Social engineering is an act of tricking people by challenging their natural tendency. Hackers try to affect individuals psychologically in order to access their personal information or to fraud them into revealing their digital identities. Their primary target remains to exploit an individual’s weak point. These tricks are usually carried through telephone, e-mail or the internet.
Types of Social Engineering:
Human Based – Human based social engineering is done by contacting a person directly to fetch the desired information. Impersonation, dumpster diving and shoulder surfing are some of the main examples of human based social attacks.
Computer Based – Under this technique of social engineering, computers are used for getting the desired information. Online techniques to misguide people and fetch the desired data has become quite common these days. Phishing, baiting and online scams are some of the most common examples of computer based social engineering attacks.
Some Examples– Phishing or a spam e-mail which appears to be sent from a registered authority but, is fake and is used to steal personal data and passwords from your computer. Such e-mails generally appear as a greeting card which actually contain malicious malwares that can harm a system.
Also, a pop up warning that your computer is infected and you need a security software or update can be a malicious pop up and your computer can get infected if you download that software.
You might receive several messages and e-mails containing intriguing offers that’ll ask you to open a link leading you to an infected website. These links are usually used to trick money out of you by pleasing you with fake promises.
Tips to Protect Yourself From Social Engineering Attacks –
- Never disclose your password to anyone. Even if someone promises you to give fruitful returns. Never trust anyone with your password.
- Never open a link from these unknown messages. Only open trusted links which you get from an authorized website.
- Always delete these unknown messages and emails. Do not forward these messages or share them with anyone.
- If you find an offer too good to be true, then beware because these offers can land you in some trouble. These offers will ask you open a link which will infect your computer and steal your data.
- If you find some suspicious matter then you can also report it to the internet security at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will work over it and find the real culprit.
The hacker can use the bits of information to do severe damage to your digital identity. These hackers combine these information to apply their tricks. Save your system by taking precautions so that not even an ounce of your private information can be used.
Summary: Social engineering is introducing a bunch full of threats to the users. These threats can be overpowered by taking some important precautions which will save you from being a victim of cyber crime.