Look Out for These Signs of Social Engineering in Your Emails and How You Can Combat Them Safely
- March 3, 2021
Sometimes, when we are browsing through our inboxes for a specific email or just to delete spam to make some space for more important work-related messages, we see an email that we don’t quite understand the reasoning behind. It might be from a company you have subscribed to saying that your account has been compromised or that a bill is overdue. Not the kind of email you would often get from a certain company or from the organization in question.
The kind of email that, when you open it, tells you to click on a link to take you to a website to fix it. This is the perfect example of a hacker trying to get into your device using malicious software, or even worse, ransomware.
These kinds of emails can happen anywhere and to anyone. On your work computer, on your regular email, or even your ‘other’ email addresses that you use to sign up to websites that you don’t use all too often.
The senders of these emails have often brought your email or harvested your email from websites and businesses that have been hacked that you might not have been in touch with for years. Some of the businesses might not even be aware of a data breach happening. Your data may have even been sold off by a malicious employee or been stolen through other means.
You can do many things to combat these cybercriminals, but the main thing you can do is be aware of their tactics, so you can defend yourself in the right way. This can be anything from simply knowing what they do to investing in expert advice and support to help you through, especially if you are working remotely.
So, What Tactics do Cybercriminals Use to Get Data?
The first thing to know is that a cyber-attack can happen to anyone at any time. It happens to businesses, individuals, schools, and colleges; even hospitals and nursing homes are at severe risk of cybercrime. Anywhere where there is the potential to extort information or money from someone.
Common tactics that cybercriminals use are generally ones that rely on some kind of interaction from another human to establish trust. This is often referred to as Social Engineering.
The scenario that we just covered was a method of Social Engineering called ‘Phishing’. Phishing is the use of a facade, such as a reputable company or person, to extort information or money out of the victim, in reference to the term phishing, like bait on a hook to catch a victim, or a fish, who might happen across it.
This is done by using an encrypted link to a website that contains malware or malicious software. This infects your computer and gives the hacker the ability to access your files and data.
Then there is a more sophisticated, more targeted version of phishing, called Spear phishing. Spear phishing is when a hacker picks out a chosen person, organization, or institute to extort information from.
These attacks will often let malware into your computer software. Malware is the term that includes Spyware, Trojans, Worms, and Viruses. These attacks may also lead to more advanced forms of malware such as ransomware. Ransomware is the method of using software to keep files and data hostage by encrypting it in turn for ransom, such as money or information.
The only way to overcome this problem is to have a backup for your computer files or to get the encryption key from the cybercriminal, which, even after you’ve given them what they want, might not happen. This is how to remove spyware and other forms of malware.
So How Can I Combat These Threats Safely?
As mentioned previously, you need to be aware of what hackers can do and invest in expert advice, such as Kortek Solutions to help solve your problems, protect your computers and increase your recovery time after a data breach.
However, finding potentially dangerous links in your inbox might be difficult, as some can be very convincing. One method to use is when you are signing up to an account that does not require a legal name, place the name of the company in the first name’ box.
Then, if you receive an email, instead of using your name, they will probably use the name registered. Then you will know if the company sold your data or there has been some kind of breach. Another thing you can do is unsubscribe from emails from services that you no longer use.
That means that if you get an email from this company, you know something is wrong. You need to learn to be vigilant against all kinds of attacks and invest in the best protection possible.