Have you realised the growing number of spam emails asking to upgrade Yahoo! Mail accounts? I guess scammers make much money out of their illegal practices, but in this post I share 3 observations to help you keep away from fake Yahoo! Mail web pages.
After receiving an email prompting me to upgrade to the new Yahoo! Mail (again), I said to myself “the people who designed this message surely took all their time to put it up”, because it was similar to a real email sent by Yahoo!.
I took the risk to open the link in the email and realized the page that I was loading was not a Yahoo page. Surprisingly, the Yahoo! Mail page I am used to see was right there in front of me. My eyes browsed the page from top to bottom then from left to right. I was looking at a fake Yahoo! Mail page very close to perfection, but the following observations convinced me that I would have got phished if I entered my ID and password.
- No Yahoo! Favicon – A favicon is the small image (or logo) at the left of a tab (or window). When a website has no favicon, the logo of your browser may appear. In other cases, a logo representing a blank white page appears. A customised favicon provides some level of credibility to a website, but doesn’t mean the web site is secured. On my blog, the favicon is a picture of me.
- A Suspicious URL – A real Yahoo! Mail web page must have the word “yahoo” in its link. The page I was viewing had no “yahoo” in its link (http://snackbar24.com/d/login_verify2 – please, don’t open this link if you are not sure of what you are doing). More to that, the protocol of the fake Yahoo! page is http:// instead of https://. The “s” at in “https://” stands for “secure” indicating that any information provided on that web page is protected when sent or received over the internet . For security reasons, each time want to check your inbox make sure you are on a secured connection by looking at the link in the address bar.
- Changing icons of the sign in seal – Each time you refresh a real Yahoo! Mail web page (at intervals of 3 seconds or more), the icon at the top of the sign in form changes. In all, I have observed 3 different icons. However, on the fake Yahoo! page that I was facing, the icon remained unchanged each time I refreshed the page.
These are just visible observations. But while analysing the fake page with Firebug and compared to the real Yahoo! Mail page, many more differences – invisible to the ordinary web user – were revealed.
When you want to check your inbox, be vigilant, and more vigilant if the computer you are using is a public one. Note that a public computer is one used by more than one person, even if it is a home computer.
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