The internet makes many everyday tasks faster and more convenient, like shopping and banking, but it’s important to be safe and responsible online.
Social engineering manipulates people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. Similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term applies to the use of deception to gain information, commit fraud, or access computer systems.
Phishing = Fake Emails
Phishing: a ‘trustworthy entity’ asks via e-mail for sensitive information such as SSN, credit card numbers, login IDs or passwords.
Pharming = Fake Web Pages
- The link provided in the e-mail leads to a fake webpage which collects important information and submits it to the owner.
- The fake web page looks like the real thing and extracts account information
Avoid Social Engineering & Malicious Software
- Do not open email attachments unless you are expecting the email with the attachment and you trust the sender.
- Do not click on links in emails unless you are absolutely sure of their validity.
- Only visit and/or download software from web pages you trust.
- Never use ‘admin’ or ‘root’ or ‘administrator’ as a login for the admin
- A good password is:
private: it is used and known by one person only
- secret: it does not appear in clear text in any file or program or on a piece of paper pinned to the terminal
- easily remembered: so there is no need to write it down
- at least 8 characters, complex: a mixture of at least 3 of the following: upper case letters, lower case letters, digits and punctuation
- not guessable by any program in a reasonable time, for instance less than one week.
- changed regularly: a good change policy is every 3 months
Beware that someone may see you typing it. If you accidentally type your password instead of your login name, it may appear in system log files.
Additional information for added Cybersecurity
FDIC Consumer Assistance – Cybersecurity
To learn about common fraud visit:
To learn more about identity theft and other scams, visit:
Federal Trade Commission: Protecting America’s Consumers