Many times people ask me what “phishing” is – or wonder how someone HACKED IN to their accounts. The answers to these questions fit together, and, sadly, there’s really no hacking of any kind going on. Phishing occurs when an email like the one I just received this morning shows up in one’s inbox. It looks legitimate enough – in fact, I’ve seen this exact same message when I, myself, have logged in to Facebook from a hotel hotspot.
This time around, I noticed two things. First, the login was from Bancroft, MI, US. Well, I’m not in Michigan, so this peeked my interest. The key to determining whether these messages are legitimate or not is to look – NOT CLICK – on the link the would-be hacker is trying to get you to click. In my email system, all I need to do is hover my mouse over the “this form” link, and in a popup “tool tip” I see a website address that is NOT www.facebook.com. So, I know this is a scam and delete the message. Your email program may not be as accommodating – you might need to look at the bottom of your email screen to see the link, or maybe even to right-click on “this form” and select something like “copy link” or “copy URL” — then paste the copied link somewhere and view it.