Simple Tips to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering is one of the most common ways hackers attack their victim and steal your identity. One way they this is to trick you into downloading malware so that they can then take over your computer. Thus, they can gain access to all of your private information such as financial records, email account, passwords, and the list of possible things they can steal is basically everything confidential that you have on the computer. There are things you can do on different mediums to ensure its safety against hackers.

Email

Phishing is a technique used for identity theft via the email. The emails that they send usually have links that give them the desired access to your computer. This is so incredibly common that a good rule of thumb is to just not click on an emailed link unless you know for a fact that someone you know well actually sent it to you. But even if the URL claims it is from such a person, it is not sufficient since hackers can hack your friends and send these emails to you on the pretext that it is from them. If you do not have actual confirmation from that person that they did indeed send the email, don’t open it. But that isn’t the only thing you shouldn’t do in the email world for security reasons. You also should avoid at all costs transferring private information over the internet.

Phone Calls

The safest thing to do is just to not take phone calls if it is a number you don’t recognize. If the number claims to be attached to a company that you do trust, contact the company directly to find out if this number is legitimate. If you do happen to take the call, be extra alert for them trying to trick you into giving them confidential information that means giving your money. Also, don’t reveal any of your passwords if they ask for it. It is a real red alert if they ask for a password since a legitimate business will never do so.

Flash Drives and DVDs

Probably the best and safest policy is to never or rarely trust a used storage device, if it is one that you just found somewhere. Planting “lost” flash drives and DVDs everywhere is one of the most popular tricks of hackers. They often infect these items with Trojan horses so that the virus can help them take over your computer. The best thing to do in situations in which you have any question about it is to throw it away.

Online Dating

There are several different popular stories that are popular. These stories are scams that try to convince you that are really rich and that they want to share their wealth and life with you. They do this only to trap love seekers in their web. There continue to be more fictional stories made and scammers are doing well via this route since there are a whole lot of lonely people out there who are looking for love and security. These scammers are great at saying anything their victims wants to hear. Once they lure in the victim, they lay out a plan to meet and then say some money is necessary for some reason. After you have transferred the money you will never hear from them again. If you happen to be one of these lovelorn victims, be alert and be tipped off when they ask for this money and then break off contact ASAP.

Social Media

This angle is much like the scamming that goes along with online dating. These scammers also play on the emotions of their victims. This even more dangerous because most people have a lot of information about their lives on their. For instance, they have information about your job, your family, your friends, and your hobbies. Scammers can and do use this information against you to lure you into their trap. Based on this information, they will send you a “helpful” link that is really malware in disguise. You can avoid these problematic situations by designating your profile to be private against strangers. Just make it open to people that your friends and family.

Differences Between Hardware & Software Firewalls

According to a recent survey by NCSA Cyber Security, more than 40% of Americans don’t know what firewalls are, and whether or not their PC is firewall enabled. This guide will help you understand the necessity of a firewall and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a Firewall? And do I need it?

If you’re an internet user, you’re constantly under the risk of some hacker accessing personal or financial data on your PC. When your PC is connected to the web, it continuously sends and receives information in small units called packets. A firewall acts as the first line of defense between your computer and the cyberspace. A firewall stops unauthorized access to your computer by filtering these packets to check if they meet a particular set of rules, thereby allowing or blocking data. This prevents unscrupulous hackers from stealing financial and personal data from your PC such as passwords and bank information. There are two types of firewall: hardware and software.

As the name suggests, the Hardware firewall is tangible and is usually purchased as a stand-alone product. It is a small, portable metal box installed with software that blocks unauthorized traffic, and has a minimum of four ports to connect to other computers. It is easy to install as you just plug into your computer like you would any other peripheral device like a printer or scanner, and configure a few settings. It is also less vulnerable to hackers because it is not on your PC. To ensure optimal protection, it is highly recommendable that you test your hardware firewall configurations. This can be done by using a firewall testing online service or purchase a third-party firewall test software.

On the other hand, the software firewall is highly customized and installed on your PC, like any other software. It allows some control over its protection features and depending on the type of software firewall, can protect against a myriad of common e-mail worms and Trojan programs. It is advisable to use a software firewall that runs in the background and uses the minimum amount of system resources. It is also recommendable to install and download updates of the software firewall from the developer.
So, which firewall is best for me?

A hardware firewall is best suited for businesses and large organizations, with more than 6 PCs because it is more cost effective than buying multiple licenses of the software firewall and installing them individually on each PC in the network. For home use, the software firewall is ideal because it is easy to install and customize even for a computer novice. Additionally, some software firewalls give the option of parental control, and one can limit and manage the websites accessible to their children, including specific text and photos.

For maximum protection, the ideal internet security option would be a combination of both software and hardware firewalls as they can run complimentary functions and give you greater protection in your personal computer or in any other gadget.