If you haven’t heard of smishing yet, get ready. It stands for SMS phishing and is the newest way that cyber hackers are attempting to gain access to sensitive information. This article will help you understand what is smishing in cyber security, the risks it poses, and how you can protect yourself against this new form of cyber security threat. Keep reading to find out more.
What is Smishing?
The term Smishing in cyber security is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from you via an SMS message. This can be done through an SMS message that appears to be from your bank, a government department, or even a utility company.
Cyber hackers often use a combination of social engineering and malicious software to take control of mobile devices and send out thousands of messages containing a link to a website that looks real but is actually a phishing site. These messages state that you have received money, or that a refund is due. However, the link in the message leads you to a fake website that asks you to log in with your personal information.
The hackers behind the attack will then use this information to gain access to your accounts. This can include your online banking details, credit card information, and passwords.
What to look for in a Smishing Attack?
- A message out of the blue asking you to take action - You didn’t ask for the information, so it’s suspicious.
- A sense of urgency - You might miss out on a prize or special offer if you don’t act quickly, or your account might be frozen if you don’t respond quickly.
- An attachment - If a message requests you to open an attachment, be suspicious.
- A request for your personal information - If the message asks for sensitive information such as your online banking password, bank account number, or credit card number, be suspicious.
How to Recognize a Smishing Attack?
Your first instinct should be to question why you’ve received the message in the first place. If you didn’t ask for the information, then it’s a sign that you’re likely dealing with a smishing attack.
If the message asks for your personal information, be suspicious. While some government departments and financial institutions might legitimately require this information, the majority don’t. If you’re unsure whether the information is legitimate, you should contact the company through a different communication channel, such as through the company’s website or by phone.
What to do if you think you’re the target of a Smishing Attack?
If you’re unsure about the message that you’ve received, report it to the company through a different communication channel, such as through the company’s website or by phone. Be sure to include the content of the message so the company can take action against the fraudulent attempt.
While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to report the incident to your local authorities or through an online reporting system. You can also report the incident to the company that the message claims to be from. This might be a bank, a utility company, or a government agency. Include the content of the message so the company can take action against the fraudulent attempt.
4 Steps to Safeguard Against Smishing Attacks
There are several ways you can safeguard against smishing attacks. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself against this new form of cyber security threat:
- Be Vigilant: If you don’t ask for information, you don’t need it. If you don’t initiate a conversation, don’t respond to a message.
- Educate Your Loved Ones: Make sure that your friends and family know what to look out for. It’s easy to fall for a smishing attack if you’re not familiar with the signs.
- Update Your Software: Ensure that you’re running the latest version of your operating system and have the latest version of your anti-virus software. Out-of-date software leaves you vulnerable.
- Be Ornery: If you receive a message that you’re unsure about, don’t respond. Instead, report the message to the company through a different communication channel, such as through the company’s website or by phone.
Final Words: What is Smishing in Cyber Security?
The good news is that smishing is relatively easy to spot. If you receive a message out of the blue that asks for your personal information, take a step back and consider whether it’s legitimate. If in doubt, don’t respond. Instead, report the message to the company through a different communication channel. With these steps, you’ll be able to protect yourself against this new form of cyber security threat.
Now that you know what is smishing in cyber security and how to recognize and respond to a smishing attack, you can keep your accounts and information safe.