Top of the morning to you! You OK? I just need us to talk about the advantages of SKEPTICISM in this digital age real quick, because I’m tired.
Between cyber criminals constantly taking advantage of the current disheveled state of the world + the economic hardship everywhere + good old fashioned human gullibility, I’m honestly tired of all these stunts you people are pulling on social media. The worst displays of this madness are on Twitter. Actual well-functioning adults drop bank account details, work place details, house addresses, passport photographs, snap shots of their signatures and ALL kinds of personal information on random timelines. And all this is usually in response to some challenge, or trend, or for ‘giveaway’ contests. Brethren, why? Who swear for us?
There is, unfortunately, a great deal of it on Instagram too. Like I said earlier, TIRING… Can you take a second and imagine how a cyber criminal can build a fairly comprehensive profile of a victim with that kind of information? See my point yet? It’s basically like walking around with a target painted on your back!
You see, Social Engineering is real. And it is honestly how most cyber attacks are so successful these days. Social Engineering is the art/act of tricking people into revealing very sensitive or confidential information. I mean, it is bad enough that half of the data about our lives can now be obtained with a simple Google search; but that doesn’t mean we should hand over whatever is left to criminals though. Small wisdom. That being said, PLEASE STOP DROPPING CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES. PLEASE.
Still on the matter, imagine someone successfully impersonating your boss or colleague to wriggle out some really confidential company data from you because you constantly keep sharing sensitive context clues about your job online; information that an attacker couldn’t have known otherwise! Now imagine that the attacker uses this information to carry out a successful cyber attack on the company. Imagine losing your job because the attack caused the company to go out of business. Imagine how you would feel. Then imagine you had been skeptical about putting out such information in the first place, and had wisely chosen not to.
Another angle. You know how folks keep getting scammed out of their hard-earned money after following instructions from a so-called bank email or SMS? That is sometimes possible because the attacker had somehow gotten their hands on SOME of the victim’s financial details which made it easy to manipulate them (the victim) into revealing the rest of the information. And the whole time, the victims are usually sitting someplace, chilling in oblivion.
I could go on all day with the instances, but I think the point has been made.
Our biggest failing as humans is our gullibility; it is this weakness that cyber criminals so mercilessly exploit. The good news is we can manage it pretty well if we want to. We just need to remember to always PAUSE, HAVE A RETHINK, MIND WHAT WE POST, and BE GENERALLY SKEPTICAL (in a healthy dose of course) OF SOCIAL MEDIA BANDWAGONS.
Grace to you.