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What is smishing?

Smishing is phishing that involves a text message (SMS or short message service) and has become more common as people tend to trust text messages more than emails. In general, people are aware of the dangers of clicking on links and opening attachments in emails and are more trusting of a text message, so they offer the perfect opportunity for criminals trying to access your personal information.

Gartner reports that users read 98% of text messages and respond to 45%. This makes text very logical for hackers to use as an attack vector, especially when, as reported by Gartner, only 6% of emails receive responses.

Hackers try many tactics to access your accounts. Posing as a representative from a bank, they may ask you to verify a subscription by clicking on a link to verify suspicious activity on your account or provide you with a telephone number to call. They may offer you a deal, send you to a scam webpage and ask you to provide bank details – there are many ways that hackers try to access your information but in general – if it appears to be suspicious or looks too good to be true it probably is!

Remember – the aim of the hacker is to get you to provide personal data, including passwords and/or credit card numbers so be aware.

Don’t reply to text messages from people you don’t know

  • Don’t click on links from numbers you don’t know

  • If the text is from a friend with a link or offer, verify with them first that it is from them before taking any action

  • If the number doesn’t look like a standard phone number

  • Never install apps from text messages. Any apps you install on your device should come straight from the official app store.

If you have any doubt about the safety of a text message, don’t even open it.

Contact Richard for more information on how we can help you protect your business from cyber-attacks.


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