10 signs you're being socially engineered

Scammers will try to trick you and your organization's users into giving up credentials or other sensitive date. Be skeptical if you see any of these signs.

Fraud / deception / social engineering  >  A wolf in sheep's clothing in a binary environment.
Joss Dim / Aleksei Derin / Getty Images

Together, phishing and social engineering are by far the number one root-cause attack vector, and they have been around nearly since computers themselves were invented.

In the early 1980s, before the internet was the internet, I came across a text file that was named “HowtoGetAFreeHSTModem.” Back in the day, screaming fast, U.S. Robotic HST 9600-baud (!!) modems were highly coveted. I quickly opened the text file. It read, “Steal One!!”. “What a jerk,” I thought. Then I hit the escape key to close the text file.

The plaintext file contained invisible ANSI control codes that remapped my keyboard so that the next key I hit formatted my hard drive. Since then I’ve learned two things: One, if hackers can use text files to attack you, any digital content can be used. Two, anyone can be tricked by appropriately placed and messaged social engineering.

With that said, here are 10 signs of social engineering:

1. Asking for logon information

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