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How to Combat the Surge in Summer Social Engineering Scams

As summer rolls around, many of us eagerly anticipate long-awaited vacations, beach trips, and outdoor adventures. However, while you’re busy planning your perfect getaway, cybercriminals are equally busy plotting their next move. Social Engineering Scams—where hackers manipulate individuals into divulging confidential information—often see a sharp increase during the summer vacation season. This blog aims to shed light on how these attacks ramp up and provide essential tips on how to stay vigilant.

The Summer Surge in Social Engineering Attacks

  • Increased Travel Plans: During summer, people are more likely to book flights, hotels, and other travel-related services. Cybercriminals exploit this by creating fake travel websites, phishing emails, and fraudulent booking confirmations. These scams often look legitimate, making it easy to fall into their trap.
  • Out-of-Office Vulnerabilities: Employees taking time off can lead to reduced oversight and monitoring within organizations. Out-of-office notifications can inadvertently inform attackers about key personnel being away, making it easier for them to impersonate staff and carry out business email compromise (BEC) attacks.
  • Public Wi-Fi Risks: Vacationers often rely on public Wi-Fi at airports, hotels, and cafes. These networks are typically less secure, providing an ideal hunting ground for cybercriminals looking to intercept sensitive data such as login credentials and credit card information.
  • Social Media Oversharing: Sharing vacation plans and experiences on social media can inadvertently provide attackers with valuable information. Details about your absence from home or work can be used to time their attacks more effectively.

How to Stay Vigilant

  • Verify Before You Click: Always double-check the URLs of travel booking sites and emails. Look for signs of phishing, such as misspellings, unusual sender addresses, and generic greetings. If in doubt, contact the company directly using verified contact information.
  • Use Secure Networks: Avoid using public Wi-Fi for any transactions that involve sensitive information. If you must use public Wi-Fi, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your data.
  • Update Security Measures: Ensure your devices have the latest security updates and patches installed. Use strong, unique passwords for different accounts, and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible.
  • Be Cautious with Social Media: Be mindful of what you share online. Avoid posting real-time updates about your travel plans and, if possible, share photos and experiences after you’ve returned.
  • Educate and Train: For businesses, it’s crucial to educate employees about social engineering risks, especially during vacation seasons. Regular training sessions and simulated phishing exercises can help keep cybersecurity top-of-mind.  Social Engineering-Red Flag Quick Reference Sheet.
  • Monitor and Respond: Set up monitoring tools to detect unusual activity on your accounts. If you notice anything suspicious, report it immediately and take steps to secure your accounts.
  • Use a Reputable IT Service Provider: Partnering with a managed IT service provider like Braver Technology Solutions can enhance your security posture. With professional support, you can ensure continuous monitoring, rapid response to threats, and comprehensive cybersecurity strategies tailored to your needs.

Final Thoughts

Summer should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment, not stress over potential cyber threats. By staying aware of the heightened risks of Social Engineering Scams during vacation season and implementing these proactive measures, you can protect yourself and your organization from falling victim to these cunning attacks. Remember, vigilance is your best defense against cybercriminals always looking for their next opportunity. Stay safe, stay informed, and enjoy your summer with peace of mind.

Braver Technology Solutions |
Boston 617.315.8515 | Taunton 508.824.2260 | Providence 401.484.7900


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