Irvine, CA based Hard Drive Recovery Associates is attempting to help their community avoid being scammed through their smartphones. The company is primarily known for their ability to recover data from hard drives and other forms of storage media, but they also share information on life in the digital age through the blog hosted on their website.
One of their most recent posts is titled ‘Don’t Be Scammed On Your Phone,’ and it explores how smartphone users can find themselves at risk of losing their money or even personal details to scammers. The article seeks to inform its readers how scammers can use certain vulnerabilities in their phones and other tricks to victimize them in this manner. By exposing these tricks and raising awareness in their community, however, HDRA hopes that their article will help readers identify when they are about to be scammed—following which they can extract themselves from this situation before any harm is committed.
“Phones these days are ubiquitous to the point that our lives are quite tied to them,” states the post. “Our phone has our social media accounts, which means our social network is with then, as well as online banking, shopping and delivery, which means our addresses and places of work are in our phones as well. This is why keeping our phones and the information they hold secure and safe is of utmost importance.”
The first term HDRA wants their community to be aware of is ‘phishing,’ which is a play on the word ‘fishing.’ It refers to situations where a scammer may pretend to be an official entity that the user trusts, such as a banking institution or even a social media platform, in order to obtain pieces of personal data that can help them access the user’s account for a variety of purposes.
The issue posed by a compromised bank account is obvious, as accidentally giving an attacker access to such an account will likely lead to money being stolen from it. However, social media accounts can also be used for many harmful purposes, such as spreading misinformation, harassing the user’s friends/family and so on. Hackers who have gained access to a victim’s social media accounts via phishing have even been known to hold them for ransom, requiring that the user pay a large fee before access is restored to them. Notably, it goes without saying that hackers attempting to hold an account to ransom should not be trusted. If a bank account is compromised, it should be reported to the bank immediately so the account can be frozen until access is restored. There is also no guarantee that a social media account will be returned if a ransom is paid.
HDRA’s post adds, “We usually associate the term ‘phishing’ with email, but crafty cybercriminals have expanded their activities to include instant messaging, browsing and SMS, too. In other words, various electronic communication methods can also victimize you on your phone, and before you know it, a stranger can access your device.” This type of phishing, using smartphones to gain information or access, has its own term as well: smishing. Instead of a scam email, recipients may receive an SMS message from an institution or entity they otherwise trust. HDRA uses the example of a message, supposedly sent by FedEx, that claims to allow the user to set delivery preferences by clicking on a link within the message. However, links delivered in this manner can be used to download harmful code to the user’s smartphone. It may be used to record all their data, uncover login details for all their online accounts and even encrypt all the user’s personal files in order to hold them for ransom.
More information can be found on HDRA’s blog, and the company urges their community to educate themselves on the dangers posed by phishing. They also welcome any inquiries regarding data lost due to failed/damaged hard drives and so on. Jack Edwards of Hard Drive Recovery Associates can be reached for further details as well, and the company is always ready to communicate with customers via their social media platforms.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
Hard Drive Recovery Associates offers data recovery services to Irvine, Anaheim, Santa Ana and the surrounding Orange and LA County areas. We offer the most affordable hard drive recovery and RAID repair solutions in the industry.
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