What is Social Engineering? How Can We Prevent It?

Jorge Felix  - Cybersecurity Expert
Last updated: March 12, 2024
Read time: 26 minutes
Facts checked by Abeerah Hashim

Social engineering attacks are constantly rising due to the ease of execution. Here's all about this hacking technique and how to avoid it.


Social engineering attack is simply the engineering of social interactions for malicious gains. The attackers often impersonate a known contact, an employer or an employee, a customer support agent, or any institution with which the victim potentially interacts. Such spoofing helps the attacker gain the victim’s trust and seek sensitive personal and financial details. Since such attacks require little to no technical expertise, they’re the easiest to execute. Therefore, the only way to prevent social engineering attacks is to remain vigilant during online or real-life interactions.

Hackers and cybercriminals are a bunch of guys who know what they want. That often means login credentials for all accounts, passwords, or other sensitive information. However, it’s about more than technology with them. They also know how to manipulate a victim’s emotions to induce an artificial sense of urgency so that the victim will act rashly and send money, transfer bitcoins, or comply with some other action they would reject in their right state of mind. That’s what you call ‘social engineering.’


Cybercrimes can be perpetrated by abusing somebody’s trust instead of hacking into a network, a computer, or a system. This type of digital crime relies on psychological manipulation. It’s exceedingly effective and much easier to complete according to the criminal’s wishes because it needs no technical expertise.

As our lives become more closely linked to digital environments, such as the internet, social engineering attacks are becoming more aggressive and elaborate, making them more challenging to identify. This guide gives you all the essential information about social engineering, how it works, some of its most common strategies, and how to protect yourself against it.

Social engineering: How does it work?

Social engineering: How does it work