Common Mistakes Online

The internet is a scary place. It’s even scarier when you aren’t sure what is safe and what isn’t. Mistakes online can lead to viruses and other problems.

Here are 4 common mistakes to avoid when surfing the internet. However, if you run into a problem and aren’t sure what to do, give us a call and we can help you get it sorted out.

Mistakes Online – #1, Using search instead of the address bar.

Many people don’t know the difference between the search box and the address bar. Most of you may not even know what the address bar is!


Address bar (highlighted in yellow)
Search box (circled in red)

In the picture above, you can see the address bar highlighted in yellow and the search box circled in red. If you know the website that you want to go to (, for example), then you should type it in the address box. Only use the search box when you are unsure of the website you wish to visit. This will help you avoid browsing to the wrong site!

The address bar lets you know the website you’re currently visiting, too!

Mistakes Online – #2, Calling the Wrong Company


Can you catch the problem with the picture above? A simple search for “Dell Support” will bring up a bunch of results. It can be tricky to figure out which website is legitimate, and which one might be a scam. The picture above is an example of a scam. The website in green is not “” (which I know is Dell’s real website). The phone number listed is not Dell and is a scam.

When in doubt, always reference your computer’s manual or look for a reputable link to their official website. There are a lot of malicious companies out there!

Mistakes Online – #3, Phishing Scams

Gone phishing? No, I’m not talking about catching fish for dinner! I’m talking about “phishing”, spelled with a P-H. Phishing is a form of scam in which the attacker tries to steal personal information from you, such as your credit card or social security number.

One common method of phishing is performed through emails. You may get an email that is very convincing, claiming to be from your bank or another company you work with. No matter how convincing the email is, be careful! To be sure you aren’t falling victim to a scam, there are a few things to check for. Make sure the email is sent from a trusted email address. Also, don’t click any links in the email. Instead, navigate to their official website by typing it into your address bar. We will go into more details about phishing scams in a future Tek Tip. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Mistakes Online – #4, Fake Software Updates

We discussed scams similar to this in our last Tek Tip. Since it is such an important topic, I want to mention it again.

Scams are everywhere! A common method of tricking people is by using advertisements, or “popups”, that claim you need to update software on your computer. They look something like the picture here.

One tell-tale sign that indicates a scam is the address listed in the address bar. In this fake Flash Player update, you can see the website is “”. This generic website is fake and should not be trusted. In addition, software manufacturers deliver their updates from the application itself, not from a website. If the update message is in your browser, do not trust it!

If in doubt, call us! We can help you sort out a legitimate update versus a scam.

Mistakes Online – Conclusion

Scams are rampant on the internet today. Keep these 4 Tek Tips in mind and stay safe while browsing! If you are ever in doubt, give us a call and we will be happy to help. As usual, don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of new Tek Tips by TekStop!

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