This way you can protect yourself against smishing
The Dutch have been sending fewer and fewer text messages for several years now. In the United States, on the other hand, sending a text message is very popular. Cybercriminals mainly see SMS as an attractive means of defrauding people, which we call smishing. But what is smishing? And how can you protect yourself against smishing? You can read that in this article!
What is Smishing?
Smishing is a form of phishing aimed at stealing personal information through text messages. As with other forms of phishing, scammers try to steal information by posing as a trusted source, such as a bank or a company.
The purpose of smishing is to convince victims to click on a link in a text message or to share personal information through a text message. These links may lead to a fake website that looks like a real website, such as a bank website or a company website.
What are the Disadvantages of Smishing?
Although smishing only has advantages for cybercriminals, we as victims are less enthusiastic about this concept. One smishing message can cause serious damage.
There are some disadvantages of smishing that you should be aware of:
- Privacy Breach: Smishing scammers can steal personal information, such as passwords, credit card details, or financial information, which can lead to identity theft or fraud.
- Financial Damage: Smishing scammers can convince victims to transfer money or provide credit card details, which can lead to large financial losses.
- Damage to reputation: If a company becomes a victim of smishing, it can lead to damage to the company’s reputation and a loss of customer trust.
- Malware Infection: Clicking on a link in a text message can lead to downloading malware on the device, which can lead to data loss or access to private information.
- Waste of time and resources: Recovering from the effects of smishing can take a lot of time and resources, both for individuals and companies.
- Spread of Fake Information: Smishing messages can lead to the spread of fake information, causing the recipient to misbehave or make wrong decisions.
It’s important to note that smishing is a growing problem and scammers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to steal information. It is therefore important to always be on the lookout for suspicious text messages and never give out any personal information via text message. In addition, you can protect yourself against smishing to minimize the risk.
How can you recognize smishing messages?
There are a few ways you can spot smishing messages:
- Unknown sender: Smishing messages are often sent from unknown senders. If you receive a text message from a number you don’t recognise, it’s wise to handle it with care.
- Suspicious Content: Smishing messages often contain suspicious content, such as error messages, warnings, or offers that seem too good to be true. If a text message seems suspicious, it is wise not to respond to it.
- Request for Personal Information: Smishing messages often include a request to provide personal information, such as passwords, credit card details, or financial information. If a text message contains a request for personal information, it is wise not to respond.
- Suspicious Link: Smishing messages often contain a suspicious link that leads to a fake website. If a text message contains a link, it is wise not to open or click it.
- Spelling or Grammar Errors: Sometimes smishing messages contain spelling or grammar errors, which can be an indication that the message is not from a reliable source.
How can you protect yourself from smishing?
There are several ways you can protect yourself from smishing, here are a few tips:
- Don’t trust everyone: Be suspicious of text messages from unknown senders or text messages that have suspicious content, such as a request to provide personal information.
- Do not click on links: Do not click on links in text messages, especially if the sender is unknown or if the content of the message is suspicious.
- Don’t give out personal information: Never give out personal information, such as passwords or credit card information, in a text message, even if the content of the message appears to come from a trustworthy organization.
- Report Suspicious Text Messages: Report suspicious text messages to the organization the scammers are impersonating.
- Secure connection: A VPN uses secure protocols to encrypt the connection between a device and a server. This can make it more difficult for scammers to steal personal information through smishing attacks.
- Install security software: Install security software on your mobile device that can detect malware.
- Block unknown numbers: Block unknown numbers to avoid smishing messages.
Protect yourself against smishing attacks with GOOSE VPN
When you are connected to VPN connections, your data is encrypted, which prevents cybercriminals from tracking your online activities. Your personal information can be used less often for smishing messages.
In addition to a VPN connection, GOOSE VPN gives you the option of using the Cyber Alarm. This alarm monitors your internet traffic and scans it for malware. You will be notified immediately when the alert identifies malware, so you can respond quickly.
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