Cybercriminals in UK Target Cellphone Users with Phishing Texts: How to Protect Oneself?

The main advice of NordVPN is to never download apps that might not be legit

Cyber criminals do not target solely personal computers or laptops anymore – they are now going after mobile users as well in so-called “smishing” - or SMS phishing - attacks.

In the UK, more than one in three people, who use text messaging, have been targeted by scam texts in the past 6 months.

The most common scam was a fraudulent text from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stating the recipient was to receive a significant tax refund.

Other common scam messages include: “You’ve won a competition”; “Owed money from an old injury claim” or “Your PayPal account is locked, click here or You have funds, click here to view.”

“This is a technique used by hackers to scam people. The information or money is collected without owner’s knowledge or consent,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Communication director of NordVPN. “If you receive an unexpected text message from an unknown sender – do not click on any links, never reply and never share any personal information.Clicking on such links might lead to installing malware on the user’s phone, which can access all personal data and passwords.”

How can mobile users protect themselves from receiving phishing texts?
NordVPN recommends its CyberSec feature, whichis designed to block advertisements, malicious sites and phishing links. CyberSec is enabled by downloading a NordVPN app and going to Settings > General. Once enabled, CyberSec runs automatically and all internet-connected apps that are open can benefit from its protection.

“CyberSec, which is a part of NordVPN app,esembles a content blocker but covers the whole system rather than just the browser,” said Ruby Gonzalez. “It checks addresses against huge database of blocklists and protects users from phishing scams, ads and malicious sites.  When NordVPN’s DNS server receives a user’s request to enter a specific site, CyberSec will check its name against the list of possible threats and decide whether or not to allow the requested access.

“In general, CyberSec is just one feature of NordVPN that specifically blocks malicious content. NordVPN’s main purpose is to encrypt Internet user’s communication into a secure tunnel, making its content invisible to third parties. So, downloading NordVPN and using CyberSec serves multiple online security purposes."

The main advice of NordVPN is to never download apps that might not be legit. For any app that a user is about to download, they should check the permissions first to make sure the app doesn’t have access to all their personal information. When a user is directed to a certain website, they should watch what kind of information the website requires and who is behind it.

Finally, when someone suspects that their device has downloaded malware, the first recommendation is to change all passwords and to use password manager that stores them in one encrypted box.

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cybercriminals uk Cellphone Users Phishing Texts


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