Linking to content

Scammers often try to trick people into clicking a long and convoluted link in phishing email. The best practice for University email campaigns is, whenever possible, to use links that begin

Those links are verifiable links to University of Delaware websites.

It's not enough to include the link in the body of an email message. As seen in this example of a an email campaign to UD faculty and staff, if a savvy recipient inspects the apparent UD link contained in this message, he or she will see a non-verifiable link like one that a phishing scam would use.
  • Whenever possible, use Google Analytics rather than redirect-based tracking services. That is, you can set up custom campaign parameters that can be appended to a verifiable University of Delaware URL to help you track the success of your campaign.
  • Link shorteners:

    • Recipients cannot verify that a shortened link is trustworthy.

    • Criminals use and links to mask links to malicious sites.

    • Consider using the UD Microlink service ( instead of commercial link shorteners.

      • Still not 100% verifiable.

      • Because a UDelNet ID and password are required to create a UD microlink, recipients have an extra layer of reassurance that the shortened link was created by a member of the UD community.

      • In this email campaign also sent to UD faculty and staff, UD microlinks were used. A savvy recipient inspecting the link would see that the link really does go to a URL.

      • The UD microlink service can be used to shorten URLs containing Google Analytics variables, but should not be used to shorten redirect-based tracking URLs.

  • Sending an email with infected attachments is a common method criminals use to get viruses and malware onto your computer. Therefore, do not send email campaigns that include an attached file. If forms or other information need to be distributed, consider using UD Dropbox or another service. Alternatively, you could put the information up at a website.


Article ID: 693
Fri 2/28/20 3:43 PM
Fri 2/28/20 4:15 PM