DANGEROUS hackers are targeting iPhone and Android phone owners – and you need to be ready.
Apple has warned millions of gadget users about the best ways to avoid falling foul of a devastating "phishing" attack.
Any smartphone user could fall foul of phishing – a common online con.
"Phishing refers to fraudulent attempts to get personal information from you, usually by email," Apple explained in a website post.
"Scammers use any means they can to trick you into sharing information or giving them money."
Apple says that phishing attacks can come in many different forms.
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They're commonly pushed through emails or texts that appear to be from legitimate companies – Apple included.
But they could also come in the form of misleading pop-ups and ads warning of security problems, fake promotions with free products or prizes, scam phone calls or voicemails, and unwanted calendar invitations and subscriptions.
Generally the best advice is to ignore suspicious messages.
"If you're suspicious about an unexpected message, call or request for personal information or money, it's safer to presume that it's a scam and contact that company directly if you need to," Apple explains.
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Apple's website offers a series of tips for iPhone and Android owners.
- Never sharing personal info unless you can verify the recipient
- Using two-factor authentication
- Avoid using Apple Gift Cards to make payments
- Find out how to identify legitimate company emails
- Only download apps from trustworthy sources
- Don't follow links or open attachments in suspicious or unsolicited emails or texts
It's often extremely difficult to identify when a text message or email is fraudulent.
But there are some clues that you can look out for.
iPhone and Android phishing 'red flags'
For instance, check to see if the sender's email address or phone number matches the company they claim to be from.
See if they're contacting you on a different email or phone number from the one you supplied.
Take a look at links in messages (without clicking them) to see if the URL matches the company's website. You can usually do this by hovering over a link.
Examine the message to see if it looks significantly different from other missives you've received from the company.
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If the message asks for personal info like a credit card number or account password, treat it with extreme caution.
Any unsolicited messages with attachments should also be treated carefully.
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