What kind of site is Bit.ly, I got an SMS with a “Look at the picture” and a link from it? Such a question asked by thousands of people who use smartphones and periodically receive similar SMS. From the publication you will learn maximum information on the topic, which is extremely important for everyone. By reading the material, you will be able to protect yourself from the new generation virus threat.
We have to look into it…
There can be no complaints specifically to the site Bitly, because this service has existed for many years, its services are used by reputable resources (among them Twitter).
Its functionality is to convert long links into short ones. This is necessary to reduce the number of characters, which is so important when sending text messages and Twitter posts. Here’s how it works:
You insert your link in the field, which needs to be shortened. A second later, it turns into a short version. You can copy and distribute it further. And after you register, you can create more beautiful links, and then you can track how many people clicked on them and where they came from. In general, the online service is very useful if you do business online.
So what’s the danger?
People get different types of notifications on their phone. Some have the following text – “Look at the photo bit.ly/2GyVFlt”, others receive this – “You are approved for 29000 credit bit.ly/ruscredit”. Note that in the second case we are dealing with a custom link, created after registering at the service. In other words, it is possible to replace an unsightly combination of symbols with a readable and recognizable text.
In most situations, we are dealing with an ordinary advertising mailing that poses a minimum of danger. After clicking on the link in the SMS, you go to the page with the product offer or service. It’s simple.
But if the text is “Look at the photo bit.ly…” and there is no other additional information, you should avoid taps on such links. At best, you will find yourself on a resource that offers a loan online for 5 minutes, or on the page of the online casino with a free bonus of 777 rubles. But there is another side to the coin – the viral infection. The malicious scheme may be as follows:
- A hidden application is installed on your device, which displays ads in the browser and on the home screen at the most inopportune moments;
- Personal information, contacts, messages stored on your smartphone are intercepted. As a result, various paid subscriptions can be placed in your name. In addition, viral text messages are also sent to all phonebook numbers;
- The worst case scenario is when attackers manage to gain access to the banking system, allowing them to spend all of your money stored on your cards. And they can also get into debt.
After opening an SMS “Look at the photo bit.ly…” and before the irreversible consequences can take an hour, a lazy, a week – it all depends on your activity.
How did my number get on this phone?
Immediately upon receiving it, people start asking questions like this. The answer is simple – we live in an era of high technology and developed cybercrime, we often ourselves leave our numbers on different sites when registering, or in stores to get a bonus card, etc.
As a result, personal data ends up in the database stored on some server. And malefactors in different ways to collect this kind of information (by hacking or buying), form large lists that can be used for their dark business, or sell the database for big money to others.
For example, such “goods” can easily be purchased on Avito:
Such lists of numbers are constantly replenished, because the contents of the phone book are also downloaded from infected devices. The contagion spreads very quickly.
I opened a Bit.ly link-what do I do?
In the case of an advertising mailing from a store you know is not worth much to worry about. But if you received an SMS “Look at the photo” and a link from Bit ly, and you hurried to follow it, it is worth to perform the following actions:
- First of all, open the file manager and delete all the content from the “Downloads” folder;
- Run anti-virus scan with any available utility (for example, Xiaomi has built-in security software in the “Security” section), or install software from Google Play – Avast, Kaspersky, DrWeb or ESET);
- Look through the list of programs and if you find new ones that you have not downloaded, uninstall them immediately;
- Change the access codes (passwords) to the Google services and mobile banking that you use;
- In the settings or via a browser, go to the personal cabinet of your mobile operator, check for paid subscriptions and disable them if necessary.
It should be noted that in newer versions of Android OS (starting with the 7th) it is more difficult for viruses to obtain administrator’s rights, since any attempt to do so will result in a message on the user’s screen, indicating that an application wants access to the file system, camera, or contacts. Accordingly, you should look attentively at such messages and not click “Allow” if the software is unknown to you.
That’s it – bit.ly what site from which the text message “look at the photo” came – how to act in such situations. I hope the information helped you to avoid negative consequences. Be careful not to be fooled by such tricks!