We are familiar with the term phishing, but cyber-criminals have come up with another new variant. SMS phishing or smishing is nothing but another phishing technique that is undertaken through SMS. It is a mobile security attack. Usually a link is messaged to a user, which when clicked directs them to a site that contains malware and thus injects virus into their mobile phones. This is done to gain access to user’s personal & private information stored on their cellular device.
Nowadays, more & more people are transacting online through their smartphones and many of them might have saved their login credentials on them as well. This fact encourages cyber criminals to attack users & gain sensitive information saved on their hand held devices.
Most Common Types Of Smishing Messages
Have you ever received text messages with a notification regarding an urgent update, a link that can help you get cash backs & discounts or a deal to get a new credit card? Let’s take a look at the broad category of messages that are usually sent
- General – These types of messages play with your emotions and use a friendly tone to trick you into clicking the link. They may be as simple as, “Get tax refund”, “Checkout our photos” etc.
- Business – They masquerade themselves as a business entity or financial institution. Generally, they send a message such as, “Update your account information or else you would not be allowed to avail online services”, “Click on the link to get a discount coupon” etc. The words are chosen very carefully to stimulate immediate action.
- Contest Winner – This is the most commonly used way to entice innocent users. A malicious link is sent to the user along with an SMS that says, “You have won 1000$” or “You are lucky winner of the contest”. A person tends to click the link out of general inquisitiveness & excitement and loses his/her personal information to the hands of cyber criminals.
How To Avoid Smishing Scams
- Don’t Click On Any Link In The Message – Try not to be fooled by such messages. Make sure that you do not click on any link sent to you in a message from an untrusted source or unknown number.
- Don’t Reply Or Call Back- If you are wary of the content that has been messaged to you then do not call back or reply on that number. Replying might invite even more spammed message on your number. Also you can block that number for once and all.
- Install An Anti-Virus Software – Always be proactive. The smartest move to avoid a smishing attack is to install an anti-virus software beforehand. This will help in preventing a virus to be injected on your device at the first place.
For more information on mobile security, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 - 9654.