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Matt asked in Computers & InternetSecurity · 10 years ago

I copied and pasted a link from an e-mail..do I have a virus?

It didn't appear to be a virus, but the link changed while loading and went to a canadian drug website. Should I be concerned? It was sent from a yahoo address, but my e-mail is a school district e-mail.

Update:

I did a system restore after visiting the site. Does this help at all?

6 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A re-directed link could be a sign of malware, but it's also a technique used by spammers 'spoofing' or faking a web address. That 'Canadian' drug company is actually hosted in Russia, by the way!

    Doing a System Restore is useless if malware was installed - usually malware gets deep into your system. Change the password on your e-mail account to at least a random 12+ character one.

    In case of possible malware, read the below advice.

    Don't use your computer until you have done scans several times in Safe Mode with Networking, which catches and cleans far more than normal boot-up mode. (Hold down the F8 key when the computer screen first lights up, until you hear a beep or see a new dark screen. Then use the arrow keys and Enter to get to Safe Mode with Networking) Be sure you are logged in as an Administrator. Start by scanning with your current anti-virus program, then download and install the following anti-malware cleaners. Update them. Re-boot into Safe Mode for each scan. If it is a bad infection, use a clean computer to download and burn to a CD/DVD. With the CD/DVD in the drive you can execute the anti-malware programs from there. If you use a flash or thumb drive, it could also get infected, but it can be used for most scans safely.

    When the scan runs clean, update all tools used before (except Housecall) and run again with the updated files. First run your regular anti-virus program, then you should scan with several different anti-malware programs, since they catch different things, but only one should run constantly.

    http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php (free version, update before running)

    http://www.superantispyware.com/ (also free, update before running)

    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ (an online scanner, always up-to-date)

    Once clean, remove all System Restore points (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore > delete ... small, in left panel) for XP or (Start > Right click Computer > Properties > System Protection), select any hard drives with protection on, press Configure..., and turn off system protection. Then re-enable it (deletes all restore points). before re-booting for Windows 7. This prevents any malware from re-installing itself. Of course, once you re-boot in Normal Mode, re-set a new System Restore point right away. If you have detected malware on your computer, change all of your passwords after cleaning up the infection.

    These are reputable FREE sources. You should scan with several different anti-malware programs, since they catch different things, but only one should run constantly.

    http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php (free version, update before running)

    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ (an online scanner, always up-to-date)

    http://www.superantispyware.com/ (also free, update before running)

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    First of all, your subject says you "copied and pasted a link from an e-mail." Normally, this entails simply copying the URL to your clipboard, and then pasting the text somewhere, into another email, your browser's address bar, or wherever. That is copying and pasting, concerning text.

    Then you say that "the link changed while loading and went to a Canadian drug website." This means that you did more than just copy and paste...This suggests that you actually visited the link that you mentioned.

    Now...visiting a link in and of itself could, or could not be harmful to your computer. It all depends on what was @ the other end of the link. In most cases, these links to drug websites are click-through(s) that in some way, shape, or form, benefit the person who (I am assuming) spammed you. These sorts of spam e-mails usually are harmless because the intent is to get you to visit a given site, and earn your business.

    On the other hand, you never know what you are getting into. Sometimes these sites have nastier things in mind for you. But, generally speaking, as long as you don't download anything, or follow any suspicious looking prompts after visiting a site like this, you should be alright.

    Doing a system restore after an event like this is probably(most likely) over-kill. If you want to avoid the paranoia of web-browsing, do a couple of things to give you peace of mind.

    1. Stop using internet explorer. Most exploits have coding in mind for IE, and coders avail themselves of built-in features of IE to make your browser, and by consequence, your computer, do things you might not want it to do. Try an alternative like Firefox, or Chrome, which by design are more limited in many ways and do not do a lot of things automatically.

    2. Get a decent anti virus/interactive firewall. Windows firewall is ok, but something that will let you know exactly what internet traffic is going through your computer will put your mind at ease. I use ESET Smart Security.

    3. Learn to recognize spam e-mails, and get rid of them. Alternatively, switch to a different email provider, and/or start using multiple emails, 1 for personal contacts, 1 for forum signups and other miscellaneous uses.

    Hope this helps.

  • 10 years ago

    Most likely, drug websites are 99% fake and mostly harmful. Just because you copied and pasted it doesn't change the fact you visited the link.

  • 5 years ago

    Dude, you truly dont might desire to ridicule them, they do a great interest of that all and sundry by using themselves. Oh, how has mickey gg no longer been banned for copying and pasting the comparable preaching rant on y!an afternoon in day trip for many months?

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  • 10 years ago

    You shouldnt recieve any viruses unless you downloaded something or something got saved in your cache. Try deleting your cache and cookies other then that you shouldnt have to worry. good luck!

    -Onii

  • 10 years ago

    double scanned your computer before its too late.

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