Do you know what’s common between “baiting”, “phishing”, “tailgating”, “quid pro quo” and “pretexting”? These are all types of attacks that social engineers use to trick users to give up their confidential information. The process is known as “social engineering” and criminals prefer it over hacking, as it is easier to trick people into trusting someone with their information than discovering ways to hack their accounts. Usually, the type of information that criminals seek from users includes passwords, bank information, social security number and more. In this post, we tell you how to avoid falling prey to the tricks that social engineers use.
Ways to Counter Social Engineering Attacks
Research Before You React
Criminals know that the weakest link in a security chain is a human and it is easier to trick people as most of them react spontaneously to high pressure sales tactics without realizing the consequences of their action. It is, therefore, advisable to be skeptical of any unsolicited message that you receive, and do a thorough check before you act on them.
Delete Requests for Passwords and Financial Information
Passwords are confidential and are not supposed to be shared with anybody. Often people get calls from criminals claiming to be a bank personal and would trick them into sharing their important information that includes their passwords, debit and credit cards pins, and other information. In case, you get any such calls, reject the request outright. Instead ask the person calling for their details such as name, employee id given to them by the company they claim to be calling from and you will see that the caller themselves would disconnect.
Don’t Click Unknown Links
You must have heard the saying “Curiosity killed the cat”. The maxim holds true in the case of Social Engineering, too. Many people would admit that often their curiosity often leads them to click carelessly. Our advice to you is don’t let a random link take control of where you land. Rather, use the search engine to land on a page that you want to browse.
Beware of “Free” Downloads
If you receive a download from a sender or source you do not recognize, do not download them. The download item may be a potential virus that the hacker may be using to take control of your system or to steal important information from it. Similarly beware of the fake download or play buttons that may trick you into clicking them.
Set Spam Filters to High
To avoid falling prey to email hijacking by social engineers or spammers, keep your email’s and firewall’s spam settings at high. However, do remember to check your spam email folders on a regular basis because at times even the legitimate emails may get routed to the spam folder. To get help with spam settings, go to a search engine and type the name of your email service provider and the phrase ‘spam filter settings’.
Last Few Words
Besides the ones already mentioned here, there are a lot of other tricks that social engineers or hackers may use. As most social engineering attacks occur through Internet enabled devices such as computers, laptops, mobiles, tablets and more you must secure your computing devices. Some of the preventive measures you can take include- activating firewalls, installing anti-virus, setting e-mail filters and using anti-phishing tools that alert you about the risks. In addition to these there are other advanced measures that you need to take. If you think all this is too much of a hassle and you may need help, feel free to contact one of our tech support experts. Operating out of our computer repair centers in Fort Worth and South lake, we can help you troubleshoot any issue you have with your system.