There are many things that you have to worry about when you use your computer, black hat hackers probably being the number one thing. But the computer is not the only place that you have to worry about running into black hat hackers. This is especially true if you are a small to large business.
A big part of the hacking culture is social engineering.
Social engineering has less to do with how well the hacker can manipulate the computer and more about how well they can manipulate you.
In this article I will give you a good idea on what social engineering is and the things that you should look out for so you don’t become a victim of it.
What Is Social Engineering?
As I said earlier, people like to think of hackers as being people who will only attack you while you are on the computer but that is not always the case. The main purpose of a black hat hacker is to manipulate things and make them do what they normally wouldn’t do; this is the case whether it is a computer or a human. For example, they will call a business in the middle of the day and pretend as if they were from the phone company or another business that would have access to your office space. They then would try to get your secretary to give them vital information about your company by asking seemingly simple, innocent questions. Questions that may seem harmless to the average individual can give valuable information to a hacker that knows what he or she is doing.
These are the same methods that con men have used for generations.
If you own a business or conduct business on your own then you have to train your people to not fall for these traps. You have to be aware that even the seemingly most innocent information can be used to do harm against you.
Protecting Yourself Against Social Engineering Attacks
There are several things to look out for that will allow you to protect yourself from this type of attack. The first thing to look out for is to not give out any information over the phone. If a person is asking a lot of questions about the business, train your people to give you the phone call directly. You will most likely know if the information is sensitive or not. Also, call the person back at their number – if they are the business that they say they are from, then you will have no problem verifying that.
Another thing that you should train your people to do is to ask for identification anytime someone comes into your office. If they are from the business that they say they are from then identification or a call to their main office should be no problem at all. You should not put yourself or your business at risk by just trusting anyone who comes in. You may think that your business is small and that no-one will try to rob you but that is not the case.
People who engage in social engineering love to pick the low lying fruit. This includes small businesses just like yours.