Social engineering

10 Sep 2018

The use of deception to manipulate people into divulging personal information or performing certain actions.

Unlike hacking, where technology is used to get unauthorised access into networks, social engineering involves threats, social pressure, or other types of deception to make a person do something. It can be used to infringe on people’s privacy, steal their identities, or gain information, like intimate images.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Never give confidential information to anyone, even your friends and family
  • Review your account activity regularly to check where you have been logged in and what you have been doing online
  • Treat any offers, messages, or emails from unknown parties with scepticism• Use two-factor authentication to secure your online accounts, this is an extra step on top of your password to make it harder for others to access your account
  • Set a strong password, which are more than 8 characters long, and include numbers, symbols, and both lowercase and uppercase letters. Here is how you can create a strong password:
    • Think of a sentence with at least 8 words (Jack and Jill went up the hill)
    • Take the first letter of each word (jajwuth)
    • Change some letters to uppercase (JajwUth)
    • Change some letters to symbols (J&jwUth)
    • Add some numbers (J&jwUth2)

My social media is compromised. What can I do?

Report the issue directly to the social media site itself. Most sites have Help and Contact Us sections where you can reach out to them, and they usually take care of such issues within 48 hours. You can also use a friend’s account to post publicly on yours, making it clear that the account is not under your control.