Is Your Cell Phone Safe?

From Our “Let Me Help You” Series

Our cell phones have long been an intimate, helpful, often fun element in our daily lives. When our cell phone rings, historically we have known it was okay to answer. But in the last year or so, this relatively ‘safe’ device in our lives has changed—and it’s not for the better.

There’s A New Scam You Should Know About

As if getting telemarketing calls to our cell phones isn’t annoying enough, well, now there is a serious cell phone scam to be aware of:  SMiShing. SMiShing is a type of phishing attack where mobile phone users receive text messages containing a Web site hyperlink, which, if clicked would download a Trojan horse, virus, or other malware to the mobile phone. A recent example is a text message to a friend of mine that said security for an account had been compromised and she should click on the link immediately to learn how to freeze that account. I think our natural instinct is to jump into action, and this news came as a personal text, so it’s amazing that my friend had that moment of hesitation before she hit that link. But she didn’t. Instead, she went to another device and logged in to the account mentioned in the text. There were no warnings, no alarms, no immediate actions needed. She was the victim of her first SMS phishing attack. She was SMiShed.

You may get a legitimate text about suspicious activity—but only if you have arranged with that institution to have those types of notifications. Even so, I will advise you to log in from another device to check for authenticity rather than click on a link in a text message these days. Nothing is sacred to cyber bad guys. Let’s all stay safe.

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2001, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT services management and support company has been serving small to medium sized businesses for 15 years in the area that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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