Courtney discusses vishing, smishing, and pharming. While these crimes are similar to phishing, each has its own dangers to be aware of.
In one of our recent Quick Tips, we discussed the dangerous concept of phishing- the sending of unsolicited emails pretending to be a legitimate company, trying to get access to your personal information. In today’s digitalized world, we not only need to be aware of phishing, but vishing, smishing, and pharming as well.
Pharming attempts to get you to a fake website, similar to phishing. If this website is clicked on, it installs a malicious code on your computer, allowing hackers access to your personal information that they can then sell on the dark web.
Vishing is the telephone version of phishing. Criminals make phone calls or leave voicemails requesting personal or financial information, making it seem like they are calling from an authorized business. These calls tend to come from a blocked phone number. If you are not totally confident in the business on the other end of the phone, do not give them any of your information. It is always ok to hang up, and call the business on a number you know to be legitimate. The longer you speak with these criminals, the more information they can gather about you.
Smishing refers to the other means of phone contact- text messaging. These messages try to lure you into a conversation or into clicking a link to a fake phone number or website. They lead you to believe that you are being contacted by a company with which you do business, or you have won a free gift, or that there is some kind of emergency. Again, it is important to remain on the defense if you get a text that looks suspicious. Rather than clicking any links, exit the text message and go directly to the website, and don’t download anything unless it is from a reliable source.
The dark web is a scary place, and it is constantly changing and being updated. It’s important to do everything you can to keep your personal information safe. If you have any questions about how to protect yourself or about a cyber liability policy please contact us.