Internet Security: Mistaken Beliefs – Pt. 1

When it comes to Internet security, what you think you know can hurt you. A lot of what passes for common sense about this subject is just plain wrong—and often risky. For the next few weeks we’ll be laying out some mistaken beliefs. Which of them apply to you?

  • I don’t worry because I’ve got security software on my computer.
    • Security software is essential, but it won’t protect you from every threat out there. Don’t drop your guard. Even the best security suite may fail to stop a new piece of malicious software that has been in circulation for too short a time to be easily recognized.
    • Security software needs to be updated frequently. If you’re still running the trial version of the security software that came with your new computer a couple of years ago without having paid for updates, that software has probably gone stale.
  • No need to worry when I use my smartphone or tablet because security risks are only for desktop and laptop computers.
    • It’s partly true: Malicious software is rare on Apple mobile devices and just a small threat on Android devices if you stick with apps from the Google Play Store or Amazon App Store for Android. Security Risks are present but are NOT the same. Phones and tablets have other risks, namely that a stolen or lost device will be hacked into by a criminal, or that someone will tap into your communications when you use the device at an unprotected Wi-Fi hot spot in, say, a coffee shop or airport. To minimize the threats from a lost phone use the device’s built-in security features.

Make sure to to check back here next week for more Internet Security Mistaken Beliefs.

-Kara S., Chief Information Security Officer

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