Mousing over a link BEFORE clicking is one of the most important skills to determine link fraud and malicious links. However, it is much more difficult to use the mouse-over technique on an i-device such as a smartphone or iPad because, technically speaking, the “mouse-over” doesn’t exist on these devices. [Check out our article and video on mouse-over skills on a desktop or laptop computer.]
However, there is a way around this problem but it requires a few extra steps. On your smartphone, iPad or other tablet start by bringing into view the link that you want to investigate.
On iOS 6:
1. On an iPhone or iPad with iOS 6, hold your finger down on the link for a few seconds until a menu appears inviting you to COPY the link.
2. Copy the link and then quit your app. Open the app called Notes (or something similar) and paste the link by holding your finger down until you the word “paste” appears.
3. Then look carefully at your link. Does the domain show the location you expect it to show? (Not sure how to understand domain names? Visit our Member’s article “How to Surf Safely” and read the first section titled “Anatomy of a Domain Name.” Not a member yet? Please consider joining!)
On iOS 7:
1. If you have the newer iOS 7 iPhone or an iPad you can hold your finger down on a link for a few seconds in order to get a similar popup.
2. Select Copy:
3. Open the app called Notes (or similar app) and hold your finger still on a blank note until you see the little magifying circle. Then release your finger.
4. After you release you’ll see the word “Paste” appear.
5. Then look carefully at your link. Does the domain show the location you expect it to show? (Not sure how to understand domain names? Visit our Member’s article “How to Surf Safely” and read the first section titled “Anatomy of a Domain Name.” Not a member yet? Please consider joining!)
These steps are also described in this YouTube video.
NOTE: As of June, 2014, there are no known malware infections that attack the Apple iOS of an iPhone or iPad….yet! So there is a much less risk of accidently infecting your iPhone or iPad. We’re certain it is a matter of time before malware is discovered though.
Unfortunately, the Android smartphone is known to have the greatest number of malware that successfully attacks its operating system. More than any other phone's operating system. Also, tablets running a version of the Windows OS are also susceptible to malware infections. It is important to have quality anti-spyware/anti-virus software installed on these particular devices to better protect yourself.
Remember... Mousing-over links BEFORE clicking is ALWAYS a great habit to practice!