Over the last few days, Twitter has been hard hit by a phishing scam through the Direct Messages (DMs) that users can send each other.

The scam coaxes readers to click on a link which goes not to the Twitter log in page as it appears, but to a page phishing for log in details to re-use them, presumably for nefarious purposes.

There are at least two lessons to be learnt from this episode.

Firstly, do NOT use the same username and passwords for many different sites. And change them regularly.

Secondly, it should be a deeply engrained habit whenever you are surfing the internet or reading emails to keep your eyes firmly on the bottom left hand corner of your browser window whenever you hover over a link or click on a link.

If you mouseover a link such as this one, the target website that the link points to is shown in the bottom left hand corner of the browser window. Try it and see. If you are aware which website you should be going to, you will easily spot if there is some discrepancy between what you were expecting to see and what you actually are shown. So, for instance if you are expecting the link to point to Ebay.com you will know immediately that there is something wrong with this Ebay link.

If the site you are planning to visit is not one you know, then definitely keep an eye on where you are being directed by watching the URLs that show up in your browser window. That left hand corner can give you all sorts of other clues about websites, from which analytics and banner ad programs they use, to places they may be pulling third party content from.

So, use different passwords for different sites, particularly social media sites; do not give your password and username to any third party; always type in the exact URL of the website you want to visit if you have any doubts; and watch the bottom of your browser window constantly for clues.

Stay safe.

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