Instead of a Cyberman upgrading or deleting you, Social Engineering uses psychology to trick people into revealing information, instead of the more traditional method of exploiting a technical weakness.
With the increase in computer security, those tricky hackers have turned to exploiting people to gain access to accounts, steal identities, and take data. Thanks to social media that’s become increasingly easy. If your target is findable on social media, and their profile isn’t secure, there’s a high chance hackers will be able to figure out information such as the names of family and friends, addresses, and pet names.
Then BAM, armed with those facts hackers have the answers to your security questions. This means they can reset passwords (even complex ones) and gain access to your accounts.
A survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology found that 1 in 4 Australians have been a victim of identity crime. That costs Australia $36 billion annually. To help you avoid being 1 of those 4 and protect you from being socially engineered, we will be focusing on how you can secure your online identity.
3 Key Tips
- Lock down your social media accounts. Visit the settings and ensure only your friends and family have access and can view your profile.
If you’re a business or public figure and wish to keep your profiles available for your clients/fans, then make sure you’re intentional about what information you share. Never share anything that could compromise you. If in doubt, don’t share it!
- Verify, verify, verify. If you receive a call or an email asking for your details make sure you verify that the person contacting you is legitimate.
Hackers can call or email pretending to be the government or a charity and ask for you to help them to fill in a survey.
Answering questions like your date of birth, address, etc might not seem out of the ordinary but it could be the last piece of a puzzle the hacker needs to access your accounts.
- Enable two factor authentications.
This means to login, you use your password and another way to identify yourself. Sometimes this is a fingerprint, sending a code to a nominated email, or a code to a nominated phone number.
If you’re not keen on finding the settings for all the websites and accounts to enable this, then check out the range of password managers out there that have 2 factor authentication features.
So to minimise your risk of being socially engineered, remember to lock down your social media, verify before giving out information, and enable 2 factor authentication.