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How to protect your mobile device from smishing

Have you heard? There is a rising scam in town called "smishing." In fact, smishing is the new phishing.

Criminals are getting more creative by texting your mobile devices to obtain your most valuable data. Not to mention, your phone can be hacked without you knowing it.

Smishing stands for SMS phishing. It is a method of using SMS (text) messages to trick unsuspecting victims into taking a suggested course of action. Since many of us prefer text over email and phone calls, criminals are taking note and targeting our SMS inboxes.

You are probably already aware of the security risks around clicking on links in suspicious emails. Well, now, you have to be aware of the risks within your text messages.

In addition, attackers love smishing because they can use inexpensive apps such as SpoofCard and the BurnerApp to spoof a number to send you the ominous messages. Some of the most common risks include:

  • Downloading malware which allows hackers to control your phone
  • Visiting a malicious website
  • Calling a fraudulent phone number

Some of the types of text messages you might receive are similar to phishing emails such as:

  • Asking you to update your information to avoid account suspension
  • Opting out of subscriptions
  • Offering free vouchers

You can recognize smishing if it comes from a number that doesn't appear to be real, such as "0420" or "5000." Furthermore, the number is shortened to nine digits instead of 10. Plus, they can be difficult to block because they use spoofing software to change the numbers with each message.

Since people are ignoring their emails, scammers are turning to text messages. Moreover, criminals are using Flash SMS to send fake emergency and traffic alerts or to send one-time pass codes.

That's why you need to know how to protect your gadget from smishing scams. Keep reading and I'll tell you how.

Next page: How to stay protected from smishing scams
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