Organization Information

Information Security

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

As with all special moments, people may regret the digital pictures they didn’t take; however, everyone must be careful about when and where they share these photos. Posting pictures to social media while on vacation lets others know you aren’t home, and could lead to a break-in if seen by someone with malicious intent.

Cybercriminals can also use your photos, and any other information you post online, to gather data about your personal life or even the organization where you work so they can use the information for fraudulent purposes. This is part of pretexting, and it’s a form of social engineering.

Social engineering is a term used to describe a broad range of malicious activities that use manipulation to trick users into disclosing sensitive information. While there is no single method cybercriminals use to gather this information, obtaining your personal photos or data can help them breach, attack, blackmail, or freeze your personal accounts. Cybercriminals can also attack an organization’s network through phishing, smishing, and vishing attempts.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid a social engineering attack:

n Limit shared information. Keep information about your family, occupation, or other personal details limited to a small circle of people you know.

n Verify before you share. Verify senders are who they claim to be before communicating with them. Don’t comply with requests to send information if you have any doubts.

n Report a threat. If you suspect you are being targeted on your USPS-issued device, contact the Cybersecurity Operations Center by calling 866-877-7247 or by sending an email to