Preventing Cyberheist, A New Internet Creed: "Think Before You Click!"



Here at KnowBe4.com we focus on Internet Security Awareness, and provide a battery of information, services, and training to help raise awareness of potential threats and loss that uninformed or unsafe Internet access can bring. But curiously enough, a great deal of our effort and innovation is captured in the brief exhortation in the subject line for this blog. If users would only think before they clicked certain links, exposures to trouble and related losses to bank fraud, identity theft, and so forth would plummet dramatically.



Here's why our simple slogan, which CEO Stu Sjouwerman accurately restates from the personal perspective in his e-mail .sig file as "I think before I click..." truly represents a genuine creed, most often defined as "a set of fundamental beliefs; also: a guiding principle" (
Merriam-Webster):



  • In phishing e-mails, everything seeks to persuade readers to click a link that can ultimately steal their accounts, passwords, credit card details, and more. Users will be enticed by deals to good to be true, advised that accounts are about to be canceled, threatened with bogus legal action or other dire consequences, all simply to get them to click the link in the message.


  • On social media (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and so forth) use of URL shortening tools supposed conserve characters, but really hide malicious links from users. Users will be presented with interesting or enticing information along with innocuous looking links, to get them to click and open their devices or PCs up to attack.


  • SQL injection attacks on legitimate Web sites replace valid links with malicious ones, so that users get "carried away" to malware sites without their knowledge, and click malicious links with no awareness of the dangers involved. In the background, attacks are often already underway.




What's the common thread in all of these scenarios? Clicking a link that leads to something untoward, unwanted, and very often powerfully malicious enough to harvest user input on targeted devices or machines using keyloggers, and to export keyboard input from keyloggers to third parties using Trojan backdoors that send this data across the Internet to shady designated recipients.



[caption id="attachment_194" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Identity theft has given way to serious corporate crime online, aka Cyberheists"]Identity theft has given way to serious corporate crime online, aka Cyberheists[/caption]



How can users avoid these snares? By refusing to click links with unknown destinations, or where the consequences of clicking those links aren't completely clear. Hence our guiding principle at KnowBe4.com "Think before you click!" Follow that simple creed, and potential sources of trouble and loss will be slashed. It really is just that simple!



Stu Sjouwerman

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