Five Rules to Keep Mom Safe from Mobile Phishing Attacks
By Philip Mustain, Mobolize CEO and Co-Founder
This Sunday, May 9, is Mother’s Day in the US, although the month of May is full of Mother’s Days throughout the world. It’s the day when we honor our mom and express our love for her. It comes in the form of flowers, candy, special gifts and family meals.
But there’s another way to thank Mom and that’s to keep her safe from phishing attacks that happen on her mobile devices. They arrive as emails and it’s easy to fool her to click on a link, but that link could open the doorway for a cybercriminal to steal important information stored on her phone. While it may just be her email address list, it could also be stored information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers or passwords to bank account.
Mom worked hard at keeping you safe, it’s time you paid her back with five easy rules to keep her – and her information – safe.
#1 – Never click on a link in an email
Mom taught you to never enter an unknown house alone so look at a link as an untrusted house. Don’t go there. Even if the email looks like it’s from a company she knows and trusts because it uses a recognized logo, don’t click on any link. Phishing emails and text messages try to trick Mom into clicking on a link by saying there’s a problem with her account or she must confirm personal information or offer a coupon for free stuff. She needs to delete the email or message.
#2 – Look at the email address and check to see if it’s odd
A note from the bank is going to have an email with the ending @bankname.com, not @gmail.com or any other form of address. Even if it looks okay, don’t trust it. Refer to Rule #1 – never click on a link in an email.
#3 – Have a family code that means the email is really from a family member
Whether it’s a special way to sign off (Love ya!#!) or an emoji that each family member uses (🤓), it’s code for each person that stays in the family and is a hint that the message is legit. Still, refer to Rule #1.
#4 – Protect Mom’s mobile phone by using security software
Here at Mobolize, our mom’s use our app that features our Data Management Engine with a SmartVPN® that is great at stopping phishing threats. It is offered by our customers such as Boost Mobile, T-Mobile and through a lot of companies that our customers service. But there are other security apps out there. Just keep Mom safe by using a trusted security system and have her update the phone’s software automatically.
#5 – If Mom suspects she’s been phished, she should call her tech kid
That’s probably you that’s reading this blog, so you know how to handle it. Go to www.IdentityTheft.gov and follow the specific steps based on the lost information. Update the phone’s security software then run a scan. Change passwords on important accounts. Tell the rest of the family and contacts that Mom was cyber attacked and to watch out for scammer messages. Refer them to Rule #1.
Mom took care of you and taught you many things in life. Now it’s your turn as the tech expert in the family. Give her flowers and mobile device security.