therefore, these updates are extremely important and average user becomes reasonable secure by implementing these patches in real time basis.