DANGEROUS hackers are targeting iPhone and Android phone owners – and you need to be ready.
Apple has warned millions of gadget users about the best ways to avoid falling victim to a devastating “phishing” attack.
Any smartphone user can become a victim of phishing – a common online scam.
Phishing refers to fraudulent attempts to obtain personal information from you, usually via email.
“Scammers will use any means possible to trick you into sharing information or giving them money.”
Apple says phishing attacks can come in many different forms.
They are often pushed through emails or text messages that appear to be from legitimate companies, including Apple.
But they can also come in the form of deceptive pop-ups and ads warning of security vulnerabilities, fake free product or price promotions, scam phone calls or voicemails, and unwanted calendar invites and subscriptions.
In general, the best advice is to ignore suspicious messages.
“If you’re suspicious of an unexpected message, phone call, or request for personal information or money, it’s safer to assume it’s a scam and contact that company directly if necessary,” Apple explains.
Apple’s website offers a series of tips for iPhone and Android owners.
- Never share personal information unless you can verify the recipient
- Use two-factor authentication
- Avoid using Apple Gift Cards to make payments
- Learn how to identify legitimate business emails
- Only download apps from trusted sources
- Do not follow links or open attachments in suspicious or unsolicited emails or text messages
It is often extremely difficult to identify when a text or email is fraudulent.
But there are some clues you can look out for.
iPhone and Android phishing ‘red flags’
For example, check that the sender’s email address or phone number matches the company they claim to be from.
See if they’re contacting you at a different email address or phone number than you provided.
View links in posts (without clicking them) to see if the URL matches the company’s website. You can usually do this by hovering over a link.
Examine the message to see if it looks significantly different from other messages you’ve received from the company.
If the message asks for personal information, such as a credit card number or account password, be extremely careful.
Any unsolicited messages with attachments should also be handled carefully.
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