What happens if I open a spam text on iPhone

Phishing scams involve sending deceptive email messages that appear to be from trustworthy sources, such as a person you know or a legitimate organization you do business with. Phi

What happens if I open a spam text on iPhone

Phishing scams involve sending deceptive email messages that appear to be from trustworthy sources, such as a person you know or a legitimate organization you do business with. Phishing also occurs via text messages (SMS), which is referred to as SMS phishing or smishing. Scammers use this ploy to gain your trust so you will click on a link to a fraudulent website, share private information, or open an attachment on your phone, tablet or computer.

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Clicking on a phishing link or opening an attachment in one of these messages may install malware, like viruses, spyware or ransomware, on your device. This is all done behind the scenes, so it is undetectable to the average user. Once the malware has been installed, it could harvest your sensitive information, send out morephishingmessages to contacts in your address book or provide a cyber-criminal with remote access to your device.

Unfortunately, phishing messages are becoming harder and harder to identify. Since these scams are increasingly sophisticated, there is a high probability either you or someone who uses your devices will fall victim to phishing at some point.For tips on how to protect yourself from these messages, readHow to Spot a Phishing Email.

If you happen to make the mistake of clicking on a phishing link or downloading a malicious attachment, follow these steps to minimize the repercussions.

Disconnect Your Device
The first thing you need to do is immediately disconnect the compromised device from the Internet. If you are using a wired connection, the easiest way to do this is to unplug the Internet cable (ethernet cord) from your computer.
If you are connected through Wi-Fi, locate the Wi-Fi settings on your device and disconnect from the current network. If you cannot locate your Wi-Fi network settings on your device, then go directly to your Wi-Fi router and shut it off.
This will reduce the risk of malware spreading to other devices on your network, prevent the malware from sending out sensitive information from your device and keep someone from remotely accessing your device.

Back Up Your Files
Now that you are disconnected from the Internet, you should back up your files. Data can be destroyed or erased in the process of recovering from a phishing attack. If you regularly back up your files using methods like an external hard drive, a USB thumb drive or cloud storage, then you may only need to back up files that have been updated or created since the last backup. Focus on protecting particularly sensitive documents and information as well as irreplaceable files like family photos and videos.
If you have never copied your files to a backup device or program, I suggest selecting one of the storage methods mentioned above. The cost of external hard drives and thumb drives has fallen considerably over the years, and they can store a significant amount of data.

Change Your Credentials
Malware may be used to harvest sensitive information, including online usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other identifying information. If you think you have been tricked into acting on a phishing message, change your online credentials immediately. This applies to all online accountsemail, online banking, social media, shopping accounts, you name it.
Do not make the mistake of using the same username and password for all your online accounts. This makes it much easier for criminals to steal your credentials, access your personal information and steal your funds.

Set Up a Fraud Alert
According to the FBIs most recent annual Internet Crime Report, the American public lost a total of over $54 million to phishing attacks in 2020. To protect yourself, contact one of the major credit bureaus and ask for a free fraud alert to be placed on your credit report. This may seem like overkill, but it is better to be safe than sorry. The three major bureaus areExperian,EquifaxandTransUnion. Once you have placed a fraud alert with one of these bureaus, they are required by law to notify the other two on your behalf. This will make it more difficult for fraudsters to open new accounts in your name.

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Proceed With Caution

Phishing text messages and emails have become a dangerous yet unavoidable threat in the digital age. Your best protection is to err on the side of caution and use the delete button on emails and texts that seem sketchy. Remember, a legitimate organization or business will never ask you to share sensitive, personal information via insecure channels like email, text or pop-up messages. If the message is truly important, the sender will attempt to contact you through verified methods like telephone or snail mail.


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