It’s always a good idea to be wary of messages prompting you to click a link to view any content. This is true on any email or messaging platform, no matter who sent the message. Recently Facebook’s Messenger service has been targeted by several malware and Trojan horse scams, where users are asked to click a link to view a video.

The best way to avoid getting infected by something is to not click a link before considering:

– Does it make sense for the sender to send you a link, and does the topic of the message and the wording make sense in context?

– Do you have an up-to-date anti-virus like ESET​ or Norton​ installed? There are several free versions of anti-virus software available from leading vendors that provide a basic level of protection, if you don’t want to pay for enhanced features (although it’s a very good idea). Anyone can have “click regret” and these products can protect you before you are compromised.

– A pop up window that claims you’re infected with a virus (or that your system is slow, or out of date) is probably trying to infect you with malware or adware (ironic). Unless you see a message from anti-virus software you installed or that is from the OS on your computer or smartphone directly, be wary. If you can’t close the window or dialog box, try using Windows Task Manager, Android force stop or the equivalent on your device instead.

– If the message seems unusual in any way, don’t open it. Contact the sender directly to determine if the message was legitimate. If it’s not, they will appreciate knowing their account may have been hacked.

– If you think your account(s) may have been compromised, immediately change all your passwords from a known clean computer and scan all your devices for malware and other problems.

When in doubt, contact your system administrator or IT support company for guidance. Could your business use some fresh IT perspectives? Request a no cost assessment now.