There is a new form of phishing may be coming to you via SMS text. Phishing, or rather the act of tricking an online user to disclose personal information about them, normally via email, is a strategy now being used over text. Hackers are finding new ways to collect private information right under your nose; your mobile phone.

 

Smishing

This practice is done by sending a seemingly normal text message to an individual requesting information regarding their bank account, login information, passwords, credit card, any many other valuable personal resources.These messages are quite often formed in the context of an emergency and that whoever is requesting their information needs it immediately. “Security breaches” or “bank requesting information” are usually signs of phishing or smishing. They even create urgency through saying that you have one a huge prize to even get you to submit information.

Hackers take full advantage of these schemes around specific times of the year. For example, Christmas or the season for filing income statements are ideal situations where these tactics are most used.

 

What to do

Once you have identified that you have been sent a message attempting to smish you, do not reply. A general rule of thumb would be to not reply to anyone requesting information from an unrecognizable number. A majority of the time, these phone numbers do not look like normal phone numbers.

If you get a smishing message, do not click any of the links that have been sent to you. With smartphones having the ability to be integrated with internet access, a quick click on a link could easily share your personal information with whoever sent the original message. Even friend’s phones can be compromised and they may have a virus that is sending out links from their phone without their consent or knowledge. Always confirm that they intended to send the link to you. As well, never install an app from an sms text message. If you want to download an application to your device, make sure to download it from the appropriate app store that is dedicated to your phone.

When handling issues of phishing or smishing, always look at links and text with a sense of caution. It could save you from having your personal information spread through the web from a hacker. Common sense plays a huge factor in protecting yourself against phishing or scams that you may be confronted with.