Cognitive Biases exploited by Spammers and Phishers

"Keep Walking"

Since they day you arrive on this planet, you are programmed into accepting reality as good and bad.

Beautiful people good. Ugly people not good.

Fellow countrymen good. Fellow earthling not so good.

Same religion is good. Different religion is awkward.

These cognitive biases are exploited in social media in the following manner-

1) Same Name Bias- You like people of the same name as you. or people who remind you of your brothers name. or uncles name.

All that information is already known. Esp true on Linkedin.

2) Same Orientation Bias- People tend to react better to photos considered attractive of opposite sex / opposite preference. Especially true on Twitter and Facebook.

3) Nationality Bias- Israeli Americans tend to respond better to Jewish looking phishers who claim to be from Israel but are not. Ditto for Indians- Arabs etc. E|sp true on Linkedin and Facebook.

You are positively biased to people of same country or of friendly nation states and will likely accept invites/friend/poke

4) Same organization/ alumni bias- People at end of phishing attack will have higher response rate if proxy identity claims familiarity with organizations or schools attended. Especially true on Facebook and Linkedin.

5) Same interests/movies/books bias- Your likely response rate is higher to someone who has seen your profile page on Facebook for interests, and checked the RSS stream of your tweets for stuff you like.

Bias is just maths. Period.

Author: Ajay Ohri

http://about.me/ajayohri

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