Did you know that some of the most successful hackers actually know very little about computer coding? In many cases, a hacker simply tricking someone into handing over their personal information works out even better for them. This is a tactic known as social engineering, and the only way to defend against it is to stay one step ahead of the hacker’s devious plans.

What makes social engineering tactics so dangerous is that there are so many different ways that a hacker can fool their victims. These hackers know how to appeal to the wide range of human emotions in order to get someone so riled up, panicked, or excited that they’ll go ahead and fork over their personal information without considering if the source of the message is legit or not. For business owners, the worst thing about social engineering is that these tactics can bypass your expensive software security solutions, due to the fact that the nature of the scam tricks an employee into manually bypassing it. Therefore, you and your staff should know what social engineering tricks hackers have up their sleeves.

4 Social Engineering Tactics You MUST Be Mindful Of
Generally speaking, most social engineering tactics fall under the category of phishing scams. These are specialized scams where someone’s personal information is targeted, which can often be easily gleaned from a basic Internet and social media search. Note: a reason like social engineering is why it’s best practice to be extra careful regarding the nature of the personal information you post to the web.

Be sure to commit these four social engineering tactics to memory:

  • Play on trusted relationships: There are people in your life who you’ve come to trust over the course of several positive interactions. If a hacker can pose as a person whom you trust, like a close friend or a family member, then they’ve got easy access to your personal information.
  • A request for information: Using tactics similar to the above example, if a hacker can convince you that they’re a bank, insurance company, or any other large institution which holds your account information, then they’ll try to trick the user by requesting a confirmation of your sensitive information, like passwords. Remember, reputable institutions never request this kind of information via email. Also, you should be on the lookout for phone scammers that will try the same approach over the phone.
  • Posing as one who has authority: Some people trust authority figures so much that they’ll do what they’re told without question. Overly trusting people like this can be susceptible to being conned by hackers posing as authority figures, like government agencies and even employers. One such trick that you may have seen in your own inbox is spam messages trying to get you to sign up for “jury duty.”
  • A fake IT department: This one hits a little too close to home for us. Companies that are large enough where your employees aren’t familiar with who runs their IT may fall for an email posing as someone representing their IT department. This is why it’s vital that your staff knows, without a doubt, who’s running your business’s IT, no matter what size of company you operate.

These attacks don’t just come in through email; scammers might attempt to introduce themselves over the phone before they can infiltrate your network.

Having your staff be familiarized with these common tactics will go a long way in keeping your data safe, but there’s more you can do. Like understanding that any unsolicited request for sensitive information, whether it be by email or phone, is an automatic red flag. It’s also prudent to teach your workers to cross reference the contact information provided in the message with what you’ve got on file.

At the end of the day, a software security solution like a spam filter from ExcalTech will still help in preventing spam messages from even hitting your inbox in the first place. To protect your company from every tactic in a hacker’s arsenal, call us today at (877) 638-5464.

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