Security Tip: Beware of texts from unknown senders and do not click on links.
Did you provide your cell phone number for holiday shopping, tracking, or special offers? Then you are a bigger target for smishing attacks.
Why: A smishing message is a bogus text message carefully designed to look like a legitimate request from a reputable source in an effort to get you to willingly give up your personal information to a particular website or to click and download a virus.
Often these text messages look 100% legitimate—which makes them so dangerous. They often show up in the form of a UPS or FedEx tracking number, bank notice, or notification from Google, Microsoft, or Apple, warning of a suspicious login, etc.
What to Do:
- Stop and think. If you can, verify the identity of the sender and ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.
- Don’t reply or click. Resist the urge to reply “STOP” or clicking the link because doing so can install malware, take you to fake websites that look real, and steal your information.
- Delete the text message immediately. Legitimate companies will not ask you to confirm or provide personal confirmation.
- It’s good practice to go to the site directly (typing it into your browser) rather than clicking on a link to get to a particular site. Do not cut and paste the link into the browser. Quite often this will reveal subtle differences in the domain name, e.g., “mydomain.co” instead of “mydomain.com”
- Report it. Contact the bank or company that the scam artist is impersonating so it can alert others and work with law enforcement to investigate the activity. Apple phones make deleting and reporting a message easy to do in one step.
- Treat your personal information like gold. Your SSN, credit card numbers, and other personally identifiable information can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name without your knowledge.
- Review your cell phone bill. Monitor your bill regularly for unauthorized charges and report them to your carrier.
- Install security updates. Just like your computer, keep your security software and apps up to date; be cautious of text messages from any sender, known or unknown.
As always, if you have any questions, contact us! We're here to help make IT work for you!