5 tips to help you avoid being a social engineering victim
the source. A found USB stick isnít necessarily
a good find. It could be loaded with malware, just waiting to
infect a computer. And a text or email from your bank isnít
necessarily from your bank. Spoofing a trusted source is
relatively easy. Donít click on links or open attachments from
suspicious sources ó and in this day and age, you may want to
consider all sources suspicious. No matter how legitimate that
email appears, itís safer to type a URL into your browser
instead of clicking on a link.
Slow down. Social
engineers often count on their targets to move quickly, without
considering the possibility that a scammer may be behind the
email, phone call, or face-to-face request on which theyíre
acting. If you stop to think about the ask and whether it makes
sense or seems a bit fishy, you may be more likely to act in
your own best interest ó not the scammerís.
sounds too odd to be true Ö. Seriously, how
likely is it that a Nigerian prince would reach out to you for
your help? Or, on the flip side, that a relative is texting you
to post bail while traveling? Investigate any requests for
money, personal information, or any item of value before handing
it over. Thereís a pretty good chance itís a scam ó and even if
itís not, better to be safe than sorry.
antivirus software or a security suite ó and
keep that software up to date. Also, make sure your computer and
other devices are running the latest versions of their operating
software. If possible, set the operating systems to update
automatically. Having the latest versions of these software
applications on your devices will help ensure theyíre prepared
for the most recent security threats.
software can help you. Most email programs can
help filter out junk mail, including scams. If you think yours
isnít doing enough, do a quick online search to find out how to
change its settings. The goal is to set your spam filters to
high to weed out as much junk mail as possible.
Social engineering is everywhere, online and offline. Your best
defense against these kinds of attacks is to educate yourself so
that youíre aware of the risks ó and to stay alert.