Social engineering: what is it and how to avoid this scam?

When we think of attacks and data breaches, our minds turn directly to those movie scenes, where hackers frantically type on screens full of code. However, in real life, the risk can often come from more nuanced strategies, such as social engineering. Rather than relying on technical skills, this method of manipulation plays a role […]

When we think of attacks and data breaches, our minds turn directly to those movie scenes, where hackers frantically type on screens full of code.

However, in real life, the risk can often come from more nuanced strategies, such as social engineering.

Rather than relying on technical skills, this method of manipulation plays a role in human psychology.

That’s why understanding these attacks is the first step to protecting yourself.

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is the term used for a variety of scams involving the theft of personal information carried out through human interactions.

In other words, it relies on psychological manipulation to deceive people into compromising their security and providing confidential data.

Criminals manipulate their feelings, such as curiosity or fear, to carry out schemes and entice victims. They can appear as authorities or even potential friends, earning your trust and gaining access to sensitive information such as CPF, passwords, or bank account numbers.

How does social engineering work?

1. Search and selection

Social engineering takes place in several stages, starting with the search and selection of victims.

Criminals often use social media and other public information sources to collect personal data that can help personalize their attacks.

Once the potential victim is selected, the fraudster formulates a customized approach to exploit their vulnerabilities.

2. Contact

The next stage is the establishment of contact . This can be done through email, phone calls, text messages, or even face-to-face meetings.

The goal is to establish a connection and gain the trust of the victim . To do so, criminals can present themselves as representatives of legitimate institutions, such as banks or government agencies.

3. Exploration

After gaining trust, the fraudster moves to the stage of exploitation, where he requests confidential information or performs actions that compromise the security of the victim.

This may include revealing passwords, installing malware, or providing access to secure systems.

4. Implementation

Finally, once the information or access is required, criminals move into the execution phase, where they can steal money, commit identity fraud, or launch broader attacks using the resources accessed.

In many cases, victims don’t realize they’ve been defrauded until it’s too late.

How to protect yourself from social engineering attacks?

Imagine that social engineering is like a stranger trying to convince you to give him the keys to your house.

They may seem friendly or offer something tempting in return, but deep down, their goal is to come and take what is yours.

Now, if you know who they are and what they want, you will not only keep the door locked, but you will also protect your home with more effective security systems.

In addition, the following tips can help improve your vigilance against social engineering attacks.

Source verification: Before sharing your information, pause and confirm the identity of the applicant. If the request comes from a company or service, try to contact them directly through official channels.

Think before clicking: links and attachments in emails or messages can be a trap. If you press a message urgently, it’s a sign of doubt. Hover over the link to verify the URL, avoiding reckless clicks.

Enhance your passwords: Create strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts, and avoid repeated use. A password manager can be a valuable ally, ensuring that your passwords are secure and only accessible to you.

Use two-factor authentication: This additional security measure may mean the difference between protection and vulnerability in your online accounts. Whenever possible, enable this feature.

Keep your software up to date: Updates are critical because they often include fixes for security flaws that can be exploited by bad actors. Keep your system and apps always up to date.

Be skeptical: Health skepticism can protect you from falling victim to deceptive offers or requests for personal data. If something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not!

What is the concept of social engineering?

Social engineering is a psychological manipulation technique to obtain confidential information. In other words, it mainly involves tricking people into revealing confidential data.

What is the point of social engineering?

The goal of social engineering is to access sensitive information or constrained systems by exploiting human vulnerabilities, not technology.

Is social engineering a crime?

Social engineering can be considered a crime if it is used for fraud, identity theft, or unauthorized access to systems protected by law.

What are social engineering attacks?

Social engineering attacks are strategies that manipulate individuals to perform specific actions or disclose confidential information, such as passwords or bank details. Some examples are phishing, phishing, and scheduled scams.

How can social engineering pose a security threat?

Social engineering threatens security by exploiting people’s trust and habits, causing them to make induced mistakes, such as clicking on malicious links or sharing sensitive data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *