Phishing occurs when scammers send emails that appear to have been sent by legitimate, trusted organizations in order to lure recipients into clicking links and entering login data and other credentials. SMiShing is a version of phishing in which scammers send text messages rather than emails, which, as with phishing emails, appear to have been sent by a legitimate, trusted organization. The terms reference a scammers’ strategy of fishing for personal information.
For instance, you could receive an email or text message from someone posing as your credit card company, asking you to confirm your account numbers or passwords. It’s much easier to fall for these tricks on your mobile device because a lot of the things you can do to check if an email is legitimate are not available.
For instance, because of the limited screen space on your mobile device, you probably can’t see a site’s full web address, or an email sender’s full return address. Without being able to see a full address, it’s difficult to tell if the website or sender is legitimate. You also can’t “hover over” a link like you can from your computer and get a preview of a linked word or graphic.
Another factor is the “always on” nature of mobile devices. Most mobile users are more likely to immediately read their email messages and forget to apply their security practices, such as checking to see if an email is from someone they know and if any included links appear real. Because messages are checked continuously, you are more likely to encounter phishing attacks within the first few hours of launch, before security filters have a chance to mitigate the threat.
If you do click on a dangerous search result or stumble upon a malicious webpage, you could wind up accidentally downloading malware onto your phone, or simply run into inappropriate content.
To protect yourself from a mobile phishing scam, you should:
Don’t click on any links from people or companies you don’t know
Even if you do know the person or company who sent the email or text, take the time to double-check a website’s address and make sure that it appears legitimate.
Be wary of any retail site with deeply discounted prices, and always check other users’ comments and reviews before purchasing online.
Rather than doing a search for your bank’s website, type in the correct address to avoid running into any phony sites, or use your bank’s official app.
Use a comprehensive mobile security product such as McAfee® Mobile Security, which offers mobile antivirus protection, safe search, backup and restore functions, call and text filtering and the ability to locate your phone and wipe personal information in the case of loss.
The best protection from this scam is awareness. Once you understand how it works, you are better positioned to recognize mobile phishing, and how to avoid clicking links within emails or text messages or otherwise responding to such ruses.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Safe Searching on Your Mobile Device
The web and especially the mobile web can be a minefield of malicious links luring you to click, so bad guys can infect your device. Search engines do their best to filter these sites out but nefarious criminals have found ways to get their scammy pages to the top of search through a process called
- 7 Ways to Tell If It’s a Fake
Unfortunately in today’s world, scammers are coming at us from all angles to try and trick us to get us to part with our hard earned money. We all need to be vigilant in protecting ourselves online. If you aren’t paying attention—even if you know what to look for—they can get you. There are numerous ways
- What Are The Risks Of Mobile Spam?
Spammers send unwanted emails or texts that are both annoying and frightening. Most spam messages are useless advertisements selling stuff you don’t need or want. In 1995, 8,069 unique pieces of malware were detected. One out of 20 emails were spam, and the Melissa virus infected hundreds of thousands. By 2010, 54 million unique pieces of malware were detected and
- What is Spam?
Everyone’s heard of spam as it pertains to emails. Spam isn’t necessarily a malicious message designed to trick you into revealing your credit card number or PayPal login information. But spam is an unsolicited message, sometimes referred to as junk mail. Spam can be very annoying and relentless in nature, often attempting to convince you to buy something.
- Phishing 101: How Not to Get Hooked
You’d think that it would be as easy as pie to avoid getting reeled in by a phishing scam. After all, all you need to do is avoid clicking on a link inside an email or text message. How easy is that? A phishing scam is a message sent by a cybercriminal to get you to click on a
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.