Day 24: Beware of SEO poisoning whenever you use a search engine.

Welcome to Cybersecurity in 31 Days. I’m Malan Faya, your host. Today is Day 24. To view previous posts, click here.

Cybercriminals use search engine optimization (SEO) to trick you into visiting malware sites. SEO poisoning is an attack method that involves creating web pages packed with trending keywords in an effort to trick search engines to get a higher ranking in search results. SEO poisoning. Ensure you always stick to reputable websites, particularly news sites. “Breaking news” can break your cybersecurity.

SEO poisoning is widely used to redirect users to unwanted applications, phishing, exploit kits and malware, porn, advertisements etc. Cybercriminals often use notable events, happenings, viral news, and other timely occasions that are likely to generate a lot of search interest online, such as stew for Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Tbillz, Fayose Trial, and grant of bail, upcoming Nigerian elections.

Once you click on a malicious link, you will be redirected to a malicious website which has been compromised. Cybercriminals have exploited this common behavior when they use SEO phrases to ensure that their links would appear first. By doing this, cybercriminals are able to infect the user once such malicious link is clicked.

So be aware that not all links in search-engine result are necessarily safe. Since many of these infected URLs are found within the top search results, they have a higher likelihood of a user clicking through. Be vigilant at all time. Before clicking a link, think twice. Don’t always trust the results of a search engine. They may be dangerous.

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