Phishing threats are a common factor for computer systems and mobile phones. Most iPhone users are under an impression that the core OS of the iPhone is safer and more reliable in terms of handling threats to the phone user. This is true to a great extent.
Apple does not share the source code of its operating system -iOS. The Apple operating system is a closed one. So, there is a less chance of a threat or malware that would target the Apple iOS successfully. Put it in other words, the risk to reward ratio is not in favor of trying to hack into an iOS device. But, that does not leave an Apple user from the risk of phishing. Yes, phishing is a definite risk for the users of iPhone .
Phishing campaigns may induce you into corresponding with a scammer on email or in sending payments to overseas accounts of hackers or scammers. The easiest way for a phishing campaign to target an iPhone user is through an email. A simple email could be the first step of a phishing attack on you. You may click on an email link, that sounds like an emergency, and your device may get compromised. Or, a link sent through a messaging app could trick you into clicking a link to a website that may download a malware on to your phone.
Protecting against phishing attempts is more like an experience and habit. Using common sense approach will give you the best protection against scammers using phishing campaigns to defraud you. Following these simple steps could help protect your iPhone against phishing campaigns
- Do not click on any links contained within a message sent by an unrecognized phone number. These links may download malware on to the phone or compromise your phone’s security.
- Do not engage in a conversation on email, with unrecognized email addresses. There is a difference between the display names on the email and the actual email address that sent out an email to you. Do make sure to note the email address of an unrecognized email sender. This will help you in doing a base level check against the email sender. Most people fall for the display names on the email. A display name can be set to anything. But, the sender email address cannot be masked. This is what we want to know. Know the person on the other side through the sender email address.
- Do not download any attachments or files on your device. Most attachments masquerade as Word or office files. These may give you a false assurance of being valid extensions and files. Downloading external emails from unrecognized email addresses is a sure way to get malware on the system or device.
- Always protect your phone with a good anti-virus and anti-malware software. This is proven to be a good first level defense against threats on the connected devices. Most threats come in through Internet. So, be wary of communicating with unrecognized companies and individuals through your phone.
- Finally, whenever you are trying to use your phone over a public Wi-Fi or any Wi-Fi network that is outside your own network, make use of a good VPN connection. A VPN will encrypt the data you send from your phone. The two-way communication between your phone and the other device is encrypted end-to-end. This is a very good and robust defense against malware and virus files, that could find their place into your phones through the compromised public Wi-Fi networks.
Protecting against phishing attempts on an iPhone is easy. Just follow a common sense approach. If you do not recognize someone’s email address (not display name), forget about communication with that person. And, never click on any link sent to a mobile device through email, SMS or a notification from an app. It’s pretty simple and elegant to protect yourself against phishing.
Helen is a geeky nerd who seeks to find and fix tech gaps in the latest gadgets. She is always on the lookout for resolving technical queries of users, and is an avid writer on technical subjects.