Beware of Holiday Messages Links

Screenshot of my aunt's message. 

For the past days, your messaging apps have been bombarded with Christmas greetings or holiday greetings from sun up to sun down. If the apps can speak, they might yell: "Rest!"But, your fingers defy the order as it is now convenient to send messages. Before, you need to type text message bounded by number of characters. You need to send it early so that it will not be trapped in the network traffic. Your phone is keep on beeping as messages of your textmates occupy your inbox. At present, you can send not only words, but also pictures, GIF, video messages. What a techy Christmas.

The apps cannot take their rest as new year is approaching. This is true to everyone. My Messenger app is now loaded with 2020 greetings. Actually, I have not replied all of them. I already checked them as they share common appearance not until a unique message entered my account.

Last night, my auntie from Hong Kong sent a link to me. It came from There is the instruction: I am send you a surprise message. Open this.

I opened it without hesitation. The link brought me to graphics of a house with an instruction: Touch this written in front of the door. I fascinated over the design. I clicked it without hesitation. The motley greetings appeared. Based on the screenshot, Welcome 2020 are placed in left and right, the name of your friend is placed on the center together with "Wishing You In Advance" clause, time, and Happy New Year 2020. The contents are moving. This enticed me.

Below the greetings are the buttons "Enter Your Name Here" and Go. Guess what happened? I think you know the answer. I tried it. I see it as a harmless thing. I shared it with three Facebook friends. The link attracted many people as I also received that kind of link. Thanks, God that my laziness struck. I only sent it to few number of people and I did not open the links.

I went online anew today with a worried face. The shared post of my friend made me feel nervous. It was a threat advisory coming from Cyber Security Philippines- CERT. It is all about fraudulent Christmas and New Year greetings via messengers with malicious intent. I feel sorry about it. I was not clever about it. Based on the infographics the page showing, by putting victim's data, a malicious file can be ran. The websites links are also included.

The computer security incident response team recommends to change passwords of banking and social media accounts as soon as possible on a different system, reset browsers, update anti- malware software and do scan.

Threats online do not spare days like this holiday break. We must be cautious on checking links. Have a safe Christmas season and let us welcome 2020 with security and peace of mind.

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