Chat Protection could save you from WhatsApp and Messenger scams

Chat Protection scam tool - phone with messaging apps
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

A new mobile app feature, Chat Protection, from cybersecurity firm Bitdefender could save you from scammers scouring popular messaging apps.

The new feature is out now as part of the Bitdefender Mobile Security Android app. It offers real-time chat protection across messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Discord. It comes as criminals diversify their scamming attempts, while Australians lost nearly $300 million to scams in just the first half of 2022. Additionally, data from privacy protection company Surfshark earlier this year indicated that Australia ranks fourth highest in cybercrime victims per capita.

SMS and other messaging scams have only risen in recent years, seeing Telstra among telcos taking action. This trend of criminal activity is likely a driving force behind the new Bitdefender feature. Chat Protection monitors links sent during chat sessions and notifies you when something is amiss. According to Bitdefender, you receive a notification when a suspicious link arrives, which may lead to swiping your sensitive information. Even if you ignore any warnings, the security app’s web protection kicks in, preventing you from visiting a potentially harmful website.

Beyond notifications, the Bitdefender mobile app also lets you recall or delete messages in case you accidentally send an illegitimate link. One of the ways the app reportedly works is by identifying certain characteristics of scam messages. This includes identifying phishing attempts via common tells such as urgency and curiosity that are ultimately ploys to trick you out of money and other private information.

Such a feature on mobile devices could prevent many people from falling prey to scam attempts. Chat Protection comes included as part of a Bitdefender subscription, the cheapest of which costs roughly $20 for the first year.

Alongside a trusted security app, it’s also important to exercise caution when using technology. In our story about LinkedIn phishing attempts, we provided several tips to follow, like manually typing URLs to visit websites instead of clicking potentially suspicious links. Keep an eye on Scamwatch too: it provides regular updates about keeping safe in the digital age.

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