The term Smishing is a combination of SMS (stands for Short Message Service. These are text messages) and Phishing (fraudulent emails). In other words, these are text messages you get from people posing to be something they are not. The goal is to get the victim to give up personal details that can later be exploited for use. There are several stories that these people will use. Often times, people pretend to be government workers, tech support representatives, long-lost friends, or even financial institutions. Sometimes, they may include suspicious links that will download malware to your device. Other times, they may gather personal data to open up lines of credit in your name.
Defending Against SMS Phishing
Now that you see the issues with it, we will show you some tips to help you defend against these types of attacks.
- Don’t click on links if you do not know the sender – As we mentioned, these types of links can contain malware or lead you to malicious sites that are designed to steal your private information. If you think a link may be legitimate, we suggest you call the institution.
- Avoid downloading apps via text – If you can avoid this practice, please do. As we just mentioned, it may be a nefarious program designed to steal your data.
- Don’t respond to suspicious texts – This is probably the best idea we can suggest. According to the FCC, even if the message says you should respond back “STOP”, you should not do that, either. completely ignore the message, delete it, and block the sender.
And there you have the steps to follow to protect yourself from “Smishing” attacks. If you follow these steps, you should be able to keep yourself safe. Please share this post with your friends so they can protect themselves from these types of attacks as well. Be sure to follow us @VPNFan for the latest deals and guides.