Are Cybercriminals Using Social Engineering On You?

December 11, 2020

What Is Social Engineering?

In relation to cybersecurity, social engineering is a technique used by cybercriminals to manipulate and deceive individuals to gain sensitive and private information from them.

Scams based on social engineering are built around how people think and act. So, once a hacker understands what motivates a person’s actions, they can usually retrieve exactly what they’re looking for.

Some examples of information cybercriminals might be able to collect from you are:

- Financial data

- Personal information

- Passwords

- Location

What Should I Do To Reduce My Risk?

Nowadays, everyone is using social media as a way to share parts of our lives with each other. Unfortunately, this is how a lot of cybercriminals are able to collect information on you. Individuals oftentimes don't realize just how much information they're sharing online.

A common example we see are vacation pics posted to social media which gives away a few things:

  • Your present location
  • Your home is unoccupied
  • You probably aren't monitoring all of your systems

Another example that we see often are 'new home' photos where individuals will sometimes pose in front of their new home with their key.

What they might be giving away is:

  • Their home address (which is also a commonly used password or pin)
  • Their key (cybercriminals can use an image of a key to potentially create a real one)
  • Landmarks indicating their location

Be aware of what you share on social media as it might give away valuable information to hackers and lead to a breach in your data.

Make sure you avoid sharing birthdays, locations, license plates, ID cards, and other information about yourself or loved ones which may put yourself at risk for a cyberattack.

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