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We always feel that in order to hack any computer, it is necessary that the hacker contact the computer some way. But this is not true. We do not run like computers. They do the work they are instructed to do. But we humans take many decisions not just by logic but also by emotions. We also do some work because we trust the instructor or solicitor. Hackers know this and take advantage of it.
Fraudsters have been using these same techniques for years to fool people. When personal information is fraudulently extracted from someone, it is called social engineering.
Is social engineering a crime in itself?
Social engineering is a bouquet of techniques using which your information can be extracted. These include:
- A phishing attack attempts to get users to click on a link, get a file downloaded, or give out personal information thoughtlessly.
- Phone spoofing, or “vishing,” is where a user is called by a scammer to try to obtain personal information or reset a password.
- Smartphone users’ data or bank account information can be stolen using SMS spoofing.
All these techniques present a lie that convinces someone to inadvertently do something against their best interests.
Who is at risk for social engineering?
- If you have a secure system, you are a potential target.
- If you work in public, your name is known, and your contact information is easily found, then you are a potential target.
- If you are rich, you are a potential target.
- If you have any type of personal information locked behind a password on the Internet, then you are a potential target.
That means, anyone can become a victim.
3 easy ways to avoid social engineering:
- Be aware of what information you are providing and where.
- From time to time, keep updating yourself about new security techniques.
- Establish good policies – what you or those around you should do if you are cheated.
For more such information, join our Certificate in Cybercrime and Cyberlaw.