In today’s world, where everything is done online, cybercriminals are constantly trying to come up with new ways to trick people into giving up their personal and financial information. Phishing scams are one of the most common ways for cybercriminals to obtain this information, and they can happen in various forms, including calls and SMS messages. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from phishing calls and SMS.
Be wary of unsolicited calls and messages
Phishing calls and SMS often come from unknown or unrecognizable numbers, claiming to be from a trusted source like your bank, the government, or a popular retailer. If you receive a call or SMS that you weren’t expecting, be cautious. Don’t give away any personal or financial information until you can verify the legitimacy of the message.
Verify the caller’s identity
If someone calls claiming to be from a trusted source, ask for their name and contact details, and tell them you’ll call them back. Don’t use the phone number they provide; instead, look up the organization’s official phone number on their website or through a reputable search engine. Call the organization and ask to speak with the person who called you to verify that they are who they claim to be.
Don’t trust SMS messages blindly
SMS messages can also be a vector for phishing scams. Often, these messages will include a link that directs you to a website that looks legitimate but is designed to steal your personal and financial information. If you receive an SMS that asks you to click on a link, be cautious. Don’t click on the link until you can verify the legitimacy of the message.
Don’t give away personal information
Phishing calls and SMS will often ask you for personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, or even your Social Security number. Never give away this information over the phone or through SMS, as legitimate organizations will not ask for this information in this way. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of the call or SMS, don’t give away any information until you can verify that the message is legitimate.
Use call blocking and filtering
Many modern smartphones come with built-in call blocking and filtering features that can help you avoid phishing calls. You can use these features to block calls from known scammers or to filter out calls from unknown numbers. You can also download third-party call blocking and filtering apps that can provide additional protection.
Install anti-malware software on your phone
Phishing SMS messages can also contain malware that can infect your phone and steal your personal information. Installing anti-malware software on your phone can help you detect and remove any malware that may be on your device.
The world of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, and new phishing scams are being developed all the time. It’s important to stay informed about the latest threats and to be aware of the signs of phishing scams. You can stay informed by reading cybersecurity blogs, following cybersecurity experts on social media, and signing up for alerts from your bank or other trusted organizations.
In conclusion, protecting yourself from phishing calls and SMS requires a combination of caution, awareness, and technology. By being wary of unsolicited calls and messages, verifying the caller’s identity, not giving away personal information, using call blocking and filtering, installing anti-malware software on your phone, and staying informed about the latest threats, you can reduce your risk of falling victim to a phishing scam. Remember, if something seems too good to be true or suspicious, it’s better to err on the side of caution and investigate further before giving away any personal information.