We must always be on the lookout for scammers who try to contact us through email or text messages. You may think...
“How in the world did they contact me and know this piece of information about me?”
Jonathan Beaver, Senior Software Engineer at Trilogy Innovations, says those answers may simply appear in your last social media post.
Many of us like to share on social media what we are interested in and what we are doing. We like to share when we get a new job or when our company is doing something exciting. Who doesn't want to let the world know when the company we work for is starting a new initiative, hosting a conference, or winning an award?
Due to the fact that we do share, what we share can be used to scam us. Just as friends, coworkers, and contacts can see what you have posted and linked to, many times scammers can, too. They can use this information to tailor specific phishing messages aimed at getting information from you or convincing you to perform certain activities. While you may still get an email asking you to help a prince get his money out of his country, more modern phishing scams will mention the company you work for, your boss’ name, and even reference upcoming events, depending on what has been posted publicly.
This is not to say don't share; rather, think about what you have shared or are linked to publicly, and be aware of email and text messages you receive, and who sent them. This will help when you are trying to determine how someone knew something or why you received an email or text. We often think someone must have been hacked and that is how a scammer got specific personal details. Realistically, it just takes a little bit of coding to gather what has been placed out in the public or on social media platforms.
As scammers get more sophisticated, being able to combine that information into a message to you takes no effort on the scammer’s part. It’s the same as sending that pre-canned email about the prince.
October has been designated Cybersecurity Awareness Month by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Trilogy Innovations, Inc., supports this effort by offering helpful practices to stay safe.
Author: Jonathan Beaver, Senior Software Engineer at Trilogy Innovations, Inc.