With the rise in mobile device usage, cybercriminals have found new ways to exploit them, such as through smishing – a method that uses text messages to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware.
In this post, we’ll explore what smishing is, how it works, and what you can do to protect yourself.
- Smishing is a type of phishing attack that uses text messages to deceive victims into giving away sensitive information or downloading malware.
- Smishing attacks typically involve urgent language and requests for immediate action, such as clicking on a link or providing personal information.
- To protect yourself from smishing, be wary of unsolicited text messages, do not click on links or download attachments from suspicious sources, and use a reputable mobile security app or antivirus software.
What is Smishing?
Smishing, or SMS phishing, is a type of phishing attack that uses text messages to deceive victims into clicking on a malicious link or providing sensitive information.
The goal of smishing attacks is to gain access to personal data such as login credentials, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information.
According to Kroll, a leading cybersecurity company, smishing attacks have become more prevalent in recent years, with 74% of companies reporting such attacks in 2021, up from 61% in 2020.
Initially, these attacks targeted banks and financial services, but hackers have now turned their attention to impersonating package delivery services.
How Does Smishing Work?
Smishing attacks typically involve sending text messages that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank, social media platform, or retailer.
These messages often include urgent language and ask the recipient to take immediate action, such as clicking on a link or providing personal information.
Once the victim falls for the deception and clicks on the link, they may unwittingly download malware onto their device or be directed to a fake website where they are asked to enter their login credentials or other sensitive data.
Examples of Smishing Attacks:
- A text message from your bank asking you to click on a link to verify your account details
- A message from a social media platform claiming that your account has been compromised and asking you to click on a link to reset your password
- A message from a retailer offering a discount code in exchange for your personal information
How to Protect Yourself from Smishing
- Be wary of unsolicited text messages from unknown numbers or senders
- Do not click on links or download attachments from unfamiliar or suspicious sources
- Double-check the sender’s identity and the message content before taking any action
- Use a reputable mobile security app or antivirus software to protect your device from malware and other threats
- Report suspicious texts to your mobile carrier and organisations that can help
Smishing is a type of cyber attack that uses SMS text messages to deceive users.
Yes, by being vigilant and avoiding suspicious messages or links.
Yes, they are becoming increasingly popular among cybercriminals.
Yes, it can trick victims into sharing sensitive information or making payments.
Yes, it provides an extra layer of security for your accounts.
Smishing is a dangerous form of cyber attack that can compromise your personal and financial information.
It’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself, such as being cautious of unexpected text messages and not clicking on links from unknown sources.
Read more about Phishing:
- Browser Security Against Phishing: How Browsers Protect You
- 12 Effective Tips to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Attacks
- What is phishing?
- A view into Phishing campaigns
- Using URLscan to hunt for Phishing
- Explaining Phishing kits with examples
We hope this guide has been helpful in educating you about smishing. If you have any experiences or tips to share, please leave a comment below.