If you take a quick look around in 2019, social engineering floods our lives in ways we may not even recognize.
The simple definition of social engineering is: “The psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, especially in the digital realm.”
Social engineering can be used by online criminals looking to trick you into providing sensitive details of your life. It can also be used by large media corporations that use your confidential information for profit.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can avoid the pitfalls of social engineering before it’s too late.
The Social Media Giants
Think about all the personal information and opinions you share on your social media accounts. Where do you think all that information is stored?
That’s right, in the company’s servers.
The beauty of social media is that you can use it to connect to friends and family free of charge. The downfall is that many of these companies use this personal you divulge to make money.
In the worst scenarios, hackers have broken into the servers of companies such as Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 was responsible for millions of Facebook’s users getting their sensitive data breached by an unwanted third party.
The best way to avoid social engineering is to avoid using social media. That may sound like a daunting task, but the big social media companies are some of the worst perpetrators.
Be Wary of Google
Most of us use Google at the beginning of our internet search experience. In fact, a whopping 75% of all searches are with Google. So what’s wrong with that?
While Google is free to use, they are tracking your internet activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a sense, it isn’t free because it comes at a cost.
Have you ever wondered why you search for something on Google, then start seeing ads for it on Facebook or Instagram? That’s because the data you put into a Google search is being used for social engineering.
It’s not hard to avoid this. Try using a search engine like DuckDuckGo, which doesn’t track your searches and gives more accurate results based on the keywords you use.
Avoid Social Engineering When You Can
It isn’t always easy to avoid the trap of social engineering. At the least, it’s wise to be aware of potential manipulation tactics. Today’s digital world is set up, on purpose, for social engineering. But these few simple steps can help keep you quite a bit safer.