We all know we should be careful when clicking on random internet links, but a video bug that crashes iPhones and iPads and makes them temporarily unusable seems to be getting the best of lots of us right now.

The bug was discovered by Reddit users this week, and affects devices when users click on an .mp4 video link. The video, which seems to have originally come from Chinese video-sharing app Miaopai, only lasts for a few seconds, but after you've played it, it could make your iOS device go haywire.

Reports indicate that the crash doesn't happen instantly after you've watched the video, but within a short amount of time, there's a good chance your iPhone or iPad will freeze up and become completely unresponsive.

It's not entirely clear why this is happening, but people are speculating that the video wasn't necessarily intended as malware, but is somehow corrupted – so when it's played on an iOS device, it causes some kind of memory leak or process loop that the device can't resolve by itself.

Depending on your device, you might get stuck inside an app, or find your iPhone becomes frozen on the Home screen.

What is clear is that the bug seems to affect a large range of iOS devices, with iPhones and iPads running both recent and older versions of iOS software being susceptible to the crash.

We're not publishing the link here for obvious reasons – it's easy enough to find online if you really want to crash your phone – but let's just say it shows somebody standing in a room for a few seconds (which sounds a whole lot creepier than it actually is).

The good news is if you've had the misfortune of clicking on the link and your device has already crashed, there's an easy solution that appears to totally fix this temporary glitch.

All you need to do is perform a hard reset of your device, which means holding down the Home button and the power button at the same time. Keep both buttons depressed until you see the white Apple logo appear, which indicates the phone is booting.

On the newer iPhone 7 models, which no longer features a mechanical Home button, you can still do a hard reset by holding down the power button and the volume down button at the same time, and giving it a few seconds until you see the Apple logo.

Once you've done that and your device has rebooted, you shouldn't have any ongoing problems due to the video link.

But while it's good news that there's no lasting damage from this bug, it's a salient reminder that our devices can easily be made inoperable if we expose them to the wrong code – so just always try to think about that before you click on weird-looking links in the future, even if a friend has sent them to you.

There's an easy fix this time, but next time we might not be so lucky.

For more information on the bug and what happens when you click on the link, check out the video below by the team at EverythingApplePro.