Social Engineering

What is social engineering in computing?

Tricking people into sharing information

In the computing world, social engineering describes the manipulation of people to get them to divulge personal information. It most often occurs over the Internet but may also happen via texts and phone calls.

Some common types of social engineering:

  1. Phishing - The perpetrator sends an email, claiming to be from a legitimate source, asking the user to share personal data, such as login information
  2. Fake websites - The perpetrator creates a website that appears similar to a banking website with a form for you to enter your bank account information to "log in"
  3. Phone calls - The perpetrator calls you and tells you you're being investigated for fraud so that you will share your social security number
  4. Text messages - The perpetrator sends you a text message saying you have won a prize, only to lure you into clicking a link and filling out your bank account information

It is essential to be aware of social engineering schemes to avoid them. If you can't verify a person's identity, email sender, or website asking for your personal information, don't share it. It's better to be safe than sorry.

NOTE: Outside of the computing world, social engineering refers to the general influencing of the attitudes and behaviors of society.


Ugh, this world is a dark place with all of these social engineering schemes
Social engineering email
Social engineering email

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Updated March 16, 2022

Social engineering definition by

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