Security Slideshow: Cyber Crime Trends: Our Seven Deadly Weaknesses

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Posted 02-01-2011

Cyber Crime Trends: Our Seven Deadly Weaknesses

Sex AppealScammers will lure unsuspecting victims by masquerading as an attractive man or woman on a social network.

Cyber Crime Trends: Our Seven Deadly Weaknesses

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What you can do:Tell employees to assume that flirtatious advances are anything but well intentioned.

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GreedFree iPads? Thousands of dollars from a Nigerian wire transfer? If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

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What you can do:Teach your employees not to fall for scams promising a quick buck, no matter how tempting or legitimate they may sound.

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VanitySometimes scammers appeal to one's desire to be part of the in-crowd - telling the victim they are a contest winner or otherwise part of a "select group."

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What you can do:Tell your employees that, while they're special to you, they're not winning contests they didn't enter.

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Trust Scammers may pretend to represent a high-profile brand. One recent spammer sent out fake iTunes receipts. Others may pretend to be friends of friends, exploiting employees' trust in their social networks.

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What you can do:Tell your employees to be wary of any solicitation that plays on their trust.

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SlothCyber criminals count on laziness, i.e. that your employee will click on a link when an email says it's from a well-known bank without checking it out first. The bad guys will likewise exploit contacts on Facebook or LinkedIn, duping users into clicking on things their contacts wouldn't likely send.

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What you can do:Encourage employees to have a healthy skepticism and think twice before clicking on links, even when they appear to be messages from otherwise trusted sources.

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CompassionOne 2009 Facebook scam involved fake status updates asking for money to help a stranded friend. Other scams ask for money for nonexistent nonprofits when disaster strikes.

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What you can do:Alert your employees to these kinds of scams, and advise them on where to find information about legitimate charities if they're feeling altruistic.

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UrgencyScams that ask employees to "act now" or say that "time is running out" play on the desire to be helpful. Demanding fast action prevents a victim from taking time to consider whether a request is reasonable or credible.

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What you can do:Advise employees to double-check any requests for information with colleagues and resist pressure to respond to anything "right away."

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