A lot of the time, we get hacked because we’ve made ourselves easy targets by weakening cyber security.
Even though hackers use sophisticated technologies to hack into systems, they are still just people. And like any person, they have intuition and can learn things about other people based on their habits. Just like hackers, we are also people that can make human mistakes which makes it easier for hackers to infiltrate our security systems.
For example, you can have the top of the line, most expensive anti-virus software on your computer. But if you accidentally information about yourself, the anti-virus software is not going to do much good.
Human Error From Weakening Cyber Security
Consequently, security experts believe that our computers and phones have one critical weakness that cannot be overcome with any software fix or patch. Moreover, the weakness is the user – you and me. We simply make too many errors and mistakes as we use our devices, and those mistakes open the gates to unwanted hackers.
However, these mistakes aren’t always so obvious. Sometimes the information hackers use to get to us is readily available and on display for the general public.
Social Engineering From Weakening Cyber Security
Social engineering is a new kind of hacking that involves collecting information about victims to manipulate them into providing even more information. Hackers exploit our natural inclination to trust other people by seeming reputable or legitimate. After all, they know so much information about you.
So we’ve made it easier for hackers to collect information about us because we put too much of our information on the public Internet.
How can we avoid and becoming victims of social engineering?
Do not accept friend requests or connection requests from people you don’t know.
A person that has sent you a request could be literally anyone. It could be a hacker looking to steal your information.
Hackers create Facebook and other social media accounts to gain access to users’ information. They use special programs to collect all kinds of information about users in their friends lists, information that can be used for social engineering hacks.
To make friends, they generate fake friend requests to send to unsuspecting users. Say you receive a friend request. You don’t know the person, but you don’t really think about it and just click “Accept”. You aren’t even the target of this hacker. He’s just using you to get to a bigger fish in your friend list – a person who works for a company he wants to hack.
Keep your shopping carts private on sites like Amazon and eBay
If a hacker sees your shopping cart or wish list on Amazon, they will know all sorts of things about your shopping preferences.
They use this information to get you to open emails by targeting you with offers on products that they know you like.
Protect Your Information From Weakening Cyber Security
When a hacker knows a lot of information about you, it makes them seem credible. So, you will be more likely to trust them.
Remember how easy it is to become infected with a virus. All you have to do is open an email. If someone sends you an email with an enticing offer on a product you like, you might open the email, right?
If this happened on your work computer connected to your work network, it could travel all the way to the corporate network. This happens far too frequently. And all it takes is for one employee to open an email.
Be very careful about the information you share publicly on the Internet. And be very careful about who has access to that information. Your information can be used for malicious purposes – remember, not everyone on the Internet is your friend.