Social Engineering is a term used to describe a collection of techniques used to manipulate people into divulging confidential information. Social Engineers target humans – and often portray themselves as people in need of your help or people of authority in order to gain access to information they are not authorized to receive.
Social Engineering can occur via computers, phone calls, text messages, and even in-person. Protecting yourself against Social Engineering attacks is easier if you know the signs to watch for.
Types of Social Engineering Attacks:
- Spoofed Websites
- Social Media Fraud
- Phishing/Spear Phishing
- Smishing (fraud perpetrated through text messages)
- Telephone Fraud
Remember, Social Engineers are clever and confident and seldom make mistakes. They will appear to know just enough facts to SEEM legitimate, but are actually attempting to gain information for illicit purposes. To help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of Social Engineers:
- Always know with whom you are sharing your personal information;
- Discard your personal physical information securely;
- Ask questions and verify the information before you release any personal or financial information;
- Maintain appropriate security on your computers and mobile devices (anti-virus, anti-spyware, passwords, and personal firewalls);
- Beware of suspicious calls, e-mails, and general solicitations asking for money; do not wire money in response to a solicitation.