Another day, another attempt by the cyber-criminals to get your passwords and other sensitive information.  This one is an email from a account called “privacy@microsoft.com” and reads as follows:

“It has come to our attention that your Microsoft windows Installation records are out of date. Every Windows installation has to be tied to an email account for daily update.  This requires you to verify the Email Account. Failure to verify your records will result in account suspension. Click on the Verify button below and enter your login information on the following page to confirm your records. “

“If you do make the mistake of clicking on the link, you are taken to a third party website (not the real Microsoft.com), where you are warned that your computer is at high risk and told to choose between logging in via Gmail, Windows Live, Yahoo or AOL,” writes Graham Cluley on Sophos’ Naked Security blog.

Remember to always be suspicious of ANY request for your password.  Threats of “account suspensions” are a DEAD GIVEAWAY that the email is probably a hoax.  Also if you HOVER over a link (that means to move your mouse over the link but DO NOT CLICK IT), you can often see that the link is actually a different link than it looks like.  For example, hover over this link:   www.microsoft.com   and look in the very lower left corner of your web browser window.  You will see that it doesn’t go to the Microsoft website at all, rather it links to the homepage of this website (www.thebrilliantassistant.com)  You should NEVER click on links that are trying this ‘bait and switch’ trick.

So remember, fast clicking can lead to viruses – so always “think before you click’!