Recent Scams Article: Cybercriminals Use SEO to Target Your Online Search Results
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique that helps websites appear more often in search engine results, and rank higher than other websites. Legitimate websites use SEO such as easy-to-remember URLs and relevant keywords. Unfortunately, cybercriminals can also use SEO for their malicious websites.
Some of the ways cybercriminals use SEO is by adding tons of popular keywords to their website and creating multiple links that redirect you to their website. Cybercriminals can also pay third parties to visit their website, which makes the website appear more reputable and popular to search engines. If you visit one of these malicious websites, you may be tricked into downloading a malicious file or providing your personal information.
Follow these tips to keep yourself safe from malicious search results:
- Always hover your cursor over a link before you click, even when using a search engine. Look for spelling mistakes and overly long URLs that can hide a website's true domain.
- Avoid search results that include a long list of random or repeated words and phrases. That website could be using excessive keywords to draw in traffic.
- Visit trusted websites directly by entering the URL in your browser’s address bar, instead of using a search engine to find the website.
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