Social engineering attacks are a type of Cyber Attack that relies on human psychology to trick people into revealing confidential information or performing actions that compromise security. Social engineers exploit people’s natural tendencies to be helpful, trusting, and curious to gain their access and confidence.
Here are some common types of social engineering attacks:
- Phishing: Phishing attacks are emails or fraudulent websites that are designed to look like they are from a legitimate source. The goal is to trick the recipient into entering their personal information, such as their username, password, or credit card number.
- Baiting: Baiting attacks involve leaving a malicious device or USB drive in a public place in the hope that someone will pick it up and plug it into their computer. Once the device is plugged in, the attacker can steal data or install malware on the computer.
- Vishing: Vishing attacks are phone calls that are designed to sound like they are coming from a legitimate source, such as a bank or credit card company. The goal is to trick the recipient into revealing their personal information or performing actions that compromise security.
- Impersonation: Attackers pretend to be someone you trust, like a coworker, friend, or family member, to trick you into revealing information or sending money.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE SOCIAL ENGINEERING ATTACKS:
There are a few common red flags that can indicate that you are being targeted by a social engineering attack:
- Unsolicited requests for personal information: Legitimate companies will never ask for your personal information over email or phone.
- Requests for urgent action: Social engineers often try to create a sense of urgency in order to pressure people into acting without thinking.
- Requests for money or payments: Legitimate companies will never ask you to send the money or make payments over email or phone. If you are asked to send money or make a
HOW TO DEFEND AGAINST SOCIAL ENGINEERING ATTACKS:
The best way to defend against social engineering attacks is to be aware of the common red flags and to take steps to protect yourself. Here are a few tips:
- Be careful about what links you click on and what attachments you open. Phishing emails often contain malicious links and attachments. If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, do not click on any links or open any attachments.
- Verify the identity of anyone who asks for your personal information. If you receive a request for personal information, contact the company directly to verify the request. Do not provide any personal information to someone who contacts you unsolicited.
- Use strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). Strong passwords and MFA can help to protect your accounts even if an attacker is able to obtain your password.
- Educate yourself and your employees about social engineering attacks. The more people are aware of social engineering attacks, the less likely they are to fall victim to them.
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