Tip: Look before you leap


Canon support? Mostly not.

Here’s my big tip of the day: When you do Internet searches, look before you leap!
Look the picture here, taken from Google search results for Canon Support.
The blue underlined “links” are what you click to go to any of the results.
The green parts are how you look before you leap; they show the URL, or the web address, of each search result.
All of these may look like Canon Support, but only one of them is!

The highlighted parts show the core of the web address, the whatever-dot-com.
Only the one circled in red takes you to Canon.com.
Train yourself to look at the web address–specifically the core of the web address–whenever you’re doing searches online.

I use this example because I’ve recently helped two different clients who were looking for Canon support, who both got snared by (1) doing a search like this, (2) not scrutinizing the addresses, and (3) calling one of the phone number listed on “fake” listings. Each believed s/he had reached a legitimate support person and each instead reached an overseas scam artist. Each followed the scammer’s instructions, and subsequently allowed the scammer into their computer and, well, fell into a world of hurt. In both cases, they called me next, and I was luckily able to undo the damage and set things right with their computers.

If you think there are other tips that would be useful to have (like, say, if “Microsoft” calls you on the phone and says you have a virus, hang up the phone), please let me know. I’m happy to help in any way.