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I've received a spam claimed to be sent from one of my friends' email (well I'm sure he didn't send it).

What exactly would be the implications of clicking the link?

What's the worse that could happen by clicking on the link?

9

If you hover over the link with your cursor, it should show you where the link actually directs to. Chances are it's some malware-infested site or phishing scam.

A lot of antivirus programs can monitor that kind of thing in real-time and stop your computer from doing anything stupid just before it's too late, but I wouldn't rely on that. If you have even the slightest suspicion it's illegitimate, just delete the email. Don't let your curiosity get the better of you; it's not worth the risk.

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    heys thanks for the help. btw what do you mean by a malware-infested site? I'm using google chrome and if i simply click "No" to any downloads would I be safe? (I'm actually curious about what capabilities these malwares could do to my computer just by visiting them) – Pacerier May 9 '11 at 8:25
  • @Pacerier Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. I know that some websites are disguised to look like legitimate websites, when in fact they steal your login information. But as for stuff that's downloaded onto your computer just by visiting, I don't know. – Maxpm May 9 '11 at 12:22
  • Pacerier's advice is perfect. To add to it, though: a lot of phishing and fraud sites will use a similar domain name (like paypa1.com, where, if you look carefully, the last letter is the number one and not the letter L) to confuse the quick reader into thinking that the site's legit. – msanford May 9 '11 at 15:13
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There's something called an exploit kit. These can download a file onto your computer simply by visiting the site, so it's not guaranteed you will be safe. Even if exploits didn't exist, cookies and trackers can still be implemented to track down any information you put into other sites. On the assumption it doesn't have an exploit kit, or has one that no longer works, I suggest you to use incognito Google chrome. However, a virtual machine would provide the best protection, but if the virus is intended to give the creator access to your computer, they can bypass the virtual machine and attack your actual computer.

  • Still, as Maxpm said, it's still not a good idea to go to the site, as you don't know how skilled they are with viruses. It's better safe then sorry! – Bob Windinshire Jan 2 at 19:42

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