Social Engineering: Close to Home

At Beryllium, we put a strong focus on training and testing users. Also known as…”the people side” of security.

You’ve likely read or heard the term “social engineering” in cyber security headlines over the years. If you aren’t familiar with what it means, social engineering is a tactic used when a person(s) attempts to manipulate others into doing what they want, usually disclosing sensitive information.

This is par for the course in the world of cyber security and information security, but the influence doesn’t stop there.

In a recent article from Fox 13 in St. Petersburg, FL, a group of individuals social engineered (influenced) young gamers via an online chat application, into meeting in person.  In this case, luckily, the potential human trafficking (read: potential slavery) victim was rescued and returned to his family, relatively safe and sound.

But how could the situation have been avoided?

Mitigating social engineering attacks is 90% awareness.  In the world of business, we want to protect the interests of the organization, but when we are talking about our loved ones, the stakes jump exponentially higher.

At Beryllium, we put a strong focus on training and testing users. Also known as…”the people side” of security.

When it comes to social engineering, “training” your family is great, but not very useful if they aren’t aware of the threats first. How can you stop a threat, if you don’t know what it looks like?

You don’t have to look far for ways to stay aware. Below are some adaptations and reminders, which have been around for a long time, that will help keep your family safe in today’s cyber security space.

Cyber Security Privacy

Don’t Talk to Strangers…Don’t Meet in Strange Places

When we are talking about online relationships, we really don’t know another person unless we’ve already met them in person.

That said, deep relationships can develop online and people find out over time, that meeting online exclusively, often leaves that longing need for a physical presence.

Best Practice: Whether just playing games online, or perhaps meeting that special someone, stay smart and never meet anywhere other than a public place, for less than the first 5 meetings. Also, make sure a handful of other people know where and when you’ll be meeting this new person. Better safe than sorry has never been more true!

Loose Lips Sink Ships = Keep Your Business, Your Business

Oftentimes, social engineers may not necessarily reach out and “touch” you immediately.  They may just be interested in collecting enough data to simulate who you are and use your information for credit or other scams.

Perhaps the bad-guys want to use the times that you are online, to help determine times you normally would not be, and stop-by your residence to help themselves to your most valuable possessions.

Sure, that doesn’t sound like much…until it happens to you. And yes, it does happen. More often than it should.

Best Practice:  Everyone in a household should be looking at what sort of information is being shared to their online contacts & networks. Information such as your address, when people are normally home, if there are minors in the house, etc., are all tid-bits of information that a bad guy will use to exploit your family.

Any of the following should never be shared online via gaming, private chat, social media, or any other forum unless you originally initiated the data sharing yourself:

  • birth dates
  • social security numbers
  • address
  • age
  • school schedules
  • vacation dates
  • similar data

You see, at Beryllium InfoSec Collaborative, we are more than just an information security and cyber security firm. We put a large focus on what you, the people, need to know and be aware of in order to be safer and more protected online.

Whether at home or at work, what you share online can be used against you. Be aware, smart and cautious. After all, you are the first line of defense to your information!

To learn more about how Beryllium can help strengthen your security defenses, visit our contact us page to connect!

Derek White
Director of Business Development
Derek’s success comes from his customer first mentality, utilizing collaboration between security and technology, to create positive outcomes & compliant solutions.

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