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Screenshot of Thunderbird's phishing detectionIn a promising move, some email clients are building phishing detection right into the software itself. Phishing basically refers to an email that fraudulently tries to get information off someone by pretending to be someone else. I’m sure that like me, most of you have received a few Paypal phishing scams in your time.

Both Mozilla Thunderbird and AOL 9.0 now feature phishing scam detection that will impact on how you design your email creative. To determine if an email may be a phishing scam, the email client looks for a link in your HTML campaign where the display text is a URL. If the displayed link is different from the actual URL, the user is alerted.

The problem

Remember, Campaign Monitor changes every link in your HTML campaigns so we can track link clicks for you. This means that even when you have a link like:

<a href="http://www.yoursite.com">http://www.yoursite.com</a>

We’ll change that to:

<a href="http://yourname.createsend.com/.aspx/l/14202/0/www.yoursite.com">
http://www.yoursite.com</a>

This change will mean that your email may get flagged as a phishing scam.

The solution

To ensure you never look like a phisher, avoid using a URL as the display text for a link in any HTML emails. Instead, try and use a word or phrase which describes the link itself. Such as:

<a href="http://www.yoursite.com">Visit our web site</a>

Even though we’ll change that to:

<a href="http://yourname.createsend.com/.aspx/l/14202/0/www.yoursite.com">Visit our web site</a>

You won’t ever be identified as a potential phishing scammer.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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