In the past, the phishing incidents were not as common as they are now in recent times. It is because, at present, the people are willingly answering and responding to emails and messages that ask them to give sensitive information. Up until now, such phishing evidence was true for the emails as the mode of communication. However, over the time, the attackers are in the quest of devising different forms of initiating phishing attacks on the users of communications modes. Thus, the phishing attacks are present on messaging applications such as WhatsApp and even normal messaging on smartphones.
In the present times, mobile phishing has become a growing concern that has no evidence of lessening in the near future. In accordance with the statistical evidence by Verizon, 90% of their recorded information openings start with an attack by mobile phishing that is becoming an increasing form of attacks nowadays.
Furthermore, along with the research statistics by Verizon, the research details by Wandera also demonstrates a rising trend among cybercrimes that incline towards smartphone phishing. Each day, numerous attacks that are related to mobile phishing are detection and have a less than a day lasting before they are repositioned elsewhere or get shut down. Many of these phishing attacks have their basis on WhatsApp messaging app.
Why is it easy to do phishing on WhatsApp or any other application-based messaging services?
As there is an extensive awareness regarding email phishing that allows the users to employ proactive defensive strategies towards it, the cyber criminals are moving towards infiltrating Phishing scams in mobile devices. The tactics of these snide cybercriminals are instantaneous because they are employing such vectors that enable them to attack the mobile devices without leaving any room for detection.
Bear in mind that the users have built-in phishing detection tools for their emails that helped them to identify phishing emails and get notification alerts that enable the users to detect such scamming emails immediately.
On the contrary, there is no such defensive mechanism or security measures for any application-related messaging services and normal SMS. It is because nowadays, there is an increase in the number of messaging applications which makes it difficult to create a largely defensive and security mechanisms for them. As a result, whenever a phishing attack takes place in a various application based messaging services or normal SMS in mobile devices, the defensive strategies are three times weaker than the strategies on the phishing through desktops. Therefore, it is imperative that the mobile developers while providing installing facilities of app-based messaging services should also provide a robust defense mechanism on them, also they should create awareness of employing cybersecurity measures among the users of the smartphones so that they become pro-active in dealing with the phishing scams. You can do additional reading on the phishing scams on different app-related messaging services for better understanding.
How are the cybercriminals exploiting the WhatsApp?
Keep in mind that in contrast to the phishing emails that always alert the users and have malicious labeling, there is no system of filtering or notification alerts on WhatsApp messaging application. So, whenever the user receives a link on his WhatsApp messaging screen, they will realize that the link creates the opening of the website’s symbol and the title of the page. It is quite easy and simple for the cybercriminals to formulate a replica of the original site and send the users a phishing message under the façade of authenticity so that they can become deceived and hence manipulated.
How to make your WhatsApp messaging application secure and stay safe all the way?
The major question, which is also an alarming one, hovers upon the confused whats app or any application based message service users is how to stay safe from phishing messages? One of the foremost defensive strategies of countering phishing messages is becoming vigilant. So, if a particular contact messages you and asks for some personal information, abstain from spilling the beans. It is because asking for personal information always appear strange and unusual, and this can arouse suspicion in the users’ mind. Make it a rule of the thumb that only disclose your personal information when you have approached the service from your side and not when the contact asks you to provide.
Employing an effective Virtual Private Network
Furthermore, it is always an appreciable idea that you log in to a good and reliable VPN service that acts as a hands-on defensive mechanism by protecting you with phishing attacks on your mobile devices and particularly WhatsApp messaging. The employing of the virtual private network is a good idea because the phishing sites specifically design phishing links for individual contacts that they spread through WhatsApp messaging. Moreover, the attacks that employ spear phishing are fully aware of whom they need to target and what kind of message they should use to lure these victims towards a fake sense of security.
Therefore, there is no surprise in the fact that the cybercriminals are paving the way and penetrating inside the domains of smartphones and mobile devices. Nevertheless, it is also undeniable that the awareness and education concerning this form of phishing are extremely low. Therefore, it is necessary that the users always stay cautious of any unwanted messages that they get through online means. Also, they should not blindly trust a link they receive what they never asked for.