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What is smishing?

A form of phishing, smishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message.

Put simply, smishing is any kind of phishing that involves a text message. Often times, this form of phishing involves a text message in an SMS or a phone number. Smishing is particularly scary because sometimes people tend to be more inclined to trust a text message than an email. Most people are aware of the security risks involved with clicking on links in emails. This is less true when it comes to text messages.

How to know if you’re being smished?

In general, you don’t want to reply to text messages from people you don’t know. That’s the best way to remain safe. This is especially true when the SMS comes from a phone number that doesn’t look like a phone number, such as “5000” phone number. This is a sign that the text message is actually just an email sent to a phone.

Exercise precautions when using your phone: Don’t click on links you get on your phone unless you know the person they’re coming from. Even if you get a text message with a link from a friend, consider verifying they meant to send the link before clicking on it. A full Internet security suite isn’t just for laptops and desktops. It also makes sense for your mobile phone.

A VPN is also an advisable option for your mobile devices. This will secure and encrypt any communication taking place between your mobile and the Internet on the other end.

Never install apps from text messages. Any apps you install on your device should come straight from the official app store. These programs have vigorous testing procedures to go through before they’re allowed in the marketplace.

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