How Smishing works & ways to avoid it
There are numerous kinds of cyber-attacks that take place in today’s world in one form or another. It’s been over 3 decades since the advent of SMS and its benefits are evident. But its widespread usage has incentivized miscreants to exploit it. A simple random phone call or text message on your mobile can turn out to be a trap to loot you of your savings or steal your data. You need to be aware and be able to prevent yourself from falling for such scams and fraudulent messages.
What is Smishing?
Smishing falls under a type of phishing attack that entails sending malicious and fraudulent text messages or SMS. Miscreants and hackers take advantage of the vulnerability of others and entrap them into making devastating mistakes. Many have fallen prey to such nefarious, malware-laden texts. This method of sending deceiving and harmful SMS texts is known as Smishing.
This is how it usually goes. You receive an SMS text that tricks you into opening a malware link or downloading an app onto your device. The motive is to draw information about yourself, your bank accounts and other sensitive details.
How to prevent Smishing attacks?
Unlike emails, SMS texts do not filter suspicious or spam messages and this is the major reason for the increase in this type of phishing attacks. This is why you need to learn how to differentiate between such texts that lure you into traps.
Some of the ways you can prevent Smishing attacks are:
- Avoid any SMS texts that you have received from an unknown or unauthorized source. These text messages are not restricted to SMS, but can potentially extend to messages you might receive on any app like WhatsApp, Facebook, and so on.
- If you receive any links from unknown sources, it is best just to ignore them. Do not click on it out of curiosity.
- Do not install any kind of app from links or text messages sent by unknown sources. You can install apps from any authorized and credible sources like the Google Play Store or App Store.
- Be alert with whom you decide to share sensitive information. Avoid sharing personal information such as financial & KYC details with an unauthorized source.
- Smishing generally involves any hyperlinks that navigate you to a different website. Try to install web filters so that your enabled filters would prevent you from any access to harmful sites.
Smishing attacks have raised significantly over the years as a form of cybercrime. They involve SMS texts that are persuasive in nature and involve a sense of urgency, thereby compelling you to take action. You need to be very careful in handling such text messages. You should always ensure that you are not responding hastily to any unauthorized sources and if possible report or block them instantly. Remember not to get lured and fall victim to any kind of phishing attacks.