494_MiWay_IT Website Content_How to spot an unsafe link.jpg

How to Spot an Unsafe Link

Knowing the difference between a safe and unsafe link can help you stay safe online.

  • Don't trust any links or attachments in emails or social media messages you were not expecting.
  • Always hover over links in emails to see the actual link.

If you understand the anatomy of a URL, you will be able to see the primary domain, which is the most important part of a URL as it tells you where the link will take you if you click on it.

For example, in the MiWay Secure Services URL: https://selfservice.miway.co.za the destination is miway.co.za. In the URL: https://google.google-fake.com, the destination is google-fake.com or in the URL: https://verify.microsft.really.com/microsoft.com the destination is really.com and NOT microsoft.com.

To identify the destination that a URL is going to take you to, look at the part AFTER the https://. Now start before the first slash “/”, or if there is no slash start at the end of the URL and look at the parts before that point. The destination is the TWO last parts if the top level domain is .com or the THREE last parts if the top level domain is .co.za.

When visiting websites, the safest methods are to create bookmarks or manually type in web addresses. Making use of reputable search engines is the next best option, but you still have to apply the "anatomy rule".