Whether it be at a cash-point, on our email account or shopping online- our private data seems to be a target both online and in real life.
And now our phones are also a target.
Many of us will have received a questionable text at some point – and according to recent findings, “smishing” is on the rise.
Here’s what you need to know about smishing:
What is smishing?
Smishing is short for “SMS phishing”. Similar to our computers, our phones can also be a target for hackers looking to steal information or wreak havoc on through our technology.
Smishing, like email phishing, is an attempt at a security attack in which the phone user is either tricked into downloading a harmful virus onto their mobile device or into giving their personal data over. For example, one fraudulent message may appear to be a warning from your bank about an unauthorized charge.
How can we avoid smishing scams?
You should make sure to use different passwords for everything from your bank accounts online and social media apps to your email account. Two-factor authentication and password managers can also be useful. And in the hypothetical example outlined above, you should call your bank or credit card provider directly to verify the alert, rather than clicking any link in suspicious text messages.
• Be alert to the fact that any texts claiming to be from your bank may not be genuine.
• Never give away any personal details if a text requests and private or financial information about
• Avoid clicking any links sent from unknown senders – and even if it seems to be from someone in
your address book, if it looks iffy, trust your instinct.
• Think carefully before replying to any unexpected text that urges for a quick response – this is
often a scare tactic.
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to block smishing messages entirely. The best course of action is to be vigilant for suspicious text messages.
Why are scammers using smishing scams?
Scammers could have one of serval motives. They could be trying to steal a victim’s identify, to access their bank accounts, or to blackmail them into giving out personal or company details.
Smishing scams have been around since as early as 2008, but experts say they are becoming more prevalent. They’re also popping up on all sorts of messaging apps, not just simply text messages.
It’s not a surprise that smishing attempts should be growing so rapidly, considering that criminals go where their opportunities are greatest. They’ve got to be salivating over these statistics:
• There are more than 6 million smartphone subscribers in the world.
• Nearly two-thirds of all adults with a smartphone use text messaging.
• More than 98% of messages are read within the first three minutes of being received.
The last statistic about open rates for messages is a key reason why many smishing attempts are successful. Criminals use this immediate responsiveness to their advantage.
SMS Firewall and why you need to be protected
An SMS firewall protects against all SMS messaging attacks. These attacks include spamming, flooding, faking, spoofing, viruses, and smishing.
A 2013 study conducted by the Communications Fraud Control Association, MNOs found that $1.6 billion USD was lost in 2013 to SMS faking and spoofing, and $2.2 billion USD was lost due to Denial of Service (DoS) and spamming.
We hope you found this blog helpful.