Social engineering sounds scary and manipulative, and if the perpetrator is skilled and experienced, you might find that it is undetectable too. This is one of the greater downsides of using the internet as a business or as an individual, as you could constantly be at risk of losing it all. However, there are some ways that you can prevent becoming a victim of this online threat.
What is social engineering?
Social engineering, in short, is the use of deception through interaction to gain information or to exploit someone online and can affect anyone at any time. This can include phishing, pretexting, baiting, and scareware.
You can learn more about social engineering when you click here; and, as scary as this all sounds, there is a huge number of things that can help you cut down the chances of being hit by a social engineering attack or to even help you dodge a mistake that you might make when interacting with something that seems a little bit ‘off’.
What can lower your chances of an attack?
Firstly, try keeping your personal information offline as much as you possibly can, and also try not to click on spammy or suspicious advertisements. These can be types of adware or even trojans trying to get onto your device.
These can be very deceptive, so make sure that you are doing due diligence before clicking on anything that tries to make you curious or appeal to your greed, like ads that state that you have been selected in a prize draw. These might seem obvious, but all it takes is one wrong click, and you might not be on a virus-free device anymore. If this does happen, using antivirus software can also help you out with another line of defense.
What do you do if you are a victim of a social engineering attack?
This can be a tricky situation to be in. If you are a recipient of a strange or suspicious email, you should be doing one of two things:
- If the email or message is clearly scam material, you should delete it to limit your interaction with it. The last thing that you want is to accidentally click on it and have malware on your device.
- If the email or message is from a friend or family member’s account, you should contact them through other means to back their request up. If your grandmother gets in contact over Facebook asking to send money, it might not be her. Text her, call her, or email her to tell her to delete messages sent by the perpetrator and change her account password to stop the perpetrator from having access or limit them.
Being observant and sharp is an absolute must in these sorts of situations, and you need to make sure that you are working to defend yourself and your family members from scammers. Of course, this is far easier said than done, and you should be very careful with who you interact with online to make sure that your information is safe.