Cyber Security Awareness Series – Social Engineering

From phishing to smishing, cyber criminals have a variety of methods for manipulating people into divulging their personal information. Here’s a look at the most common forms of social engineering attacks, as well as ways to protect yourself.

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering refers to the act of psychologically manipulating a person to reveal sensitive personal information, such as passwords or banking details. Perpetrators of social engineering attacks can target both individuals and businesses, and always share the same objective: to manipulate or influence individuals into gaining their trust to obtain information that can be used against them. Here is a look at some of the most common types of social engineering attacks to help you identify them to prevent being a victim.

Types of Social Engineering Attacks

Phishing – Dating back to the 1990s, phishing is one of the oldest and most successful types of cyberattacks. In a phishing scheme, attackers will attempt to impersonate a trusting entity such as an organization or person in an attempt to obtain information from you. Attackers often seek to obtain information directly from you by encouraging you to click a link in an email or open an attachment.

Vishing – Vishing is a type of phishing attack that is conducted via phone using Voice Over IP solutions. Similar to phishing email attacks, a scammer can spoof their number to make it appear they are calling from a reputable entity and they will then attempt to obtain confidential privileged information from you over the phone.

Smishing – In this type of social engineering, attackers utilize text messages to collect sensitive information from you. Smishing is an increasing threat in that more people are likely to trust a link provided in a text message than an email.

Social Media – Any information posted publicly to a social media platform could be utilized against you by a malicious cyber actor. For example, an attacker could utilize information you’ve posted about a hobby you enjoy or a vacation you plan to take to create a well-targeted phishing email or vishing phone call that lures you into responding.

Protecting Yourself From Social Engineering Attacks

Cyber criminals are constantly looking for new ways to  financially exploit their victims. It is of the utmost importance to use caution when dealing with confidential or personal information. We encourage you to visit the site below to learn more about Social Engineering and how to best protect yourself.  

 

AVOIDING SOCIAL ENGINEERING AND PHISHING ATTACKS

 

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