Smishing is a text-message-centric variation of the email based phishing scams that have been around since the 1990s.The goal is to trick you into believing that a message has arrived from a trusted person or organization, and then convincing you to take action that gives the attacker exploitable information like bank account login credentials, or access to your mobile device. The word is a combination formed using ‘sms’ and ‘phishing’.
In case you have been receiving multiple spam text messages, chances are that you may have become a victim of smishing. Some smishing Scams identified include ones that tell users their online accounts such as APPLE ID are expiring and others offer promises of cash prices. This is a message, often purporting to be from your bank asking you for personal or financial information such as your account or ATM number. Providing the information is as good as handing thieves the keys to your bank balance.
In a similar instance, a vital text message is received by the victim from probably a known or trusted source, which may come along with an attachment. The attachment downloads a virus or malware unto the victim’s device which in turn installs a root kit or backdoor for the scammers to have access to everything (contacts, inbox messages and application on the phone etc. etc.) on the victim’s phone and sometimes even have control over it.
How to prevent Smishing attacks?
Don’t click on links you get on your phone unless you know the person they’re coming from.One of the main reasons why Smishing attacks have become so popular is because unlike emails, text messages don’t filter out spam or suspicious sources. Even if you get a text message with a link from a friend, consider verifying they meant to send the link before clicking on it. A full-service Internet security suite isn’t just for laptops and desktops. It also makes sense for your mobile phone. A VPN is also an advisable option for your mobile devices. This will secure and encrypt any communication taking place between your mobile and the Internet on the other end. Never install apps from text messages. Any apps you install on your device should come straight from the official app store like App Store or Google Play Store, instead of doing the same from a text message or from a link shared by an unauthorized user.These programs have vigorous testing procedures to go through before they’re allowed in the marketplace. If you have any doubt about the safety of a text message, don’t even open it.Never share any personal or financial information with an unknown source. No legitimate company will ask for your personal information without prior alert or formal warning.SMS phishing usually involves hyperlinks that direct you to a new website, enable web filters if so is the case. Your filters will prevent you from accessing any malicious site.