I was plowing through email late last evening and I almost clicked on this link. Lesson to me; stop plowing through email after 10pm.

I tell everyone who will listen, to be very careful when you are tempted to click on a link in an email. It is so easy, and not all of the bad emails are easy detect. It is a challenge for me, and I have a very real knowledge of the cyber security challenges of a connected society. Luckily, deep in my brain, my radar was active at the late hour and I hesitated long enough to realize that it didn’t look quite right.

It might have helped that I had spoken with my dear mom recently about an incident she was describing involving an email from a friend and the attached picture link. She clicked on the link and everything changed including the header in her browser, shortcuts, etc. I told her that her computer was completely compromised and that I would fix it next weekend when I was up for a visit.

AlmostClicked2So what registered in my radar scan? Well, for starters I did not like the color of the “Click here” button. Seriously, it did not look right for a company that is so product quality and market aware. Next, in an era of big data, shouldn’t the email be addresses to me personally and not ”Dear Customer”? Finally my brain engaged and I realized that the email was sent to my business account and not the personal account that is registered with the vendor. There are more, but I am interested in what you see in the email that would have tipped you off.

Last, if you are one of the people that make big decisions or are in charge of protecting your company, I cannot help but wonder how many of your people clicked on the email?