Jackie here. Have you been smished? You’ve heard of phishing, hacking, and spoofing, but we’re guessing that you may not have heard of smishing. This threat isn’t new, it has been used for several years now, but it is becoming more common. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.
What Is Smishing?
Smishing is a variation on phishing, one that uses your smartphone and SMS messages (text messages) to gather personal information. The name is a shortened version of SMS phishing, what smishing stands for. Typically, you’ll receive a text (often a contest, account problem, or free offer) with a link. Click the link and malware will install on your phone, hiding in the background and sending along information like your contact list, stored passwords, etc.
Help! I’m a Victim of Smishing. What Can I Do?
If you do fall victim to smishing, there’s little you can do. Anti-virus programs may provide some protection before an attack, but once you’re infected, the malware can be very difficult to remove. One of the best ways is to restore your phone to factory settings, but this will cause you to lose everything stored on your device.
Think before you click isn’t just a mantra to follow for emails. Be careful with those links in text messages, too, or you may find yourself a smishing victim.