One of the biggest security threats out there is the phishing attack (pronounced like fishing) where crooks fool you into clicking on links that take you to malware or into entering your private information.

As people have become smarter about these scams and security filters have gotten better at filtering them out of inboxes, the crooks have turned to the latest in technology to ramp up their attacks. Microsoft recently warned about a sophisticated new scam to trick users who are searching for something online.

Here’s how it works. Top search results are influenced by sites getting the most hits or subjects getting the most inquiries. Crooks create a website and then use a traffic-generator program to make it look as if that site is getting a massive amount of visitors. That pushes the site to the top of Google’s search results.

The site that turns up in the results doesn’t have the malware. But once you go to that site, a link there will redirect you to a page that will deliver malware to your computer or phone.

What can you do?  Always keep your device updated and make sure you have your security apps on and set to the highest settings. Also, be very careful about the links you click on, even if that link is returned in a Google search result.