Is it safe to… click a link in a message?
No, you shouldn't just click any link.
Whether it's an e-mail, whatsapp, text message or anything else, when you receive a message asking you to click a link, be wary.
What must you watch out for?
A message of your bank. Strange. Your bank normally never sends messages. ‘Click this link to check your data’. Weird. What could be wrong with your data? But you click the link anyway, you log in… and it's done: cyber criminals have your data.
Cybercriminals take advantage of that one moment when you're not paying attention to steal your data. Clicking the link in the message takes you to a fake website, for example your banking platform.
‘Your bank’ (spoiler alert, it's not your bank!) asks you to log in to check or modify your data. And you do this, because the message came from your 'bank' (no, it didn't!) and banks are serious institutions, they don't make jokes (well, that's true). But this is how the criminal gets hold of your data. You have been the victim of phishing .
What must you do?
Check or contact the sender
- Do you know the person who sent that strange message? Call him or her. Ask him or her whether they really sent that message and why?
- You can also call your bank to check. Serious people yes, but they won't bite. On the contrary, they take cybercrime very seriously and will be grateful you reported it.
- Also remember that banks or other official bodies never send messages to request important information.
- Don't know the sender? Look up their website and contact them online. Use the contact form on their website. Or ignore the message and delete it!
Check the website and the domain name
- Copy the link (don't click it!)
- Surf to the specified website via your browser .
- Check the website. Does it look bad, does it contain typos? Does it look like the translation was done with Google Translate? Is the domain name not the exact same name as your bank? You should be smelling a rat!
- Close your browser window and delete the message.
Is it safe to… always shop online?
We all buy stuff on the internet. Often we immediately pay online. Usually this is secure, but you do have to be careful. After all, you're spending money.
Online shopping is usually safe, but be careful.
What must you watch out for?
Online shopping is easy: you choose, you pay and a couple of days later you're already showing off your new sneakers! The biggest risk with online shopping is that you're paying in advance. Fake webshops also make you pay for things you will never receive.
The newest iPhone for 99 euros? Air Jordans for 15 euros? Go for it. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Pay in two clicks and receive a new iPhone! Or not… If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
In other words, watch out for webshops with offers that are too good to be true. They're often fake webshops that make you pay for something you'll never receive.
What should you check?
- Does the domain name correspond with the name of the store? Is the spelling correct? Without additions?
- Use the search engine on our homepage to find out who registered the domain name.
- Is the webshop correctly secured? The url of a webshop should start with https:// and not http://
- Does the store have a certificate to show it is a secure webshop? In Belgium, this is Becommerce, in the Netherlands Thuiswinkel Waarborg, for example.
If only everything was as safe as surfing to a .be site.
Domain names ending on .be may not be registered anonymously or with wrong data.
DNS Belgium goes to great lengths to ensure a secure internet in Belgium and actively checks whether a registrant 's data are correct.
- When a .be-domain name has been registered, we check the registrant's data.
- We get in touch with the registrant when we detect or suspect irregularities. The registrant then has 14 days to correct the data. If he or she doesn't, we take the website offline.
- We work closely with the FPS Economy to deactivate fraudulent sites within 24 hours.
And as of now DNS Belgium checks the registration data even before a domain name is active. A domain name registered with bad intentions, e.g. to deceive people through phishing is no longer activated and cannot cause any more damage in other words.