I Clicked on a Phishing Link

I Clicked on a Phishing Link

Did you accidentally click on a phishing link? Don't worry; you're not the first and you won’t be the last.

According to Verizon's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing is the third most common threat for small businesses. A large portion of phishing links are sent via email with the intent to trick you into downloading malware, disclosing credit card details, revealing personal data (such as Social Security numbers), or submitting account login credentials for specific websites. These emails are skillfully designed to resemble authentic notifications from websites that the target is familiar and at ease with.

So don’t feel guilty if you’ve clicked on a phishing link; it can happen to anyone. In this article, we will inform you of the unmistakable signs of a phishing email and provide clear instructions on what to do if you do click on a malicious link.

What are the signs of a phishing email?

To prevent clicking on a phishing link, pay close attention to the sender's email address and look for any inconsistencies, such as unexpected domain names or misspelled words. Phishing emails often have a sense of urgency, pressuring you to act immediately or face negative consequences. Be cautious of any emails that request sensitive information or ask you to click on a link or download an attachment. Remember that legitimate organizations will rarely, if ever, request personal or sensitive information via email. Additionally, poor grammar, spelling errors, or unusual formatting can also be indicators of a phishing attempt.

Click here for more in-depth information on how to spot a phishing email.

Phishing Email Red Flags

What to do if you Click on a Phishing Link

Step 1: Notify your IT support team

Immediately report the incident to your IT support team or designated security personnel within your organization. This may involve submitting a ticket through the help desk system, sending an email to a specific address, or directly contacting the designated security personnel. They will provide guidance on how to proceed and take necessary actions to protect the company's network and data.

Step 2: Disconnect from the network

Disconnect your device from the company network to prevent any potential malware from spreading to other devices or systems. This can be done by turning off Wi-Fi or disconnecting the ethernet cable.

Step 3: Follow IT support's instructions

Your IT support team may provide you with specific instructions on how to handle the situation, such as scanning your device for malware, changing your passwords, or installing security updates. Follow their guidance promptly and carefully.

Step 4: Change your passwords

If you entered any login credentials on the phishing website, inform your IT support team and change those passwords immediately. Use strong, unique passwords for each account and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) if supported.

Step 5: Stay vigilant and communicate with your team

Share your experience with your colleagues to raise awareness about phishing attacks and encourage them to be cautious when opening emails or clicking on links. Open communication and collaboration can help prevent similar incidents in the future.

Phishing scams commonly create a feeling of urgency to trick you into quick, thoughtless action.

Consequences of Clicking on a Phishing Link

If an employee clicks on a phishing link, it can lead to a wide range of negative consequences for the business, including:

  • Data breaches: Cybercriminals may gain unauthorized access to sensitive business information, such as customer data, intellectual property, financial records, or employee information, which can be exploited or sold on the dark web.
  • Financial losses: Phishing attacks may result in fraudulent transactions, theft of funds, or ransom payments if the business falls victim to ransomware. Additionally, there may be costs associated with investigation, remediation, and recovery efforts.
  • Damage to reputation: A successful phishing attack can erode customer trust and damage the company's reputation, leading to lost business opportunities and a negative impact on the business’s brand image.
  • Disruption of operations: Malware introduced through a phishing attack can cause system downtime, disrupt critical business processes, or lead to the loss or corruption of essential data, resulting in decreased productivity and operational inefficiencies.


Responding promptly and effectively to a phishing incident in the workplace is crucial for minimizing potential damage to a business’s data, reputation, and finances. By following the steps outlined in this article and working closely with your IT support team, you can help protect your company's valuable assets and contribute to a safer and more secure working environment.

Looking to protect your business against phishing attacks? BCA is here to assist you in deploying a comprehensive, multi-layered security strategy that will significantly lower the chances of your employees falling prey to malicious links. Contact us for more information.