Learn the Psychology of Digital Fraud
Hackers do more than steal your data, they also play mind games to obtain their goals. Learn their dirty tricks and how to avoid them.
Hackers are merely another type of con person, they might be armed with a computer, some tech know how, and advanced software skills, but their final goal is to manipulate you. If you play into the hands of a hacker, they can extract information they want from you for financial gain. When a machine has a security loophole we blame the programmers, but when your mind and vulnerability has been toyed with, who is to blame? Let’s look at a few methods hackers might use to manipulate your actions.
While you focus on ensuring that a hacker doesn’t manipulate your trust, your mobile device is still vulnerable to cyber attacks. Available for Android devices, dfndr security offers antivirus capabilities that scans and removes malware, and an anti-hacking feature that warns you if a link is dangerous. A quick download will go a long way towards making you feel safer.
Targeting Your Stressors
One psychological technique that’s used to manipulate is to target someone who is under stress and likely feeling vulnerable. When we’re stressed, we tend to make rash decisions to push away the source of stress. This might include a situation like receiving an email asking you to send password information to your ‘IT department’ because it’s ‘urgent.’ No matter what’s going on around you, be sure to take a deep breath and handle tasks with your full attention. Why? That email from IT could be a scam.
Email From the Big Boss
We tend to bow to pressure in the face of authority quite easily; this basic psychological idea has been showcased in psychology tests as far back as the 1960s – and it’s just as relevant today. If you see an email from your boss, you’re more likely to address the request quickly. However, always double check that email to ensure it isn’t fraudulent. Your boss will thank you for preventing a possible phishing attack.
Respond Quickly or Else
Lastly is the psychological manipulation of placing a time limit on your decision-making capabilities. We’ve seen the tactic used in both phishing scams and television commercials – you need to act now before time runs out! Don’t allow anyone to control how fast you move, caving in can tear down your ability to rationalize. The next time you see an email that stresses urgency, slow down, and take the time to consider the proposal – your future self who doesn’t get hacked will be grateful.