Tech on Tuesday: Smishing Scams

We all know phishing is a serious security problem. Some reports claim one in every 101 emails are malicious and use phishing as the primary scamming target.

But scammers aren’t just focusing on your email.

In this week’s Tech on Tuesday, we are breaking down smishing scams.

Phishing scams have come full-force to texting, according to security experts. 

Smishing, or SMS phishing, is when scammers apply phishing techniques to mobile text messaging instead of email.

Here’s how it works: Similar to the way criminals collect masses of email accounts to send malicious content to you, cyber-criminals get phone numbers from databases on the dark web, and then try to lure you into sharing personal data.

The most popular smishing scam comes in the form of a text with a link that automatically downloads malware to your phone, which can then steal all sorts of data. The malware could steal your contact list and spread the virus to more people, and can even access your banking credentials or tracking location.

In another common smishing scam, a simple reply to a text message is often all that scammers need to put your personal information at risk. These text messages can look like they are coming from a well-known institution or business, so it can be hard to detect which text messages are from scammers and which are legitimate.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from smishing scams.

This first is to never click on a link or reply to a text from someone you don’t know. If you think it’s suspicious, play it safe and don’t interact with the text. Instead, try googling the content of the message to see if anyone else has reported getting it. You can also give the company a call to see if they really did send you the text message.

You should also consider installing anti-malware on your phone. Many people think their smartphones are more secure and less susceptible to malicious software than computers, but that’s not the case.

If you do fall victim to a smishing scam, make sure you protect your data by changing your passwords or using an encrypted password manager for maximum security.

Categories: Tech on Tuesdays, the four