How to protect yourself from phishing emails and the risk of social engineering
Social engineering encompasses a broad spectrum of malicious activity, most commonly phishing. Phishing is the attempt to gain your sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. Criminals send bogus communications, normally emails, which appear to come from a legitimate organisation and direct the recipient to a fake website. This website may then ask you to divulge your personal details or open your computer up to the risk of a virus.
Criminals may target members of an organisation to gain professional log in details and sensitive business information. Giving them this information may allow them access to the business’ critical data and intellectual property. Once the bad guys trick you into giving up this information, there’s no limit to the damage they can do.
Social engineers exploit the weakness that is found in every organisation; human psychology. These hackers trick people into giving them access.
In a world where personal information becoming public is the standard, the threat is even greater. Social media and other online services give hackers access to vast amounts of information about you and therefore giving them the ability to sound like someone you already have contact with.
This is a threat to you both privately and professionally, especially if you are new to a team. Criminals often target junior staff with access to important information because they may not be aware of the critical value of the information they have or the external threats that exist.
The FDM training process gives our Consultants a high level of IT security training keeping them and the clients we place them with safe. All Trainees, regardless of training programme, are given Cyber Security training.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
- Make yourself aware of your organisation's IT and Cyber Security procedures.
- If you are unsure of the authenticity of an email, discuss it with your manager before giving out any information
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is – DON’T DO IT!
Updated 21 May, 2019