You’ve heard of ransomware? Now you’ve got to worry about “smishing”.

Smishing is a relatively new form of cyberattack that’s threatening millions of consumers and small businesses around the world. Smishing is a form of “phishing” using SMS or text messages instead of email messages to entice recipients to click on phoney links that draws them to sites where either personal information is exchanged or malware is unknowingly downloaded.

Many of my smaller clients and their employees have already seen these messages on their mobile phones. They usually come in the form of a text that appears to come from a bank, a utility company, a government agency (such as the IRS), a delivery service or some other seemingly credible source. Fake messages related to Covid testing and contact tracing have also contributed to the rise in this activity.

These messages sometimes ask the recipient to confirm payment information or other financial details. Or recipients are asked to click on a link or respond to a question. This kind of activity also alerts the hacker that the phone number is credible and active, which then opens them up to receiving malware or compromising their personal information.

How big a problem is this? In 2020, according to the FBI, this new form of attack cost Americans more than $50m, and those costs are expected to rise significantly. Cybersecurity company Proofpoint says that mobile phishing attacks in North America increased more than 300% in the third…

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