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In previous blogs I have discussed phishing and how hackers use social engineering via email or in person to trick you into divulging private information. That is not the only way they do it, they also use phone calls. This way of scamming is called Vishing.

I know it seems hard to believe that you can fall victim via the telephone even though you know that you shouldn’t give out any information to just anyone but just like the other form’s hackers use, they rely on you being caught off guard and they make themselves sound so believable that you willingly proceed with whatever it is they are requesting. They use spoofed numbers or caller ID so it is not detected as spam or unknown, it is a similar technique to email spoofing, so that you answer the call.

They may not even contact you to get your personal information, they can find out about you via social media portals or off a list from a previous breach, and call your service provider and stage a call pretending to be a family member and attempt to get passwords changed or acquire more details about you.

It’s crazy to think that it is November already, you always find yourself saying you can’t believe how quickly a year has flown by. This year has not only flown by but been an extremely busy one in the cyber security sector, hackers don’t take any holidays, neither do our cyber security specialists!

 November brings along two events that if not practiced correctly, become a hacker’s paradise.

 If you haven’t guessed it already, I am referring to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A shopper’s dream, deals galore and excitement that can lead to security’s best practices going out the window!

Cyber criminals take advantage of this by equipping themselves with numerous phishing scams and malware, waiting to lure unsuspecting and eager shoppers for deals via social media and online.

Over the last few months I have learnt that cyber security is not only about locking a computer screen or changing a password, it’s about so much more.

It is about being mindful and understanding the power that the hyper connected world has on our daily lives, how we are affected by it and how we can make sure we are staying cyber safe at all times.

Practicing a more secure approach whenever you go online, is the only way you can curb breaches and help yourself become less of a target. This way of thinking may not be a priority and that could be the reason you are vulnerable to breaches or still getting breached.

If you wouldn’t give that information to a stranger, it shouldn’t be put on a public forum.

Any of your personal information such as email addresses, cell phone numbers and the name of your work place must be set to private. The safest would be to not have this type of data on social media at all. Cyber criminals can use this personal information to facilitate a larger scale attack.

In the 21st century it seems virtually impossible to imagine a world without technology. With houses even becoming enhanced with digital features, technology is ingrained in our daily lives. But what about those of you who grew up in a time where computers were a futuristic idea? How are you supposed to suddenly be tech savvy?

I asked one of my older relatives why he gets hacked so often, his response was “I was born in a time when there was none of this technology, so it is not my fault if I am hacked” this may be true, but it definitely is not the right mindset to have.

Whether you like it or not, you are needing to use technology to function and this means that you are having to give out private information that if not kept safe, will be compromised.

Spam emails have been plaguing mailboxes for years, sometimes missing the junk folder and landing smack bang in the middle of one’s inbox. Cyber criminals use email as their main line of attack, due to it being such a vital part of an organisations’ inner workings.

As mentioned before, the statistics show that around 90% of phishing scams start with email and of those 90%, the most dangerous are the ones so sophisticated that they seem legitimate and may even pass through the filters. Some attackers don’t just send out blanket spam mails, some of these scams are targeted towards specific people within the organisation such as executives and members of the sales team.

The attacker even goes as far as to send the targeted email on a specific day such as payday or at month end so that it would be more believable. This is referred to as a spear-phishing attack. When an attack is targeted and believable there is a higher chance of success. This makes them dangerous. Having inline inspection and continually training your team on what to look for, you can avoid a costly mistake.