You probably have an idea about how important it is to protect your personal information online. From social media and email scams to malware and hacks, there’s no shortage of cyber threats. One of the best ways to protect yourself online is by separating fact from fiction. Here are five common internet security myths you might believe and what you should be doing to stay safe, brought to you by ADS Guards, one of the top security companies in Hayward.
1. I Won’t Be Targeted Because I’m Not Important Enough
Many people think the internet is too big for anyone to take notice of them, and even if someone does try to attack vulnerabilities in their system, they don’t have very valuable data to steal. The truth is cyber-attacks aren’t personal and are largely automated. Cyber criminals will take anything they can get, which may be your personal information rather than access to an account. This is still valuable information that can be used to steal your identity and damage your credit.
2.Using Antivirus Software Is Sufficient
Think of an antivirus program as a flu shot. It can protect you against some strains of the flu, but not all of them and certainly not other viruses. A single antivirus program isn’t enough to protect against the thousands of malware threats circulating every day. Most programs do a fairly good job of protecting against viruses, but they can be pretty hit and miss when it comes to adware, worms, backdoors, ransomware, and many types of malware.
3. Public Wi-Fi Is Safe
Public Wi-Fi may be convenient, but it’s far from secure. Accessing personal accounts like email or bank accounts on an unsecured hotspot is essentially rolling the dice. There are many ways for even unskilled hackers to compromise a public network to see what you’re doing. One common threat is called a man-in-the-middle attack in which hackers intercept data when you shop or log onto an account. Cloning, which involves diverting you to a fake website, can also be easy to do over a hotspot. Many free hotspots at businesses, airports, and hotels do not even use encryption technology.
4. You Can’t Get Infected Just by Visiting a Website
Many people believe malware only comes from email attachments or that they need to be aware of downloading something to infect their computer. The truth is many attacks online happen when loading an infected webpage that triggers a drive-by download that installs itself. A firewall can’t detect drive-by downloads because they’re hidden among normal website traffic. Don’t assume general websites are safer than adult websites, either. It’s usually easier to hack hobby or general websites than professionally maintained websites.
5. Strong Passwords Are Enough
While it’s recommended that you choose unique, strong passwords for all of your accounts, a strong password won’t be enough to keep cyber criminals away. Instead, it’s one of several layers of security. Along with choosing strong passwords, activate second-factor authentication when possible to create a second barrier around your accounts. This will require a second method of authentication along with your password, such as entering a code from your email or text message.
Cyber security is crucial in a corporate setting, as is the presence of highly trained guards. If you need corporate security services in Hayward, reach out to ADS Guards today. Call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our friendly representatives and receive a complimentary quote.