If you’ve never heard of SMS phishing, or SMiShing, you’re not alone. Most people aren’t aware of how at risk they are of becoming a victim of the criminal activity, but it’s becoming increasingly prevalent in this day and age.
What is SMiShing?
A type of phishing, SMiShing occurs when someone is tricked into giving out private information through a text or SMS message. This is especially dangerous because while most people know not to open suspicious links in emails, many are still trusting of texts regardless of how unfamiliar the number is. In today’s ever-changing online world, it can be hard to know how to effectively guard against it.
Someone looking to steal your information, or a “SMSiSher”, could be looking to gain access to anything from your online passwords, your Social Security Number, or your credit card information. The scammers use a variety of tactics to manipulate the victim and get the information they want, such as warning the recipient of the message that they’ll be charged if they don’t click on a link and provide their personal information.
How do you know you’re being SMiShed?
Typically, you should be cautious when you receive a text message from someone that you don’t know. If the text isn’t from a saved number, or if it doesn’t look like a phone number at all, proceed with caution. For instance, if the text comes from a phone number like “5000”, it’s almost definitely fraudulent. If someone sends you a link, take a minute to make sure it’s legitimate and not a scam.
Usually, texts that urge you to take action on something extremely urgent right away are a sign that it’s not to be trusted and could be someone trying to SMiSh you.
Protecting yourself against SMiShing
Adding a VPN to your phone is a great way to stay staff and secure your text message conversations. Don’t download any apps from anywhere other than the app store. Never store your credit card or banking information anywhere on your smart phone. If someone does try to SMiSh you, report it so that it doesn’t happen to you or others in the future.
The most effective way to guard against SMiShing is to simply not respond to the text message. As long as you’re cautious and use common sense, you’ll be able to keep your information safe.
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