Phishing Safety on Mobile
Smartphones have made it increasingly easy for us to have access to all of our information at the drop of a hat. Emails, instant messaging, texts, phone calls, all in a one-stop-shop; however, this ease of access has a downside. With quick access to our emails, we are more susceptible to phishing attacks that hit us with sensationalized content to spur us to click links. Cable bill suddenly ten times your normal rate? Missed a potentially important shipment? Someone just logged into your account? All of these strike us with a sense of urgency and spur us to knee-jerk click. We want to figure out what is happening, but this puts our information at risk. Do not worry though, there are some steps that you can take while on a smartphone to protect yourself and your data.
Be calm. If an email says URGENT, uses a lot of capital letters to point out that SUDDEN actions are going to be taken unless you IMMEDIATELY respond, then the attacker is trying to trick you into acting first and thinking second. Look for these senses of urgency and think twice before clicking.
Be aware. On most mobile email systems, you are able to tap on or near the name to reveal who the email is from. Look to see if there are any misspellings of common organization names. Zero’s instead of O’s, hyphenated addons like .com-help.ru, or even blatantly wrong names could be an indicator it’s not a real email.
Be sure. Some email apps allow you to tap and hold on a link in an email to give you a full preview of where the link goes. A pop-up window will show you what the full URL is. If the link says it’s taking you to Google in the email, but is actually taking you to g00gle.com-security.ez then it is a phishing attempt. If your email app or phone does not allow this, check the email on your computer so that you can hover over the link instead.
Be safe. If you are receiving a notice from a shipping company, an online store, or a phone or internet company, you can always validate that the information is truly theirs by going directly to their website to verify the information. You can write down a tracking, billing, or order number and visit their website to see if it is a real charge or notice.
With these few steps, you and your information will be safer from the bad guys.