What security knowledge do we have?
The internet culture is full of contradictory facts and anecdotes about online security.
Myths are deeply embedded in our collective consciousness.
It’s difficult to tell what’s true and what’s not because their existence is so strongly related to our rational data and practical understanding about keeping safe online.
This is largely due to the massive volume of data available. We’re drowning with data, making it difficult to tell what’s real and what’s not, who’s a true expert and who’s simply trying to be one.
The rush for views is another element to consider. Websites (particularly media) rely on advertisements to produce money, which is why they are constantly competing for readers.
This leads them to try any strategy that can enhance traffic, such as dubious information, clickbait headlines and graphics, and exaggerating (or even fabricating) potential threats. Cat pictures are featured.
Despite the fact that there are numerous outstanding security blogs that address internet security and attempt to educate consumers, few individuals truly follow their recommendations.
It may be tough to see through half-truths because the subject is so intricate and convoluted.
The material available on the internet is always changing to accommodate new interests. As a result, in order to distinguish fact from fiction, our security perspective must likewise stay up and work hard.
Listening to those exaggerations and misconceptions, on the other hand, is more comfortable. Even though we know they are untrue deep down, we accept them and distribute them as common knowledge.
These beliefs may harm critical people, such as those in crucial managerial positions, if we don’t cut the cord.
Understanding the true threats and how to protect ourselves from them can help us grasp the common myths about being safe online.
Here are some of the most prevalent security myths to be aware of.
Myth #1: This will never happen to me; only the powerful and wealthy are targeted.
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I’d be rich!
Many security experts refer to this security fallacy as security via obscurity.
To put it another way, it is assumed that the internet is such a large place that no one is concerned about you. Even if someone tried to break into your system, there wouldn’t be much valuable information to steal.
Users that accept this way of thinking, in most situations, do not want to waste time resolving system weaknesses.
Wishful thinking frequently leads to the experience of a cyber attack.
This occurs because it is not about your importance. It’s not about you.
Cybercriminals utilize automated tools to exploit the flaws in your system.
And they’ll take anything they can get their hands on, including your personal information and internet-connected system. Yes, even that is a significant asset because it may be used for more malevolent purposes.
Even if you believe you are unimportant or that your personal or financial information is unimportant, a potential identity theft or IT criminal can still profit from the little information found about you.
They can combine it with additional data from various sources (hello, social media) to generate a holistic picture.
Why take chances when there are so many safeguards and instruments available, some of which are even free?
So quit thinking you’re safe and that no one will attack you. You’re a valuable target as long as you have a digital identity.
Myth #2: I’ll be alright if I install this security program.
This security myth is also known as the search for the “magic bullet” that will address all of your system’s security issues.
Users who pay for a security application expect their system to be bulletproof immediately after installing the program.
This legend symbolizes a fictitious image developed by marketing departments.
To meet their sales target, the PR, marketing, or sales professionals will tell you anything about their goods. They’ll give the idea that installing that single program takes care of everything.
The truth is that no security system is impenetrable. Those who try to persuade you otherwise are lying.
Putting your reliance in a single security program to protect your system, your online activities, and keep you secure from data and financial theft malware and other non-traditional attack vectors is putting too much faith in a single line of defense.
What you need to do is imagine your system as a fortress, with the wealth in the center and all the defense walls surrounding it to keep the enemy at away.
You must construct those security fences one by one. Don’t put your faith in any of them.
Above all, you must keep your security level up to date. Educate yourself and be skeptical of claims that a single security program will provide absolute protection.
Myth #3: I don’t need security software since I don’t go to dangerous places.
How many times have we heard someone claim that they don’t need anti-malware software because they’re too savvy to fall for cyber criminals’ tricks?
Many people feel that using common sense will keep them secure from malware, phishing, identity theft, and other threats.
And they might be right if they’re thinking about spam email attachments or annoying pop-up advertising.
But that isn’t the only risk. Other malware attacks and weaknesses that aren’t evident are many.
Cyber criminals can use safe websites to inject malware into their adverts and, as a result, into your system.
You can get infected even if you visit a safe, fully respectable website that does not require you to click on anything.
You can become infected just as easily as if you visited a dangerous, unlawful website.
Malicious software and its methods of distribution are always changing. And just because they aren’t visible doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
It’s similar to driving a car to stay safe online. You may have common sense and be aware of potential threats, but can you always anticipate what others will do?
Furthermore, financial theft malware is becoming increasingly dangerous. It’s designed to remain undetected while gathering sensitive data from your banking transactions, so it might be days, if not months, before you see it.
Are you still certain that you don’t require security?
Myth #4: My account’s password is strong and complex, thus I’m safe.
Tsk tsk. Don’t hold your breath.
Yes, creating a strong password is highly suggested, so don’t ignore this crucial step.
It should have at least 15 letters in capital and lower case, as well as a variety of numerals and symbols. Set it at random to make it much more difficult for anyone attempting to crack it.
Keep in mind, however, that a strong password alone will not keep thieves at bay.
It’s only one of many layers of protection that will keep you secure.
The next safety measure to consider is if your password is unique. If you reuse it between accounts, a cyber criminal will have access to all of your digital assets simply by invading one of them.
After that, make sure second-factor authentication is enabled wherever it is possible. It will act as a second defensive wall, making it much more difficult to breach.
These long, unique, and complex passwords, however, have one main drawback: they are difficult to remember.
With dozens of digital accounts to manage, it’s easy to see how creating passwords, changing them frequently, and remembering them may become a hassle.
Try not to jot them down anywhere: on your computer, in an email draft, or on a scrap of paper on your desk. The risk of unauthorized access to your accounts will only rise as a result of this.
