Smishing – How to SPOT and STOP it

In the ever-digitalizing world we live in, cybercriminals are always changing the ways they take advantage of insusceptible people. Smishing is a type of phishing that employs SMS texts to trick users into disclosing critical information. This blog will explain what smishing is, how to spot it, and—above all—how to protect oneself from these types of attacks.

What is Smishing?

Smishing is a short form of SMS phishing, a type of cyberattack where fraudsters send a fraudulent text message impersonating a reputed organization such as a government department, bank, or reputed company. These messages often try to create a sense of fear or emergency, prompting the target to perform some kind of action or click on the malicious link embedded in the sent message. Unlike email phishing, smishing exploits people’s inherent confidence in SMS communication and mobile devices.

How to identify Smishing? Following are some of the key indicators:

  • Language creating a sense of emergency or fear: Messages that try to create a sense of emergency or fear such as your account has been compromised or that you must take immediate action to prevent blocking of your cards.
  • Unsolicited links: The message contains unsolicited links, asking to provide personal information or downloading some application or file.
  • Unknown sender: The message is received from a random phone number or name not matching the company’s usual contact details. Be wary sender ID can also be spoofed.
  • Requests for personal information: Messages asking for sensitive information like passwords, ID proof numbers, or credit card details.
  • Poor grammar and spelling: Look for spelling and grammatical errors in the message. Legitimate companies typically avoid errors in their communications.
  • Too good to be true offers: Messages promising prizes, rewards, or gifts in exchange for clicking a link or providing information, which is too good to be true

How to safeguard yourself against smishing attacks?

  • Verify the sender: If you receive a questionable message, get in touch with the company directly using a reputable and established mechanism to confirm the message’s legitimacy.
  • Don’t click on links: Refrain from clicking any links you receive in unsolicited messages. Use your browser to go directly to the company’s website if needed.
  • Don’t share confidential information: Never share confidential information in response to a text message. Reputed organizations never ask for confidential information via text message.
  • Keep your device updated: Ensure your device’s operating system and applications are up to date with the latest security patches.
  • Educate yourself: Stay informed about the latest smishing tactics and share this knowledge with colleagues, friends, and family to make them aware as well.

Smishing is a growing threat in the realm of cybercrime, but with awareness and caution, you can safeguard yourself against these deceptive attacks.

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Reach out to us today to start your journey towards educating your employees to make them aware and safeguard your business.