8 Tips to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

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You are intrigued to do everything you can to protect your website. You purchase SSL certificate, choose the best hosting provider, and even fetch some time for site audits. 

That is excellent. But how prepared are you when it comes to yourself? 

Yes, you heard us right. 

Protecting YOU is equally important as protecting your website. 

Nowadays, hackers use Social Engineering Attacks to deceive users through phone calls, emails, fake surveys, and baits, asking them to reveal their bank details, usernames, passwords, etc. 

So, how do you repel these attacks?

Well, these eight tips will definitely help:

1. Purchase an SSL certificate to avoid data theft  

If you have received a suspicious survey, message, and email on your website, chances are hackers have their eye on your website. 

By purchasing an SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate, you can encrypt your website’s connection so that no one can see what is being shared between you and your customers. 

If the hackers cannot see what you are communicating, they cannot directly intercept in-transit communications or hack your website. 

Moreover, if you receive email links, simply hover your cursor over them and see if they start from HTTP or HTTPS. 

If their URL starts with HTTP://, then the link will take you to an unprotected website, whereas if it starts with HTTPS://, it will redirect you to a secure website connection. 

If budget is a concern, you can even buy a cost-effective, cheap SSL certificate for your website. Just make sure you buy it from a trusted CA or SSL reseller such as Comodo, RapidSSL, GeoTrust, etc.  

 

2. Check out their origin

On a certain day, the bank guys turn up on the phone asking for your personal details? Why will the bank want to know your details? Most probably, they already have them.  

These are smishing attacks, and similar to them are phishing attacks where your bank will turn up on your email asking your details.

Bank asking for bank details? Strange! Isn’t it?

Well, never fall for them. They are 100% fake. 

Moreover, check out the origin of the call or email. Look at their header, and search for more similar emails from the same address. Also, just hover your cursor over the link in that email and see where it is taking you to. 

3. Do they know your basic details?

If you have won a jackpot of $50,000 then, how come the company does not have your full name, address, and ID? 

How can one apply for a jackpot without even sharing their details? 

Similarly, how come your bank does not know your details? 

Upon receiving such messages and calls, start the Q&A session with them first. See if they know you inside out. 

Sharing your precious data without inquiry can put you at serious data risk.

4. Verify

These flakes generally have a sense of urgency, and they want you to share your data on phone calls and emails. 

If you hang them for a bit, you will see their patience running out. They know they can get caught, which is why they don’t want to hang on the call with you for long. 

If they insist, tell them that you will share your information through some other source, not there and then. 

Check with your bank or the company that they are claiming to be. Call them and see what they say. 

Never trust unverified sources with your sensitive information. 

5. Get their IDs

Ask them who are they to ask for your information? What is their credibility, and whom do they report to? 

If they sound fake, tell them that you need to check with the official company website and will get back to them later. 

To help maintain data security, don’t hand your information over to them unless their official government IDs say they are the person they claim to be.

Check with the company they claim to represent and alert the government authorities to prevent future fraud.  

6. Use a reliable spam filter

Spam filters help chuck out emails with suspicious links, blacklisted IDs, and IP addresses so that you don’t fall for them. 

But, if your email spam filter does not filter out emails categorically, it is time to change it. 

It might not sound like an important task, but, believe us, it is essential to marginalize data risk. 

If you constantly stay in touch with phishing emails, you might end up clicking some of them by accident which can cause problems to your device and data. 

So, be more particular about what emails you allow in your personal inbox. 

7. Break their element of surprise

Social engineers thrive on the element of surprise. It allows them to control the flow of conversation and does not allow the victim to think things through. 

But you must break that element of surprise. When they push you to pick up your 50,000 dollars from their company, stop for a moment, take your time and think it through. 

Why would a company offer your $50,000 out of the blue? They must have got better things to do than showering their money on random people like you, right?

8. Control your digital footprints

There is nothing harmful in sharing your life on social media, and we all do it but, keep it to your trusted friends only.

You don’t have to share it with the public.

Please keep track of what you are sharing, as social engineers would track your recent activity down to build their own credibility before calling you.

They might try to sound familiar and claim to know you.

So, start a social media audit today and see what you are sharing. Remove any sensitive information such as the name of your school, pet, or loved ones from “Public” to “Friends only.”

 

To Conclude 

Data security is not only confined to your website; rather, it depends upon your actions too.

Social engineers are always looking for loopholes that can be exploited, and your information can be stolen.

As a business owner and an individual, you must responsibly entertain phone calls, links, surveys, messages, and emails.

In 2021, websites are tightening up their securities by using WAFs and SSLs, which is why attacks by Social Engineers have increased manifold.

In our recommendation, whether you are a business or an individual, you must look to upgrade yourself to face these attacks.

Follow these eight tips given above to ensure the optimum safety of both your website and personal data.

  

Reference Links

  1. https://www.mdsny.com/5-ways-to-prevent-social-engineering-attacks/
  2. https://digitalguardian.com/blog/social-engineering-attacks-common-techniques-how-prevent-attack
  3. https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014
  4. https://www.ksolves.com/blog/cybersecurity/10-best-ways-to-prevent-social-engineering-attacks

 

 

About the author

David Huner

Hi, my name is David Huner, a Tech Lover. In my spare time I enjoy writing reviews and informative articles that I hope you find useful. Please enjoy as I have dedicated much time and effort into my work.

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