8 Online Security Myths

While there is certainly not any shortage of threats to your online security, there are also some popular falsehoods that people believe. Here are eight myths about your security that are worth dispelling.

1.    The Risk of Attack is Minimal

Many people tend to think that it is unlikely they will ever be exposed to a hacker attack. While the reasoning behind this seems to be logical—most people are not famous, rich, engaged in an activity that would draw attention to themselves—this is incorrect.

Most hackers don’t go through a list of targets and choose someone based upon who they are or how much they have. Rather, most of attacks are large-scale actions perpetrated with automated tools. Meaning that you have just as much risk of attack as the next person, even if you think you don’t have anything valuable that a hacker might want.

2.      Using an App Instead of a Browser Will Keep Me Safe

Many people tend to think that the security offered by an app is better than that of a browser. This is simply not true: like a browser, an app is a program. And programs can be vulnerable to a security breach. In fact, in some cases, an app can provide much more information to a hacker than a browser—such as an updated location for you at any given moment.

3.      I’m Completely Protected if I Use a Firewall and an Antivirus

While the combination of a firewall and a good antivirus program are a significant step forward in terms of security, you shouldn’t think that you are no longer at risk. To provide the best protection, be sure you are regularly updating your software with any patches the manufacturer puts out. And make smart choices when using software.

4.      My Data is Not Worth Stealing

You might think that you have no sensitive data, but chances are that there’s at least something that would interest a hacker. Between phone numbers, credit card information, addresses, important dates, and other things, you have a hefty block of information saved on your computer. This helps would-be identity thieves figure out how best to impersonate you.

5.      I Only Use a Mac, Therefore I am Safe

For some reason, many Mac users think their machines are hacker-proof. This is simply not the case. In fact, the first known computer virus was detected on a Mac way back in 1982. Macs may enjoy a slight edge over Windows-based systems, by they are by no means bulletproof.

One reason that Macs may have, to date, had fewer security issues is simply because fewer people used them. However, as they continue to grow in popularity, they become bigger targets for hackers. Compounding the problem is the fact that many Mac users—believing in the infallibility of the Mac system—don’t take any security measures at all.

6.      I Can Hide My Wi-Fi and Make It Un-hackable

Making it so your wi-fi network is hidden doesn’t really protect you as much as you might think. Consider that most hackers are already technologically capable, and more than able to find hidden networks. Keep in mind that most networks are hidden, which means that any hacker who is even moderately competent will be aware of this fact (and know how to find your network).

7.      Storing Data in the Cloud is Not Safe

Many people think that data in the cloud is more susceptible to hacker attacks than if it were stored on their desktop or laptop computers. The fact of the matter is, most successful data theft attempts succeed because the user falls prey to a tactic such as phishing or something of a similar nature.

The technology surrounding cloud storage is no less secure than the storage on your computer’s hard drive. As such, enhanced security measures for cloud storage should focus primarily on the behavior of the user and not on the cloud storage technology itself.

8.      If I Use Anti-Virus Software, It Will Make My Computer Slow Down

This myth does have a grain of truth in it: years ago, using a good antivirus program could cause your computer to slow down by as much as 50%. Fortunately, this is not the case anymore. For one thing, protection software is much less cumbersome and resource-intensive than it used to be. For another, phones, laptops, and desktop computers have so much more power now that most users barely notice a difference when they are running an antivirus program.

Educate Yourself

Of course, the above myths are not the only ones that persist when it comes to the world of data security. When you hear something about your data, make sure to take the time to really investigate the claim before you believe it, especially if believing it is going to significantly change the way you use your information technology resources.

Contact the office on 01253 808 472 to arrange a free security audit of your business.

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