Just an Alert: Social Engineering Poses a New Threat to Your Security!

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Cybersecurity protects computer systems, mobile devices, data, personal information, financial records, and networks that connect digital systems, devices and software programs from digital attacks. A cyber-attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to a system of digital devices and steal various information or damage the networks. This can be targeted to individuals or the entire organization. There are many threats in cybersecurity, and social engineering is one of them. Others include hacking, data breach, phishing, ransomware attacks, malware attacks and vulnerabilities in internet of things(IoT).

Due to the importance of information and communication technology, most fields use it to improve their performance, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Some industries prone to cyber-attacks are financial institutions, education institutions, businesses, government offices and communication companies.

Therefore, People who are in one way or another related to these sectors are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In terms of age, youths are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks since they are more exposed to digital systems.

Social engineering is a method used by cybercriminals to manipulate individuals into giving out confidential information, performing undesired actions, or making security mistakes. Scammers use psychological manipulation and deception to access sensitive information, systems, or wealth. Therefore, it is focused on harming people who work in the computer systems or potential companies and the citizens who are not aware of how it works.

Read related: The Art of Deception: This is How Hackers Snatch Your Users’ Credentials Through Phishing.

Many cases of deception have been reported and the response of the responsible organs is very low or non-existent at all, they no longer want to work on such issues rather than taking bribes from victims in the shadow of helping them and end up not giving any help. People send money to scammers under the shadows of assisting relatives who are sick, business partnerships and data breaches.

Here are some prevalent indicators of social engineering. Therefore, whenever you see any of these signs then be more cautious of your steps, these are the indicators of scammers in the digital platforms.

First, Urgency: They know they have to do their activities fast to go unnoticed, so they create a sense of urgency in the victim so the victim sends what they want quickly. This may involve making the victim panic and seeing that what they want to do is the only way through, so the victim sends the required data or money according to the sense of urgency they have created in her. This is a call to everyone that whatever urgency comes out of the blues is not an urgency but rather an emergency to be given time to think about.

Second, Re-direction: The scammer will require you to get to another platform. If you are using a certain number, they will tell you to chat on another number, if you are chatting on WhatsApp, they will ask you to go and chat on telegram. If you are chatting to Jane, they will tell you to chat with Aloyce, if you are talking to Aneth they will ask you to meet Thomas.

Those are some of some incidences of re-direction, so whenever you see forms of redirection, be more cautious because if you chat with Jane and Jane tells you to send money to Aloyce, they may have stolen Jane’s phone number. Still, they do not have her security pins, so they direct you to another number where they can withdraw that money.

Third, Impersonation: involves the use of Hidden Identities- Online scammers will not tell you who they really are but will instead use an identity of a person you know or trust. They will say something in the position of the person you know like your boss, friend or relative, so this means they will not accept you to meet them first, they will tell you to send money and then meet them later when you want to call they may refuse because that will make you know that the person you are chatting with is not the one you know.

It is assumed that most people are already educated and are secure against social engineering but still we need to be trained and updated daily on the trends and new tricks to stay on the safe side of cyber-attacks. People should be guided on how to act once they see uncertain or insecure things.

Including blocking the phone numbers once they lose phones, providing information to people not to send money to scammers, and reporting to nearby police stations.

Incident response and action on the responsible people’s attacks are still unclear in our country because it is possible to get lost devices like phones and computers due to MAC addresses, IMEI numbers, sim cards, and emails, among many ways to get the cybercriminals. Still, yet the testimonies of victims are not giving hopes for cybersecurity policies in our country, taking an example of phone theft victims, about 80% say they could not find their stolen phones, even though they did follow up in the responsible forces.

Some even had given bribes but yet they kept being told of new appointments now and then until they give up following, some had to pay people who got scammed just because the original criminal was not found so the former victim who lost the phone had to pay the latter for a mistake they did not commit. Concerning education, the victims had little to no instruction on what really happens and what do after the incident.

Get more technology & innovation insights from Dinales here.

An aspiring woman in technology, Front End Developer, Graphics and UI/UX Designer, ICT Mentor, Human Centered Design facilitator and Digital Ambassador aiming to make revolution in the technology sector in Tanzania for all people making technology available for all.

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1 month ago

Nice education…. I really appreciate your work

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