The first line of defense is to stay alert. In social engineering attacks, the attacker might lure you into a conversation that becomes more of an interrogation. However, the best way to protect yourself from social engineering is to know who you can trust and be trustworthy yourself. You need to identify anyone who might gain access to your account or may influence it and ensure they have a good reason for doing so. 

Continuing reading will help you know what is a common method used in social engineering and how you can protect yourself from cyber attacks in the future!

What Is a Social Engineering Attasociack?

In social engineering attacks, an attacker tries to gain access to data or services by forging relationships with people whose trust they can exploit.

Social engineering attacks are a form of hacking in which an attacker tries to get access or information by exploiting trust. It is a very effective attack because it leverages your desire to help people, curiosity, and naivete. A social engineer can make you an unwitting accomplice by using high-level manipulation to get whatever the attacker wants. 

The use of deception and trickery to gain an advantage extends far before the widespread availability of personal computers and the world wide web. But we can look further back in history to see some of the most egregious social engineering attack cases.

In the most recent incident, which occurred in February 2020, a phishing attempt using a bogus renovation invoice successfully conned Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s “Shark Tank” out of almost $400,000.

If you are a victim of social engineering attacks, it is essential to know how to protect yourself from being victimized. Learn the warning signs of a potential threat and how to protect yourself.

Related read: What is Social Engineering?

What Is a Common Method Used in Social Engineering?

A common method used by social engineers in social engineering attacks is to impersonate IT support. This can be done by calling a company and asking to speak with the IT department or sending an email to the company saying they are calling from the IT department.

Once the caller or mailer has gained access, they may pretend to be from a different department or request information that the company would not normally release. The social engineer will also often collect as much information about their target as possible before making contact.

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Social Engineering Attacks

Here we have gathered some helpful tips or ideas which help to protect yourself from being socially attacked or prevent social engineering attacks:

Unknown Senders (Emails vs. Text Messages)

Pay close attention to the sender’s email address and the content of the message. Knowing that you don’t need to click on any suspicious document links is essential. 

Stop Sharing Personal Information

Think before you share personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. No legitimate company or individual should ever ask for this type of sensitive information. Always use strong passwords and change them regularly. Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts and save yourself from being a victim of social engineering attacks.

Layers Of Security

Use two-factor authentication whenever possible. It can further add an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a code sent to their mobile phone and their username and password. Always set up authentication codes with your email and phone number so that if someone were to gain access to either system, they wouldn’t be able to use your account directly.

Anti-virus Software

Install anti-malware and antivirus software on all of your devices. Keep these programs up to date so they can protect you from the latest threats. However, when you have an antivirus installed on your devices, it can provide an excellent shield from social engineering attacks.

Always Be Mindful Of Any Risks

You should always consider risks. Ensure that any request for information is accurate by double- and triple-checking. Keep an eye out for cybersecurity news when you are affected by a recent breach. 

What Are The Social Engineering Examples?

Victimizing people through social engineering attacks is a great way to perpetrate fraud. It can take place in several ways.  Here are some social engineering examples:

Gain Access

Hackers can gain access to your bank account by applying for credit in the name of another person. This fraud often involves a phone call or email sent to friends and family, who are then asked to make a wire transfer payment to quickly reimburse the hacker for their toll on the victim’s life. 

Steal Personal Information

Another common way people are tricked into handing over their personal information is by believing they have won a prize or contest they never entered but did sign up for. And when they receive such calls to make sure that they will get the prize once they give their details, that’s where the victims come up to the attacker’s trap. 

Phishing

In this attack, attackers send emails that look like they’re from legitimate companies or organizations but contain malicious links or attachments. Furthermore, this is one of the most common social engineering attacks worldwide. 

Pretexting

Another massive social engineering attack involves creating a false identity or scenario to gain access to personal information. One of the most prominent social engineering examples is where attackers gain access to manipulate people through texting. 

Shoulder Surfing

It is an attack where the attacker looks over someone’s shoulder to gain access to confidential information. Sometimes the attacker is nothing but your close friends or loved ones who will be blackmailing you once they get the information they always wanted to have. So, it is essential to keep an eye on such people and never provide every personal detail. 

Tailgating

Tailgating is when an attacker follows someone authorized to enter a building or secure area without actually being authorized. It is not as common as other social engineering attacks, but still, it is hazardous and can leave damaging remarks. 

Conclusion

To protect yourself from social engineering attacks, you must learn to use precautions against them. As we already provided you with some standard methods of social engineering attacks, which have been used for several ages in the world, make sure to start implementing the precautions now. Social engineering attacks can damage a person’s plus, professional life within seconds. Always protect your devices, passwords, and other log-ins with two set-up authentication verification codes for an outer layer of protection. 

Before you do anything else, talk with a trusted IT professional or security expert like PowerDMARC. They can help you understand the risks of social engineering attacks and how to minimize them.