One of the most recent trends in cyber related crimes is targeted social engineering. It is well known that it is easier to communicate with a person to gain their password rather than use software to hack into a system to get it. It is here that students are more prone to attacks due to a lack of awareness of such attacks and the consequences. It is here that educators play a significant role; to help students learn about risks and threats. Students sometimes believe they cannot be targets of social engineering since they have no information of great value. However incidents provide evidence to the contrary.
Explain to students the consequences of not safeguarding personal information. Some are in the habit of adding new friends to their online accounts, sharing information without any inhibitions and without checking for the integrity of the person. Some teenagers trust everyone, blindly getting deceived in the end. Cyber bullying crimes which occurred in Canada in 2013, targeting girls aged between of 12 to 14 years resulted in their suicides. The reason is that they trusted some contact online without checking that they were who they said they were and started sharing their personal secrets, photos and concerns. The person used the information to bully and blackmail the victim to the point where they committed suicide.
The second concern is that some teenagers share every piece of information about themselves on their online social networking accounts. They also post pictures of friends and tag them. Social engineers search for such information online and try to get more information by using different social engineering techniques. When they get the required information they may execute identity fraud on the victim causing financial losses. These kinds of attacks may pose difficulties for the victim when applying for loans, passports and licenses later in life.
The third concern could be that some disgruntled friend of the teenager could take revenge by posting their pictures in adult related sites and also start an insulting message campaign about the victim online. This may affect the victim’s online reputation and may disqualify them from applying for higher education or a job.