Cyberattacks that steal personal data are on the rise. While most people are aware of phishing attacks, very few are alert to the dangers of the so-called SIM swapping, whereby cybercriminals get hold of a duplicate of a victim’s mobile SIM card. The problem has even made the FBI issue a warning to people. Check Point Software Technologies has three simple tips to help you avoid becoming a victim.
How SIM swapping works
In order to get a duplicate of your SIM card, cybercriminals need access to your personal data, such as ID, phone number and full name. If they get hold of these using phishing techniques, they can simply contact your mobile operator and impersonate you to get a duplicate SIM card.
Once this happens, the cybercriminal only has to insert the card into a device to access all the information and data in the victim’s account, including call logs and message history. From that point onwards, s/he has complete control and it becomes easy to access your banking app and steal your money.
How to stay safe
Be careful with personal data: This is the information that cybercriminals need to duplicate your SIM. And that is why it’s so important to be careful while visiting websites. Make sure the site in question is official and has all the security measures in place, such as an encrypted connection.
Be aware of phishing: You need to know the tell-tale signs of a phishing attack to prevent your data from being stolen. Look out for emails and text messages with spelling mistakes even if you know the sender. Pay close attention to the domain name to make sure it’s genuine. The same applies to strange looking links or attachments.
Look out for loss of signal: One easy and sure-fire way to know that your SIM card has been duplicated is that you will completely lose your mobile signal. As a result, you will no longer be able to make or receive calls and text messages. If this happens, you need to contact the authorities and your mobile operator, so that they can deactivate the SIM and start the process of recovering your data.