For as long a crime has existed, so have social engineers, or people who use tricks and scams to force other people to volunteer sensitive information. There are several ways to use social engineering to acquire valuable information like account information, financials, and other sensitive data.
As more of the world becomes digital, criminals are turning to social engineering to trick people into trusting them. People tend to trust others too easily – and attackers take advantage of this, creating baiting scenarios, fake company responses, and many others.
Most often, messages are sent to users in the form of an email that might contain a link to a virus or malware; once the link is opened a virus will download and infect your computer.
Another popular example is the “confidential information regarding your account”. This may come in the form of fake company messages that appear to be responses to your claims, but are followed up by a request for login details. Victims erroneously believe that they are being helped, when really, they are supplying the keys of their account to their attackers.
There are several ways people can avoid becoming victims: first, make sure never to open spam email, and double-check all ‘official’ emails from vendors that you do business with to make sure the emails are legitimate.
The same principle applies to links. Confirm the destination of any link before clicking on it. Sites commonly use shortened links, but scammers will implant a malicious redirect in the link, so be careful.
Legitimate financial institutions will never request your password, bank information, social security, or other private details in an email. Scammers will attempt to redirect you to a new page to dupe you into entering this information. If the address doesn’t have the letter ‘s’ after ‘http’, it’s likely a scam.
Last but not least, check that all your devices are protected by the most recent antivirus software. While the strength of social engineering lies in the fact that it’s people-driven rather than technology-driven, antivirus software detects and prevent requests from known cyber criminals.
For organizations that want enhanced cybersecurity, the best option is to opt for 24/7 security monitoring. There is no safeguard like having an around-the-clock IT team working on your behalf. Get in touch with us today if you need IT services for your business. We offer remote and on-site IT services, managed IT services, and more. Call 800.698.3594