- Avoid accessing links from random email addresses or phone numbers.
- Malicious viruses are sent through emails and SMS by cybercriminals
- If one receives an email or SMS from an unknown address or phone number, report to service providers.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) recently proclaimed that people should be aware of phishing scams (fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details or other sensitive details, by impersonating oneself as a trustworthy entity in digital communication) that are currently on the rise. POTRAZ warned people to be always alert especially on receiving emails or messages from a random email address or phone number.
Potraz stated that “The phishing emails usually come with attachments that contain viruses and once one opens the attachment the virus becomes active and infects the user’s device”, these viruses vary, mainly the hacker’s intention might be to access one’s bank and personal accounts, to corrupt information or even to steal information, some hackers they tend to install virus in one’s device for one to buy the antivirus.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.
Furthermore, this can happen in many ways, but the most common manner is that one can receive a message with a hyperlink in it, the SMS will ask you to click and follow that link. In the same line, cybercriminals allure people by misleading them to join fake productive activities and if one agreed to join, the virus will then start to corrupt one’s information and accessing passwords. Potraz mentioned that “Once one follows the link their user device gets infected with malicious software that can be used to phish (steal) user credentials and passwords contained in the device”.
Moreover, being hacked is a solid risk because one can lose everything or one can receive hazardous information that can lead one to jail. POTRAZ indicated that” Resultantly, users end up at high risk of having important information like usernames and passwords, bank details and PIN codes or private and confidential information stolen”.
Also, people have to be always alert, in other words, if one receives an email or a massage from a random email address or phone number, one should contact a professional IT personnel or a service provider before clicking on the link. In some circumstances, one can also run a background check of the email address to know if it’s a legit email or SMS.
POTRAZ encouraged people to update their Antiviruses frequently, they clearly stated that “Users should have their antivirus software regularly updated and should not open anything that has been flagged by the antivirus. Most importantly, DO NOT give anyone your Security PIN under any circumstances, even if they purport to be from your Bank or Mobile Network Provider”.