Most everyone has a mobile phone or smart phone with them at all times. SMS phishing or “smishing” has become increasing popular form of cybercrime. Smishing is a form of phishing but instead of being sent an email asking for personal information or potential malicious downloads or links, the request is being sent by text.
Cybercriminals often use well-known companies or organizations, such as banks, credit unions, social media platforms or e-commerce websites to appear legitimate. The messages they send are urgent requests for personal information or threatening language that appears to be a legitimate request for immediate action.
Smishing is effective because people are more likely to respond to a text message than an email. And, the perception is that text messages are more trustworthy because they come from a phone number rather than an anonymous email address.
Here are some steps to protect yourself from smishing attacks:
- Be suspicious of any text message that asks for personal information.
- Do not click on links or respond to the message
- Contact the company using a verified phone number or email address to confirm whether the message is legitimate.
- Keep your mobile phone operating system up-to-date.
- Keep your apps on your phone up-to-date.
It is important to remain vigilant as smishing is a growing threat. Be cautious of unsolicited text messages to reduce the risk of falling victim to a smishing attack.