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Social engineering: Hacking the person instead of the computer

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Meg Omecene, with contributions from securingthehuman.org  

Although it is extremely important to use secure passwords and strong security passwords, it is equally important to be wary of hackers who will contact you directly.

Be aware of social engineering.  Social engineering is when a hacker misleads you into giving out your secure information.

Red flags of social engineering include a sense of urgency, like you need to make a very quick decision, someone asking for information that you think they should have, or something that seems too good to be true, like winning a sweepstakes.

There are a few ways to try and prevent social engineering.

  1. Never share your password.

If someone asks you for your password, whether it is over the phone, email or a chat-room, never give it out. If someone asks for your password, it is a hacking scheme.


       2. Check your contacts.

If you receive a phone call or email that you suspect might be a phishing scheme, do not give out information. Hang up or delete the email and then Google the address. If it is not listed on the company web page, it is probably a scheme.

  1. Be mindful of what you share.

All information you post on social media, in product reviews or public forums can be compiled in order for a hacker to prove credibility.Take caution to not share information that can be used against you.

As always, keep in mind that hackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to manipulate you. Be skeptical of all web interactions that seem odd.


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