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Phishing In Your Text Messages

Hand holding a black iphone with a dangerous email on the screen

Phishing in Your Text Messages: What You Need to Know

As serious as cyberattacks are, they are not always labeled with serious-sounding names. We are, of course, talking about phishing. Phishing is the use of spoofed email addresses and fraudulent messages to get hold of data. There can also be phishing in your text messages. One of the silliest-sounding versions of phishing—smishing—is of particular risk.

What is Smishing?

When cybercriminals use phishing scams, they aren’t using advanced technologies to crack their target’s digital defenses. Instead, they hack by exploiting the assumptions, bad habits, and ignorance of the target. This can get them to release sensitive information.

Attackers circumvent cybersecurity measures and send messages purporting to be from an authority figure or trusted contact. This convinces the user to undermine their protection. The “Nigerian Prince scam,” claiming to be from a persecuted royal family, is a notorious example of email phishing

Smishing simply applies this principle to SMS instead of the usual email. Yes, there can be phishing in your text messages. You could simply receive an SMS from a number that claims to be a financial institution or service provider.

This message could contain details confirming the sender is who they purport to be, or it could go unnoticed because it is unexpected. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a ruse to gather information.

A link is included asking you to log in, taking you to a fraudulent login page where the user’s actual login data is collected will . It may prompt you to download a document that hides a variety of malicious programs, and suddenly the attacker can access to your personal information. This includes your phone number, email address, credit card numbers, bank account credentials and other sensitive information.

It’s as simple as that.

Now, think for a moment about how much sensitive data you’re keeping on your phones and what a hacker might extract from them.

Spotting a Smishing Message

To prevent this from affecting your business, your entire team must be able to detect phishing attempts via SMS.

  • Just as with suspected phishing emails, opening a suspected smishing message is extremely risky. If the sender is not familiar to you, do not open the message and do not access any links included.
  • If you cannot verify the legitimacy of the message, do not release sensitive information. Should you receive a text message from Facebook informing you of a problem with your account, access Facebook separately to confirm before you resolve it.
  • Some mobile devices can block texts, just like email clients can filter messages. Block phone numbers that are suspected of phishing and apply settings that might be helpful.

Finally, make sure your entire organization keeps an eye on security during the workday and knows how to identify and respond to threats.

Of course, it does not hurt to apply certain preventative measures to your network. This includes anti-virus, firewall protections, and others. We can help! Link High Technologies Inc. can support your team in its IT requirements for security, productivity, and mobility. Find out about our services by contacting (973) 659-1350.

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