What is Social Engineering and How to Avoid it?

The internet is a space filled with people who have good intentions and criminals who manipulate people into submitting to their request. We cannot run away from the negative impact or disadvantages of the web because it is an essential part of our life.

The internet almost runs everything, and it even empowers businesses. Therefore, cutting the connection with it can affect your business, or you might lose an opportunity.

The only way to stay safe online is to know what software to use or what to do to protect yourself from these attacks. One of the most common cyber attacks or scams to avoid is Social Engineering.

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is a method used by hackers or scammers to manipulate people psychologically. This method can happen in both the physical or the online world.

Hackers are able to gain access to important information due to people’s errors. These errors don’t include software programs that are not updated.

Different Types of Social Engineering Attacks

1. Phishing

This method of accumulating sensitive data of users is one of the common methods of hackers. They randomly send emails or texts to their potential victims. These messages appear to look like a legitimate email that the victim trust, like their bank or company.

The email requests the victim to click on the link and log in to the site to change their password. The website looks as legitimate as the email. That’s why people tend to fall in to this trap. Once the victim logs in to the account, criminals can now use the victim’s login info.

2. Vishing

Vishing is a bit similar to phishing. The only difference is that the scammers will imitate a victim’s co-worker and calls them. They will gather important information from the victim and use this to get information about a company.

Sometimes criminals manipulate the victim in the long term. Here the scammer will tend to build a relationship with the victim and lure them for months to gather more information or details that they can use.

3. Baiting

Baiting often happens first in the physical world before involving the online world. A hacker will intentionally leave a USB device on places where they know people will get notice of it. They will even add a label to make the device appear to be confidential.

When the victim plugs the device to their computer, it will then proceed to inject malware into it. Other baiting techniques that don’t involve the physical world are malicious ads enticing people to click on it. These ads, when clicked, will result in the downloading of infected malware.

4. Fake Antivirus Program

There will be instances when notification will appear and inform the victim of malware attack. The victim might panic and install a software program suggested by the hacker. This software contains malware that could destroy the user’s computer or steal their login credentials.

5. Hacking of Email

There are about 3.9 billion email users in the world. We all manage our accounts, whether it be social media, bank account, or any accounts, with our email. Therefore, hackers always try to find ways to gain access to it.

Hackers try to get into an email and then easily spread messages that will attract victims to click on the link because the message came from one of the victim’s contacts or friends.

avoid social engineering attacks

These samples or types of social engineering can now give you an idea about what you should avoid when something happens. Or, if you encounter any one of which. Now, here are simple ways you can protect yourself from scammers.

How to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks?

1. Install a Licensed Antivirus Software

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that any attachment or email sent to you is safe. Installing legitimate antivirus software will do the job. Antivirus and anti-malware software come with a price, but it’s worth it because it keeps your devices and even your internet browser safe.

These software programs will alert users if a file is malicious before they could open it. It also blocks malicious content to enter the user’s computer.

2. Don’t Immediately Open Emails

If you received an email asking you to log in and changed your password, don’t immediately do it, despite that it looks legitimate. Always confirm the source of the email. If you received an email that looks like a message from your bank, immediately contact them to confirm the email.

If you received an email from your friend, also be sure to confirm if they have sent such email.

3. Use Multifactor Authentication

Using multifactor authentication will allow you to strengthen or double the security of your account. It will protect your account in times when someone attempts to use your password. Take advantage of this security by applying it to various of your online accounts.

4. Do not Immediately Fall in to the Offer

Be aware when ads pop up, suggesting there is a virus on your computer. Don’t click or install any software programs unless you are certain that it is from an authorized company. You can check their company online if they are reliable or not.

5. Don’t Share Important Information

Since some scammers are con artists, they are excellent manipulators. They can trick people on to get what they want. Therefore, if someone asks you data or information that is confidential, this only means that they are up to no good.

Always be wary when it comes to online transactions or messages you received. These scammers will always find a way to get out the information they need. They will do everything, even manipulating people and using their weaknesses to gain access to accounts.

You can avoid becoming a victim of these attacks when you are always cautious and read