Social engineers are experts at coaxing people into releasing sensitive information without much effort. They use several tricks to get passwords and bank accounts information which can only be avoided by expert knowledge acquired through training. The lesson can be given through several ways to avoid social engineering scams but first, let’s learn how you can be tricked;
· Cyber criminals prey on people’s trusting nature which drives them to divulge sensitive information at any given opportunity. Their attacks come in form of messages, baits, fake company responses and other forms that seem legit. Unsuspecting employees are likely to click or try downloading items full of malware and viruses. These immediately latch on to your system gaining all access to personal or sensitive information.
· Some social engineering techniques involve compelling stories calling for help, announcing winnings, or asking for tax payment. Criminals hide under legitimacy to get you releasing account details so you can get help to avoid punishment or fines. By falling for such scams all you get is a case of identity theft.
· Some uncanny criminals even use false company messages appearing to respond to your claims. You will be coaxed into providing login details to get assistance but once you do that, the criminals get unlimited access to privileged information. Some social engineers also request for information through legitimate websites to fool more unsuspecting victims.
People can avoid falling prey to social engineering by taking some easy steps:
· Start by deleting all spam emails and make a habit of investigating sources of messages or claims no matter how legit they seem. Always confirm link destinations before clicking as these are often used to trick users who aren’t too keen. Long, cumbersome links are often shortened using bit.ly but this has also been used to trick people into clicking malicious links.
· Employees must be taught to withhold all sensitive information including social security, PIN, bank details or other personal information. Respectable institutions don’t request such information via email or site other than their own. Whenever you are unsure, check that an address has https rather than just HTTP which is most likely a scam.
· It is also important to ensure that devices are all protected by the latest antivirus software. Social engineering might be people-driven but technology like antivirus software can help in its prevention. The most recent antivirus software can detect and prevent requests from known attackers.
· Employees must learn to report any suspicious activity or mistake made with sensitive data. Get the IT team in the know as soon as possible so they can take necessary measures to remedy the situation. Remember that some malware hides in the system, slowly stealing files and eventually demanding ransom to release them without damage.
Cyber security is the only assurance for success of modern businesses. You cannot remain complacent and hope to avoid the brunt of social engineering. Criminals have mastered their art but it is up to you to defend yourself. Seek help from professionals like us who are ready to offer necessary training against social engineering scams. We have lots of expertise to keep your business safe from cyber criminals targeting people and using them as conduits for sensitive, private information. Contact us today for assistance with all matters security.