Degree of Awareness

This week we are sharing a true story about a girl named Jane who is a college-aged student and who is applying for jobs. Jane is in graphic design and has a portfolio, so when she came across a well-known company that creates sports-branded gear that was hiring, it was something she wanted to pursue. She sent them her portfolio electronically, and they set up an interview using a chat forum. They asked a few questions and then asked her to fill out forms that were going to put her in the queue to receive work from them. She completed each one and recommended this to friends, who were all excited about this opportunity that would give them income, experience, and work on a contractor basis.

Until one of her friends paused as he was asked to give his social security number, his address, date of birth, banking information for payments rendered, and so on.

You can see where this is going. They were hackers and they had just been handed Jane’s entire identity by merely dangling a carrot of opportunity in front of her.

Most of us are probably thinking how can you possibly think that a job interview is conducted over a chat room? How can you hand over so much information without questioning what they need it for? Or without even questioning if it is legitimate? Think about this – Jane is a young adult in her early twenties, she is intelligent, she is not careless, and she has worked two jobs. The point is she is a responsible adult that fell victim to a cybersecurity attack just like thousands and thousands of other adults.

It is also safe to say that these days many people would not question anything about interacting entirely online, never meeting face to face, or even via video. Electronic communication is the norm and oversharing is all part of the game too, so why would it be strange to have a job interview any other way? She was trying to find a way to provide income and gain experience. Hackers know our weaknesses; they know how to gain our trust and they customize their attacks based on the audience. You think you know what you would do, but that is because you can see things clearly from the outside when you aren’t the target. When you are in it, you are less likely to see it so obviously. Humans are after all, only human. As we work to protect our homes, our businesses, our identity, and our families let’s remember that smart cybersecurity is like a streaming account – everyone is going to have a different profile but still be using the same platform. Yet the commonality among all of it is that humans are the weak link that will inevitably be the way a cybercriminal gets in the door.

Do you wonder if you or your staff are making the same mistakes Jane is making? Is it possible that hackers have your data? Click here to get more information or to schedule your free assessment.