Although fraudsters and scam artists have been around long before social media, they’re reinventing ways to procure information from innocent people. From trickery to misrepresentation, it’s easy to fall prey to these online swindlers, who collect information about you to “socially and personally” target you.
Get smart on the top six social engineering cons:
- The misplaced flash drive. Wow! You’ve just come across a flash drive that’s been dropped in your office parking lot. Think twice about plugging it into the company computer. It could be harboring malware that could infiltrate your company’s digital infrastructure.
- Most times phishing scams are easily identified given scammers’ sloppy grammar or vocabulary. But phishing is becoming much more sophisticated as emails are built to persuade you to click on a link or submit personal information. Beware of emails soliciting personal information!
- It’s from a friend. Social media platforms have made it easier than ever for scammers to access your information and use it to compromise your friends. Beware of suspicious emails containing attachments that your friends wouldn’t normally send.
- Ring-a-ling. While scams may originate on social media, hackers have used old-school methods to procure additional information. After finding your phone number, they’ll get to know you just enough from your social media profile and then call you up to see how much more you will reveal – passwords, credit card information, additional personal details. The sky’s the limit. If a caller starts asking for personal information, do not share personal information, but rather ask for their phone number and offer to call them back. Then research their claims and their number.
- Guard your email account. Think about what you store on email – it’s no doubt a treasure trove of information. From financial information to credit card numbers, email accounts are pay dirt for hackers. Set strong passwords, don’t use public Wi-Fi and monitor for any suspicious activity.
- Tech support calling. If you receive any unsolicited calls indicating you need technical support, be wary! Scammers call their victims pretending to be from a reputable company, investigating a malware attack. They try to persuade users to grant them remote desktop access. Once in, the sky’s the limit!