Skip to content
social engineering

In The Shadows: Understanding the Types of Social Engineering

In today’s wildly interconnected world, technology plays an integral role in our personal and professional lives. This has allowed the level and frequency of threats to expand, not only technical vulnerabilities, but also human vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals have become extremely sophisticated at exploiting the weakest link in any security system: humans. This manipulation of individuals is known as social engineering. Continue reading to discover the different types of social engineering tactics employed by cybercriminals, along with essential tips to protect yourself and your organization from falling victim to these malicious schemes. 

Table of Contents

1. Phishing Attacks

One of the most prevalent forms of social engineering, phishing attacks attempt to gain access to your system via email, text messages, or instant messages. Most of the time attacks will impersonate reputable organizations or individuals to trick victims into sharing sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or personal data. To protect yourself:

2. Pretexting

Pretexting is the clever fabrication of a scenario where an attacker assumes a false identity to manipulate victims into divulging confidential information or performing actions they wouldn’t otherwise. These attacks often exploit trust, authority, or sympathy to gain victims’ compliance. You can protect yourself by: 

3. Baiting

Baiting focuses on enticing victims with something desirable, such as free software, media, or other tempting offers, to lure them into taking compromising actions. This can involve clicking on malicious links, downloading infected files, or inserting compromised devices into your system. To safeguard against baiting: 

4. Tailgating

Tailgating, or piggybacking, is when an attacker gains physical access to a restricted area by following an authorized person or by convincing them to hold the doors open. To prevent unauthorized access: 

5. Impersonation

Impersonation is when an attacker is posing as a trusted individual, such as a co-worker, service technician, or a customer support representative. Impersonation aims to manipulate victims into disclosing sensitive information or granting unauthorized access. Protect yourself by: 

As technology continues to become more a part of our lives, social engineering continues to pose a significant threat. By understanding the various types of social engineering tactics and implementing proactive measures, both individuals and organizations can strengthen their defenses. Vigilance, healthy skepticism, and ongoing education are crucial to safeguarding your valuable data and protecting yourself from falling victim to these cyber schemes. 

KT Connections is committed to helping you fortify your cybersecurity posture. Our IT and Cybersecurity experts have the knowledge and experience to assess vulnerabilities, develop defense strategies, and educate you and your staff on best practices. To learn more about how we can safeguard against social engineering attacks and other cybersecurity threats, visit our site at or contact our sales team directly today!