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Social Engineering: How hackers use psychological tactics to steal your data

Social Engineering: How hackers use psychological tactics to steal your data

Have you ever received any call or email which asks you to click on a link and provide some confidential information about yourself? If yes, then you might be targeted by a Social Engineering Act. You might be wondering what Social Engineering actually is. If this is the case then stay tuned with us in this article where you will get to know everything about social engineering and how hackers are using psychological tactics to steal your data.

What Is Social Engineering?

Cyber-criminals take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to them in order to obtain private information about numerous users and workers, and social engineering is a boon to them. Cyber-criminals use the tactic known as “social engineering” to convince victims to share sensitive information or to take specific actions.

It could be as easy as asking for account information over the phone while pretending as a bank representative, or it could involve building a fake website that mimics a genuine one in order to trick users into entering their login information. 

Continue reading this blog article if you’re interested in learning more about the extremely delicate subject of Social Engineering. We’ll inform you of hacking motivations in this section, along with steps you can take to safeguard yourself.

Types Of Social Engineering Attacks

Cyber-criminals use social engineering attacks, which are delicate and serious, to defraud many people without their knowledge. This can be accomplished by utilizing social engineering in a variety of different ways. Some of the most common ways that can be used to steal sensitive data and carry out fraudulent activities include

  • Phishing
  • Smishing
  • Spear Phishing
  • Baiting
  • Watering Hole

Let’s explore all these types and make ourselves aware of these social engineering attacks and try to protect ourselves from getting trapped.


This is the most typical and widespread social engineering assault, and it works wonders for hackers or cyber-criminals. In reality, phishing is a scamming technique that involves delivering false communication data or messages that appear to be sent from a reliable and trustworthy website. It consists in using emails, phone calls, or text messages to draw people into opening malicious links or attachments that download malware onto their devices or direct them to fake login sites where they are asked to submit their login information.

Hackers may use the information given by users of these websites’ login credentials or fake login sites to collect their personal information and spam them.


Smishing is another variant of phishing whose name is made by uniting two words i.e. SMS (Short Messaging Services, the technology which is used for messaging) and Phishing. This type of social engineering attack involves sending fraudulent messages to spam users instead of sending emails to them. Text message scammers attempt to trick their victims into disclosing personal information or clicking on malicious links. 

The message will frequently contain a pressing request for action, such as “Your account has been compromised; please click this link to verify your information.” The recipient will be taken to a fake website that imitates the real one but is set up to intercept any information submitted.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a form of phishing that is pre-planned and targets a particular audience after extensive study on the part of the attackers. By gathering information about the target, such as their email address, phone number, or other general details about their target in order to create a customized and persuasive message, this kind of attack targets a particular range of populations as opposed to attacking a large population.


Similar to phishing, baiting makes a good first impression on consumers. It deceives users with false but alluring promises and tempts them into falling for traps where their financial or confidential information may be stolen. 

In a baiting attack, the attacker may employ a number of strategies to persuade the target to carry out the desired action. For example, they might provide a free music download or a movie that is malware-infected. Additionally, they might purposefully leave a USB drive or other gadget in a well-traveled area in the hopes that someone will pick it up, plug it into their computer, and grant the attacker entry to the victim’s network.

Watering Hole

An online attack known as a “watering hole” targets a particular group of people or groups by infecting a renowned and trusted website that they are known to frequently visit. A watering hole assault aims to install malware or other malicious software on the computers of the targeted people or businesses.

The term “watering hole” refers to predators waiting nearby watering holes to prey on creatures that come to drink. Examples of these predators include lions and hyenas. Similar to a watering hole attack, assailants who employ it wait close to a website that members of their target audience frequently visit in order to infect them with malware.

How do Hackers Use Social Engineering Techniques?

Social Engineering techniques are very popular among hackers and they use various types of social engineering attacks in order to gather information about a wide range of population and tries to manipulate personal information to meet their needs. They may manipulate people using psychological strategies like fear, urgency, or curiosity to get them to reveal sensitive information or take actions that compromise their own security.

To gain the confidence of their targets, hackers may pose as a reputable authority figure, such as a bank representative, a government official, or a business executive. To convey a feeling of urgency, they may use formal language or make threats.

By using various above-mentioned techniques, hackers set their target and attack them to steal their valuable and personal data.

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Social Engineering is a boon to hackers and is a very dreadful technique in this developing technological world. 

You can take precautions to defend yourself against social engineering assaults by being aware of the strategies and methods employed by hackers. Use strong passwords, keep your software updated, be wary of unsolicited messages, be cautious with what you share online, and be aware of the most recent dangers, and be wary of unsolicited messages. You can lessen your chance of becoming a target of a social engineering attack and safeguard your sensitive data by heeding these recommendations.

By understanding and making yourself aware of these types of techniques you can protect yourself from getting trapped.

Bhumika Mishra
Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika Mishra, a professional and freelance Content Writer, is focused on writing interactive, intense, and informational content. Her contents are SEO optimized, gains social media attention, and increases the search engine visibility

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