Digital Literacy and Web Addresses
If you saw the address below, could you pick out the street name? What about the city, the state, and the zip code?
877 Samuel Road
Made Up, FL 32501
Of course you could. You learned about addresses in school.
What about web addresses?
Let’s say you receive an email saying someone wants to friend you on Facebook. You click the button in the email and it brings you to the web address listed above. It appears to be Facebook’s landing page, but you actually just fell for a phishing scam. When you enter your username and password into the form, you are handing your credentials over to a scammer who will go to the real Facebook site and take over your account.
People are failing to look at web addresses OR they’re looking and failing to decipher the true address. Recognition of web address parts gives you a HUGE advantage over the scammer that sends you a link to a falsified website.
If you use that fictitious URL from above, you will arrive at a website controlled by host01.com. This is the domain. Think of it as a piece of property on the internet. The person in control of this piece of property can build as many houses, pools, shops, etc. as they want on their property. They do this by adding a word before the host01.com like ‘facebook.host01.com.’ This is a building on THEIR property. What’s Facebook’s domain AKA property on the internet? Yes, you probably already know it’s facebook.com.
Here’s a free resource we built to show how scammers trick you by impersonating trusted websites: http://teachme.cybersafeworkforce.com/ (Just start typing into the web form to see the learning moment.)