Social Engineering Attacks: How to Identify and Defend Against Them

John Price
Chief Executive Officer
January 6, 2023
7 minutes

Attacks using social engineering are a sort of manipulation that seeks to take advantage of human psychology and fool individuals into disclosing sensitive information or doing acts that could be harmful to either the individual or the company they work for. These kinds of attacks can come in many forms, like phishing emails or phone scams, and they can easily get past even the most advanced technical defenses. In this article, we will discuss the various forms of social engineering assaults, how to recognize them, and the countermeasures you may do to avoid falling victim to one of these scams.


Phishing is one of the most popular types of social engineering that may be done. When an attacker sends a message or email that looks to be from a reputable source, such a bank or a well-known corporation, in an effort to fool the receiver into submitting personal information or clicking on a dangerous link, this is an example of a phishing assault. These emails often use rushed language or a sense of urgency to get the person reading them to act right away without first thinking about their options. To avoid phishing scams, it's important to be skeptical when you get unsolicited emails, check the URL of any links before clicking on them, and never respond to an unsolicited email by giving out personal information.


Vishing is another common form of social engineering that involves an attacker using a voice-activated interactive voice response system (VR) to try to deceive someone into giving sensitive information. This can come in the form of a text message or even a phone call from someone posing as a "representative" of a bank or another institution. Scare tactics, like saying there has been suspicious activity on your account, are often used in these attacks to get the victim to give up personal information or login information. For example, they may say that there has been strange activity on your account. It is crucial to never reveal personal information over the phone, to be wary of phone calls that you have not requested, and to always independently check the identity of the person who is phoning you so that you can protect yourself from vishing attacks.


An additional form of social engineering that is gaining more and more popularity is the use of pretexting. When an attacker constructs a fictitious persona or setting in order to deceive victims into divulging their personal information, this tactic is known as "social engineering." For the purpose of obtaining confidential information from a victim, an adversary can, for instance, put on the guise of an employee of a financial institution or a government body. It is important to be skeptical of unsolicited requests for personal information, to independently verify the identity of the person making the request, and to never provide personal information unless you are certain of the person's identity in order to protect yourself from pretexting attacks. Pretexting attacks can be prevented by being skeptical of unsolicited requests for personal information.


One type of social engineering attack is known as "baiting," and it involves the use of the promise of something of value in order to trick individuals into providing personal information or performing actions that could be harmful to themselves or their organization. Baiting is just one example of social engineering. An attacker might, for instance, dangle the prospect of a free gift card or the opportunity to win a reward in return for the recipient's personal information. If you want to protect yourself from attacks that use baiting, it's crucial to be wary of offers that come to you uninvited and to never give out personal information in return for the promise of something of value.


Scareware is another type of social engineering assault, and it occurs when an attacker uses fear to deceive someone into downloading malware or paying for software that they do not need. For instance, an adversary could cause a message to suddenly appear on a computer, stating that the device in question is afflicted with a virus and that the user would need to run a certain application in order to eliminate the infection. In order to protect yourself from scareware, you should never download software from a pop-up window that you have not requested, you should always keep your anti-virus software up to date, and you should never pay for software that is not necessary.

Attacks that are carried out through social engineering are becoming a great deal more complex, and it can be quite challenging to fight against them. Nevertheless, there are measures that you and your business can do to protect themselves from harm. You can greatly reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of identity theft by maintaining a healthy skepticism toward unsolicited emails, phone calls, and requests for personal information; independently verifying the identity of the person making the request; and refraining from providing personal information in exchange for the promise of something of value.

get started

Ready to get started?

Enquire here to speak to a member of the team
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Read similar posts.