Instead, you can use password management software like LastPass to keep your passwords safe (and encrypted). It will also warn you if your passwords are too simple or not unique.
Myth #5: Internet security is prohibitively costly.
The majority of our generation’s time is spent online. We don’t just socialize with pals on social media networks; we also work online, shop online, and access our bank accounts, among other things.
Internet connection has become an integral aspect of our life, not merely a method to pass the time and occupy ourselves.
How difficult is it for a cybercriminal to combine data gathered from malicious software that has infected our device with information we supply on our Facebook account?
And from there, how distant are we from having our identity stolen for malevolent purposes?
We’ve all heard stories about people’s online identities being stolen and money being taken from their bank accounts. What we don’t hear is that recovery from such attacks takes a long period, possibly years.
Because an attack can happen anywhere in the world, the perpetrators are rarely apprehended.
When you draw the line, you realize that not taking a proactive approach to internet security is actually more costly.
Should we still take a chance online with this knowledge in mind?
Myth #6: I’m safe because I only open emails from my friends.
This is an excellent argument. Until you realize you’ve been duped and the email actually came from someone you know.
How many of us have already gotten an odd email from a friend or coworker?
Spoofing an email to make anyone’s name appear as the sender is not difficult.
It only takes one click for someone who isn’t educated to spot questionable emails to become infected with malware.
Clicking on links or downloading email attachments can easily install hazardous financial stealing malware on your device, which will remain hidden until the cyber burglar has all of your information.
These emails could even look to be from your coworkers or financial organizations. They can imitate you to the point of handing away your personal details.
We’ve put up a thorough guide that covers everything you need to know about phishing, including how to spot it, prevent it, and what to do if it’s already too late. Read it, study it, and put it to use!
Myth #7: I only use and download information from reliable sources. This shields me from harm.
This is a challenging security myth to dispel.
The majority of consumers believe that visiting safe and secure websites (and even downloading from those sites) will keep them safe.
Another prevalent misunderstanding is that “since it’s on the internet, it must be safe; otherwise, law enforcement agencies would have taken it down.”
The truth is very different. We are nevertheless vulnerable to internet risks even if we access and download from a trusted source.
Illegal websites can start overnight and go just as swiftly, but they can also remain online for years without being taken down. So don’t rely on law enforcement; they’re frequently overburdened and unable to keep up with cyber thieves’ antics.
Crooks create malicious software that is designed to avoid detection by traditional antivirus software.
To keep protected, install software that serves as a preventative measure before becoming infected and disclosing your information to criminal hackers. It adds an extra layer of security to the reactive nature of traditional antivirus software.
Myth #8: My social media accounts are secure. Friendships will endure.
Are you certain of that?
You can assume that when a social network becomes famous, cyber criminals will be present. They can detect the presence of prospective new victims.
Scammers have devised techniques that target these networks because so many people are easily connected.
If internet thieves can install dangerous content on legitimate websites like drive-by downloads and pop-up adverts, they can do the same with social network accounts.
Fake profiles and identities developed by cybercriminals offer a further threat to social media accounts. These are used to get personal data about other people.
That information may seem insignificant to you, but it will aid them in their identity theft operations. As a result, be cautious about who you add to your friend list.
Myth #9: I don’t have any sensitive data or vital information on my computer or email account. Why should I be concerned?
You certainly do. It’s just that you’re not aware of it. Or you don’t think it’s important.
Didn’t you allow your browser to remember all of your passwords for online accounts, banking websites, and e-mail addresses?
Isn’t your inbox overflowing with private messages and photos? What about employment contracts, invoicing, and tax documents?
Didn’t you link it to all of your other digital accounts, including social media, work accounts, cloud services, banking, and so on?
You may believe that your information is unimportant, yet cybercriminals collect and compile it. They can then use the information to steal your identity or sell it on the black market.
Even if there is no sensitive information on your system, a potential criminal can still utilize it for their own malevolent objectives.
Are you now concerned?
Myth #10: If I get infected, I’ll definitely notice.
Don’t believe everything you hear.
This used to be the case. When computers became slow and had annoying pop-ups all over the screen in the past, it was a solid symptom of infection.
Cybercriminals have refined their approaches recently. They are more effective and can conceal their strikes. Most consumers have no way of knowing if their computer is being used in spam campaigns or coordinated DDoS attacks.
To extract sensitive information, malware is designed to be invisible and untraceable, even by antivirus software. It could be months before you notice anything.
Install a strong antivirus software to protect against traditional attacks as well as a security application to protect against financial and data-stealing malware, keep up with the newest security news, and back it up!
Because we want to find easy solutions and simple answers to our security anxieties, security myths persist.
We are afraid that one day we may wake up to find that our passwords have been taken, our bank accounts have been emptied, our personal images have been used against us, and our private lives have been disrupted by unknown forces.
How can we confront our fears? Can we change people’s minds about security and address the genuine threats?
We cannot ignore the significant benefits, innovations, and opportunities that the digital world has brought to our lives. We connect with the world in a variety of ways, and we find knowledge anytime we need or want it.
But shouldn’t we also educate ourselves on the hidden risks of the internet?
Education begins with the rejection of incorrect information that we accept as true.
That is why this post necessitates a shift in perspective as to why we need to be informed about the latest threats and educate ourselves.
To be clear, we do not mean to imply that major corporations are exempt from taking the appropriate security precautions to disseminate this information and, ultimately, protect their employees and enterprises. However, at the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own acts.
Are we capable of seeing beyond these well-established security myths when we draw a boundary, especially when they are close to our personal worldview?
We’d want to hear your thoughts on what security myths you might have started a battle about, only to realize afterwards that they weren’t true?