Oft-times, unscrupulous individuals make a mockery of our personal space and trample our freedoms. All with wanting abandon. This is what happened to Jennifer Lawrence, the young actress who in spite of her worldwide status as an A-lister was the victim of a barbaric act: invasion of privacy. Worse, not only did the perpetrator peeked into her most private moments, one she deserve to cherish on her own, but he also posted it on the internet, out to the world.
Technology, certainly, has its advantages. But if we’re not too careful we could be victims of unwanted intrusions by people who make it their job to find holes in the system. It good thing the law finally caught up with Jennifer Lawrence’s hacker (who also hacked Kate Upton’s and a slew more accounts of private citizens) sentencing him to prison after three years.
And there’s a lesson to be learned here. One is we should be careful with our conduct online. Phishing expeditions, such as the one used in the hacking of the account of the Silver Lining Playbook actress, can be disastrous. Most importantly, we should be made aware of the dangers of social engineering being used by hackers. It’s actually making our emotions betray us.
How Social Engineering Breaks Us
Right off the bat, do not underestimate hackers. Know that hackers are diligent. As focused as they are on getting what they want, they are willing to put tons of effort to arrive at their goal. And as such, they pry and use all their resources to get in.
But what we don’t know is that we, more often than not, can be a willing victim of such crimes. This is where social engineering is being used to the hilt by hackers. Indeed, tech know-how is essential in a hacker’s bible. But a huge enabler in a hacking attack is emotions.
Top of the list is fear. When an email tells you that your mom’s online bank account is in jeopardy and that you need to act fast to save it, fear is knocking at your door. Once you let it, and you give your mom’s account number and password, the account will be devoid of cash in a matter of minutes. Seconds even.
Fear is such a strong motivator people won’t suspect they’re being conned. An example is when hackers threaten US citizens about their tax filings which is due as it’s tax season. It turns out these hackers gained info from hacked info. By the fact that someone is calling you, you could be put into action. And deposit money to pay your tax.
Then there’s the case for greed. Many text scams are also based on these. When you receive an email that you’ve won something out of the blue, chances are it’s a phishing expedition. Once you give away your data, your bank accounts could be in danger.
There are many emotions hackers can use to your disadvantage. What’s important is you know these modus operandi first hand. And fend them off right from the get-go.
What You Can Do for Yourself?
Firstly, you got to be aware of the dangers of the internet. Never share information about your passwords online. Sometimes, hackers use fraudulent emails that attempt to entice you to reveal pertinent information. We’re talking about credit card and ATM PINs and email passwords. These phishing emails could be sent from a third-party you know who may not be aware his computer has been affected by malware.
Of course, people, especially baby-boomers, may not be as keen about storing pictures online. And many people reason storing our most personal moments in the cloud should be totally avoided. But these people may not be aware of the many benefits the cloud can give to everyone.
For one, when your pictures are in the cloud, you can access them from anywhere so long as you have a device and internet. It’s the most convenient way of sharing your memories for instance. As Jennifer Lawrence confided, her daring photos were for her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Hoult.
In a sense, getting secure and trusted cloud-based storage should prove to be the most logical action for you. With such an attractive photo storage option, you can rest easy you’d have access to your photos anytime you want and from anywhere. And as these services provide malware and virus protection, your photos stay as private as you want them away from the prying eyes of hackers.
It’s important to remember that with vigilance you could lead a happier life thereafter. Many hacks would have been foiled had it not been for the greed and the negative emotions that were in play. Of course, it’s really hard to prevent something we are not aware of.
In this regard, we should take a page from Jennifer Lawrence. Even when she was at the receiving end of a vicious hack, she didn’t let it define her life. She brushed it aside and moved forward. Today, she’s a happily married wife to a loving husband, not to mention one of the most outrageously-paid actresses to this day.