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The Impact of Social Engineering on a Students' Future

This article advises educators to explain to students the consequences of not safeguarding personal information.

One of the most recent trends in cyber-related crimes is targeted social engineering. It is well known that it is easier to communicate with a person to gain their password rather than use software to hack into a system to get it. It is here that students are more prone to attacks due to a lack of awareness of such attacks and the consequences. It is here that educators play a significant role; to help students learn about risks and threats. Students sometimes believe they cannot be targets of social engineering since they have no information of great value. However, incidents provide evidence to the contrary.

Social engineering attacks are increasing against many and incurred financial losses and loss of reputation and their lives in some cases as well, so we have to explain to students first the importance and sensitivity of circulating personal information on the Internet; a good reputation online helps students to enter reputable universities and join reputable organizations, and be a source of pride for their families.

Explain to students the consequences of not safeguarding personal information. Some teenage boys and girls have trusted some contact online without checking that they were who they said they were and started sharing their personal secrets, photos, and concerns. The person used the information to bully and blackmail the victim to the point where they, God forbid, committed suicide. In addition, some teenagers share every piece of information about themselves on their online social networking accounts. They also post pictures of friends and tag them. Social engineers search for such information online and try to get more information by using different social engineering techniques. When they get the required information, they may execute identity fraud on the victim causing financial losses. These kinds of attacks may pose difficulties for the victim when applying for loans, passports, and licenses later in life.

There is another concern which is that some disgruntled friends of the teenager could take revenge by posting their pictures in a bad way. This may affect the victim’s online reputation and may disqualify them from applying for higher education or a job.


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Call to Action

Inform yourself on the definition of social engineering and its danger to be able to guide your students to take the necessary precaution to avoid this cybersecurity threat.

Report a cybersecurity breach to Q-CERT in one of three ways: Call at +974 4493 3408, (24/7 service), email at, or complete the incident reporting form at Q-CERT incident reporting form.

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