We like to think diligence will protect us from social engineering, but dating coach Jordan Harbinger found that you can hack a human pretty easily. So easily, in fact, that taking regular steps to protect yourself would make your life next to impossible.
“Even if you think this can’t happen to you, it can,” he told The Verge. “The level of paranoia that you would have to have to protect yourself would make it so that you can’t function as a regular human.”
So what did he do? Without breaking the law, Jordan performed an experiment where he posed as a recruiter who joined a LinkedIn group for people with top secret clearance in the United States. After about 10 hours of work asking fairly routine questions of about 50 members, he had enough information to access personal accounts, credit card statements, and mobile phone records.
Although you can take some steps to protect yourself against social engineering, you can’t eliminate the possibility entirely. Rather than concentrating on full-blown prevention — which you can’t achieve — you ought to put your effort into a recovery plan should you become an unlucky victim.