The Offline Threat – 5 Old-School Attacks

We get so focused on cyberattack these days that it’s easy to forget how many risks to your personal info take place in the real world.

Well, forewarned is fore-armed. Make note of these attacks, which experts say may pose an even bigger threat than digital scams:

1. Dumpster diving. In the office or at home, this occurs when criminals find discarded documents and use them to commit espionage or fraud. If you haven’t already, invest in a home shredder. Better still, embrace the paperless option with as many financial and healthcare accounts as possible.

2. “Borrowed” health insurance cards. Law enforcement pros say this is the single biggest vector for medical ID fraud, which is a multibillion-dollar problem. Never lend out your insurance card, especially to family members (who are, statistically, the most likely to victimize you).

3. Live-and-in-person social engineering. Phishing is an example of digitally enabled social engineering—but there are other types of attack as well. “Tailgating” is one; this is when a stranger without an access card enters a limited-access area by following you. Another example: bogus IT or help-desk workers who roam the office seeking to “upgrade” your system. (In the COVID age this is, fortunately, less likely.)

4. Printer/copier pilferage. When you send a job to a shared machine, be sure to pick it up immediately. Otherwise, an unauthorized employee or outsider may whisk it away.

5. Simple theft. Even in our digital age, a massive amount of identity fraud begins with a pickpocket stealing your purse or wallet and using your credit cards, bank card, and other sensitive information.

© National Security Institute, Inc.


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