There are few things in the tech world worse than those moments after you’ve accidentally clicked on a malicious phishing link. Panic sets in as you wonder what virus or malware you’ve unleashes into your computer and possibly any others connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Phishing is prevalent as the main method that hackers use for all types of malicious reasons. From planting a virus just for the fun of it to more nefarious reasons like trying to get access to your online banking login or stealing your personal details for identity theft.
92.4% of malware is delivered by phishing emails.
Michalek Tech Help stays up to date on all the malicious threats out there online so we can instantly help our clients when we receive a panicked call after an accidental click on a dangerous link. Our computer virus removal in Kansas City is a popular service due to our fast and effective response.
Common Tactics of Phishing Emails
Phishing emails have gotten more sophisticated over time and are getting more difficult to spot. They are designed to look like emails from trusted companies, such as Amazon, UPS, or AT&T. Designers of these fake emails also often play on emotions to get you to click before you think.
Here are a few of the common tactics used to trick you into clicking a malicious link on a phishing email:
- Telling you your order is being processed (an order you never made) driving you to click the link to see what the order is.
- Saying your account of some type has been suspended and you must contact them through the link to find out more.
- Sending a document that needs an electronic signature right away to keep your insurance up to date
- Giving you a tracking number for a shipment, which makes you want to click on the link to see who is shipping something to you.
Knowing how to spot a phishing email is important, which is why we give in-home classes for families to help them stay safe, but what do you do after you’ve already clicked the link?
Important Steps to Take After You’ve Clicked a Phishing Link
One split second is all it takes to click and infect your system with a malicious virus or malware. If you think you’ve clicked a phishing link here are vital steps you should take right away to minimize the damage.
Step 1: Disconnect from Your Network
As fast as possible after you’ve clicked a phishing link, you’ll want to contain the damage. Viruses and other malicious scripts can spread quickly from one device to another through your home wireless or wired network.
If you use an ethernet cable to connect to your router, disconnect it from your device. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, use your computer or mobile device settings to turn off the Wi-Fi immediately.
By cutting off your device from your home network you’re putting it in “quarantine” in a way and trying to protect everything else that might be connected to your home network (smart phones, security systems, Echo/Alexa, etc..) from also getting infected.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Files are Backed Up
Ransomware is a type of malware that purposely encrypts your files so you can’t get to them, then the hacker demands a ransom to make them usable again. If you haven’t backed up recently, you’ll want to back up your important files like photos, videos, or work files to keep them from getting damaged or possibly erased.
Note: In this case, you’ll want to just backup each file, rather than initiate a full system backup, otherwise your backup might also grab that malicious code.
Step 3: Do a Virus and Malware Scan of Your Device
Use your anti-virus/anti-malware program to do a thorough scan of your computer. Be patient and let the application do its job seeking out any potential threat you may have downloaded.
Do not reconnect to the internet to download an anti-virus program or you’ll risk infecting other devices on your network. If you don’t have a good anti-virus program, proceed to Step 4.
Step 4: Have a Pro Do a Virus Check
If you don’t have an anti-virus program or aren’t sure how reliable the one is that you’re using, it’s always best to call an IT pro. We have the best tools to identify and remove any malicious threats from your computer and ensure your data is safe.
When you call Michalek Tech Help for virus removal, you’ll get peace of mind from our process, which includes:
- A thorough scan of your computer for known vulnerabilities
- A deep clean of your device to delete malicious files
- Quarantine and deletion of unnecessary files
- Protection with a reliable anti-virus program
Looking for Quick and Reliable Virus Removal?
Don’t risk your system, give Michalek Tech Help a call and we’ll take care of the virus and heal your computer in no time.
Just give us a call at 816-582-9317 or schedule an appointment online, and we’ll be right there!