By: Drew M. Smith
Daily chain posting on social media ask for various information all in the way of fun. Frequently these postings ask for questions such as where you went to school, first car, mother or father’s name, etc. Such postings come from a friend who thinks it is cute to pass along. Although most of these seem to be innocent postings, they are actually elaborate schemes to steal personal information that hackers use to steal passwords and gain entry into your accounts. Everything that could be used for passwords and other hints is used in a number of sites. But as many people have pointed out, using such topics could open you up to a mess.
Many questions can be red flags on any site. Such questions include:
- Your Father’s Name
- Your Favorite Pet
- Your Girlfriend/Wife’s Maiden Name
- Your School
- Your Favorite Website
Social engineering is a process in which hackers manipulate your personal data. They do this by tracking the sites that you use every day. Using that, they build up a file they will use to get you to bite on their phishing attempts. Once they have enough information, they send an innocent link that would get your attention, such as banking statement or even something from your friends. Then they ask for your personal information and even the password hints to your personal accounts. If successful these hackers will have access to everything and build a profile in your name. They use that profile to open credit lines, steal from your accounts or even use it to commit other crimes.
To avoid such pratfalls, do not open suspicious emails or those you don’t trust. Monitor what you post online. Never save your passwords for a specific site. A well-structured cyber policy and or general liability can protect you against losses and ruined reputation.