Do you have an irrational fear of clicking on links?

At work there’s a policy where we should not click on links in our emails.  However, we still click when we’re confident that it is safe to do so because I know it’s from my sister or from my best friend.  It might not be an ‘appropriate’ link for my current environment, but chances are the link they send is something they know about and they’re sharing and you can have confidence in knowing it’s safe to click.

It’s very unlikely that a friend would send you an unsafe link on purpose, but there’s always a remote chance that your friend loses control of his email and then you’re smart to think twice about clicking on it.

So what is so unsafe with links?

Why worry about such things?  Should I really be that concerned about it?
One of the concerns, as I understand, is that if you click on a link in your email that link will open up a file on a web server.  Doing this *might* identify you to the server as a ‘real person who reads the email’ and then they’ll send you more email spam.  Another concern is that the link you open might not be the ‘real’ website but a fake website that is pretending to be something else.  If you fall for it and log in with your user name and password then you might be giving that information to the wrong person.

How can you tell what is real and what is fake?

Simple, if you’re concerned about the link then you should instead go to your browser and type the url for the site directly into the top of the browser in the url field.  Or you can also search for the site on google and then look for the correct website.

As an example, if you’re looking for “wikipedia” you should see as the google  search result.  The important part is

If you’re on this site and want to know it is the ‘real’ deal, then look at the url at the top and you can tell it’s the authentic site because the url is
Not, anything else.  (you might only see the part)  The stuff after the [.com/] are things on this site that are under my control.  But once I write something anyone could then copy it if they wished to and paste it on their computer or on another website.  Comments that people make are their own and I might not agree with them but I do try to make sure no one is saying anything mean spirited.

The url is a good indicator as to whether a website is ‘fake’ and/or ‘unsafe’.  To find out more, you can read more at this site:

How I can identify phishing websites.

The links on this site go to other websites but I do not track anyone other than as stated in this website’s privacy policy.  This link goes to my privacy policy page.

Now, there is good reason to hesitate when you click on links but please don’t let that fear hide the interweb from you.  If you get lost close your browser and start again. 😉

A link to google search: ‘Do you have an irrational fear of clicking on links?’
Note that the first part is

Copy paste if you want to open it in your browser directly.
expressed as link to the search.

This an example of a link pointing to a specific search on google. [this link will search for  ‘Joberrr’ on Google]

3 Replies to “Do you have an irrational fear of clicking on links?”

  1. But this website is http:// not https:// doesn’t that mean it’s not safe?
    It depends on how you define ‘safe’.
    The site is not ‘secure’ and encrypted for you to exchange private info like credit info. But it’s perfectly ‘safe’ in most respects.
    Yes, this site could get ‘hacked’ and I could lose control of it. If you’re concerned about that talk to me, I’ll confirm whatever you need to know about it.

  2. The top google search result I see for ‘Do you have an irrational fear of clicking on links?’ is the following website (the result I see right now):
    It’s a pretty good read on curing phobias.
    If you’re wondering why website isn’t shown as the top result, well, check back in a few months it might get up there, but right now this site doesn’t have enough ‘link trust’ going on. But trust me it *might* get there eventually. Maybe if I can build up some trust kudos. 😉

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