Hacker tips: Know who’s calling & what Google knows about you
By Alissa Johnson, Ph.D., Chief Information Security Officer, Xerox
Ask most security experts and they’ll tell you that their number one rule for phone calls is, unless the caller is a saved contact in your phone, don’t answer. Hackers use many tricks to attempt to record your voice or lure you to answer certain questions just through a phone call. Instead, allow unknown callers to leave a message and you decide if you want or need to call them back.
Cyber Tip: Don’t answer the phone unless you know the number.
If you aren’t among the curious few who already do this regularly, google your name every now and then to see what the world knows about you. You may be surprised at the amount of information that is there. Don’t just look at the first page of search results. Take the time to look through several pages to see what is out there.
Cyber Tip: Google yourself. Know what others know and consider how it can be used against you.
Also, take the time to google your name along with a keyword. For example, search for your name and your employer or school and see the list of things that you either have participated/been identified in, or which someone else has shared about you.
Why is this important? Hackers use this information to figure out things about you. This way, they can use targeted attacks to gain access to your personal information.
Here is an example:
Let’s say you were listed as a Xerox employee on your LinkedIn profile. With very little research, a hacker can figure out when the Xerox benefits open enrollment occurs. With that information, they may target you during the company’s open enrollment time through phone calls, emails, etc. asking you to log into seemingly harmless sites. If you are not careful, you may enter the wrong site and submit your secure credentials.