Here’s why this kind of “cyber” threat is so uniquely dangerous
October is Cyber Awareness Month, which means discussions can easily turn to technical topics: IT vulnerabilities, encryption technologies, wireless protocols and the like. But there’s at least one critical cybersecurity risk that has very little, if anything, to do with technology: social engineering.
What's social engineering? Social engineering refers to a criminal's ability to use purely human vulnerabilities to commit or further crimes. Here are some example scenarios:
Each of the above examples has social engineering in it because the person, himself or herself, is a vulnerability. Essentially, social engineering is a way of hacking people by tricking them. Protecting against this most-human of personal-data threats falls into 2 categories:
1. Be careful about what information you're putting out into the world. The less information thieves have to go by, the more difficult it may be for them to try a social engineering trick. Protective steps include things like:
2. Be careful about threats that may come your way. It's also critical to be aware of and prepared for social engineering attempts. Protective steps may include:
Bottom line: In this month of cybersecurity awareness, don’t lose sight of the simple security risks that are more human in nature..
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