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Staying Safe from Smishing Attacks: What You Need to Know

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

In today's digital world, we all use our phones to connect with friends, shop online, and more. But did you know that cybercriminals can try to trick you through your phone?

It's called "smishing," and in this article, we'll explore what it is, how it works, and most importantly, how to protect yourself from it.

Photo of a person's two arm, one is holding a phone with a smishing text and the other hand is holding a water bottle

What is Smishing?

Smishing sounds like a strange word, but it's a combination of two things: "phishing" and "SMS text messages."

Cybercriminals use smishing to build trust with you by sending fake text messages containing dangerous links that can steal your personal and private information or even your money.

Cybercriminals are clever and will play on your emotions by claiming you’ve earned a free product or promotion, pretending you have a package coming, or saying you need to update your login details or banking information.

They will even personalize the messages with your name or other details they know about you, to bait you into clicking the link. Unfortunately, these links often lead to one of the following:

  • Malware: When you click on a link containing malware, the malicious software will automatically be downloaded to your device, without you even knowing it. Cybercriminals use this to gain access to your operating system, see what you’re typing, and steal your information.

  • Fake Websites: Smishing links can open fake websites on your phone's browser, that cybercriminals designed to look nearly identical to legitimate and popular online retailers. They do this hoping people won’t notice the subtle differences and use it as a trap to steal your private information.

How to Avoid Smishing Attacks

Now that you know what smishing is and how it works, let's talk about how you can stay safe:

  • Install anti-malware and security apps on your mobile phone.

  • Enable two-factor authentication on all your accounts.

  • Don’t respond to or click on links sent to you from unknown numbers.

  • Research and reach out to the alleged company directly.

Phone screen showing a two-factor authentication approval for sign-in

How to Recover from Smishing Attacks

Even if you're careful, smishing attacks can still happen. If you think you've fallen for one:

  • Report the Attack: Contact the person, company, or organization being impersonated and let them know about the smishing attack, if there is one.

  • Monitor Your Credit: Register for a credit monitoring service to keep an eye on your credit report and open accounts.

  • Change Your Passwords: Update any account passwords or log in credentials you suspect have been compromised.

Remember, cybercriminals are always coming up with new tricks. By being cautious and following these tips, you can protect your personal information and stay safe from smishing attacks.

For more helpful tips and information, be sure to follow D3 Technologies on LinkedIn.



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