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<a href="/news/how-to-prevent-online-social-engineering-attacks" title="How to Prevent Online Social Engineering Attacks">How to Prevent Online Social Engineering Attacks</a>
Posted on: 04 Sep 2014 

Posted By: IT Wiser

How to Prevent Online Social Engineering Attacks


Social engineering – the act of interacting and manipulating people to obtain sensitive information or perform a harmful act – is perhaps the biggest threat facing online businesses right now. Scams that use social engineering techniques are widespread on the Web and incredibly successful. The reason being is that they target the weakest link in security system’s chain – humans. While Cloud Web Security is an essential tool in helping to keep hackers at bay, user vigilance in other areas is as equally important.

What Does a Social Engineering Attack Looks Like?

Scam artists use social engineering in a number of different ways, typically using small pieces of information to gain trust, before progressing on toward their end goal –robbing you.

The most common use of social engineering is phishing attacks and malicious websites pretending to be something or someone they are not. The victim receives a seemingly genuine email from a bank or other financial institution asking them to follow a link to a seemingly genuine website to access their account, maybe to change details or update security information. Unfortunately, upon entering login details, the victim has unknowingly given criminals full access to their account and everything in it.

Another, more recent, example of internet users being taken for a ride is hackers posing as friends on Facebook and other social media sites as a way to get personal information from profiles and posts.

The scariest thing about these attacks is the fact that you do not even know you are being attacked until the damage is done.

Avoiding Attacks

In order to avoid a social engineering attack, you firstly need Cloud Web Security to help you suss out those rogue emails. It does this by utilising a comprehensive anti-phishing system, as well as utilising a powerful anti-malware engine designed to flag up suspicious content.

With that in place, the next thing you need is to be aware. A little bit of paranoia will definitely work in your favour when it comes to staying safe.

  • * Never give out usernames, passwords, PIN numbers, ID numbers, credit card numbers, or any other form of sensitive data.
  • * Watch out for any attachments that you are asked to run in an email.
  • * Avoid requests to enter account information for verification from a link in an email.
  • * If you are unsure whether a bank email is genuine, call the purported company to find out more information.
  • * Never have a single point of failure. Do not depend on just one email account as a password recovery service. If that gets hit, the damage will be more widespread.
  • * Use two-factor authentication wherever possible.
  • * Have different login credentials for every service.
  • * Backup all sensitive data regularly using Cloud Online Backup. It could save your business!

The success of a social engineering attack is dependent on your interaction. By following these tips and installing Cloud Web Security, you will be able to effectively prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

The Register