India is in the top five when it comes to countries that are at the highest risk for cybercrime, and the Government of India’s think tank, NITI Aayog, reports that 43% of cybercrime incidents involve social attacks. Social attacks are also known as social engineering attacks. During the Coronavirus pandemic, many people are relying on web-based activities more than ever before, due to social distancing, so understanding how social attacks work is vital in staying protected against hackers. These tips will help Internet users to beef up cybersecurity, whether they’re people who use the web for enjoyment or managers who who are leading remote teams.
What are social attacks, anyway?
IT security experts define social attacks as a wide array of malicious actions that occur via human interactions. IT pros know that social attacks raise the risk of cybercrime. During social attacks/social engineering attacks, users are fooled into revealing sensitive data or making security errors. Usually, some form of manipulation is utilized in order to trick victims. For example, a cybercriminal might research a prospective victim and find as much information about that person as possible. Some hackers look for subpar security processes and other weaknesses in victims’ digital setups, which will facilitate successful attacks. Next, an attacker will attempt to earn the trust of a victim, with a mind to getting that person to allow access to important systems and/or information.
What to watch for
To put together a strong defense against social attacks, you need to know what to look out for. Phishing is one of the most common forms of social engineering attacks. With phishing, a perpetrator wants to get private information, entice a victim to click on a link that leads to a suspicious web page, and trick the victim into handing over information and/or clicking on a bad link as soon as possible. Sometimes, phishing perpetrators try to scare their victims into responding right away or use other forms of manipulation to accomplish their goals. A hacker may also promise a reward of some kind in order to access data or get a victim to visit a suspicious website. When a reward is used to manipulate, it’s called ‘baiting’.
How to protect yourself
One vital strategy is to avoid opening emails from sources that you don’t trust. If you get an email from someone that you do trust which seems a little unusual, contact that person by calling them or meeting them in person. Ask them if they sent the email before you open the message. Another tip is to avoid being tricked into accessing special offers or rewards from people that you don’t know. Make a habit of considering offers or rewards that seem too generous suspicious. You should also keep your desktop computer or laptop locked if you’re not at your desk, whether you’re working from home or at an office. Make sure your computer is equipped with a dependable anti-virus program. If you’re working remotely, bone up on your employer’s privacy policies. Make sure that you follow them to the letter.
Now that you know more about what social attacks are and how to avoid them, you’ll be ready to strengthen your cybersecurity. Following these tips will help you to stay safe online, and you will be able to minimize the risk of getting hacked.