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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Why very long e-mail addresses?

    I recently got an e-mail from Verizon (my local phone Co.) stating that my bill is ready to be viewed on line. The link that they supplied must be 100 characters long! Is this Verizon's way of making sure that I go to their legitimate web site? I also received similar e-mails from my bank and credit card companies. Is this a security measure or Spam?
    HH

  2. #2
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    Neither, it's just a long link; but check that the important domain section at the start after any www. is verizon.com or similar.

    Does the link start with httpS:// to indicate a secure connection?

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2012-07-10 at 19:12.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Thanks Bruce. I did check and it is https and verizon.com. I knew it was a web link but my head was somewhere else when I typed the title.
    I am still curious why such a long link is necessary. It sure looks like a security measure to me.
    HH

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Even with the company name in the link, I don't click on links in an Email. I open my browser and either type it in myself or use the companies web page menu system to get to the desired spot. Links can be easily spoofed. If you hover your mouse pointer over the link, most email programs will show you the real Internet address associated with it at the bottom of the window. In most phishing emails, its obvious the true address is fake.

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger jockmullin's Avatar
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    The gobbledegook at the end of the URL contains encrypted information typically used by the destination site to do things such as:

    - Route you directly and securely to the correct destination on their site
    - Check your current login ID when you get there to make sure it is really you, and if it isn't or if you are not currently logged in, then prompt you for your login and password
    - Sometimes, as in the case of special offers or discounts, customize the destination page with the pricing, store location or other data so you are presented with appropriate information. For example, Windows Secrets uses this when you click on the "this issue" link in their weekly email to present you with the paid version of the newsletter if you are a subscriber.

    This also prevents you from sending the link to a friend and giving them access to the paid version.

    Jock

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Those long urls with secure login information appended at the end are also characteristic of links such as my weekly notifications to look at the latest paid content of Windows Secrets Newsletter. By following this link (or pasting or retyping into the browser navigation bar) I get logged directly into the current paid edition without having to copy and paste or retype I do have to type in things like passwords or answers to challenge questions. In those emails, the bank is just trying to entice me to log in and use their services, or to agree to a new Terms of Use Agreement.
    -- Bob Primak --

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