Social Engineering is the art of tricking someone into releasing sensitive information. A social engineer runs a “con game.” For example, a person using social engineering to break into a computer network would try to gain the confidence of someone who is authorized to access the network in order to get him or her to reveal information that compromises the network’s security. He might call the authorized employee with some kind of urgent problem. Social engineers often rely on the natural tendency of people to want to help.
A common type of social engineering: An individual receives a telephone call from someone claiming to be a representative of a company and requests information from the individual either about his or her account or about others. Be wary of anyone who requests any sort of personal information in an unsolicited phone call. Verify the legitimacy of the caller with the company itself before providing any information.