Internet Security: Mistaken Beliefs – Pt. 2

It’s time to learn more about some Mistaken Beliefs when it comes to your security on the internet.

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. Below are some more common Mistaken Beliefs.

  • I can safely read any e-mail as long as I don’t open any attachments.
    • Today’s technology and sneaky hackers don’t always require you to click and open. Researchers have discovered some HTML-enabled e-mails that delivered malicious software even if you don’t open an attachment. Don’t forget that just by opening a piece of spam e-mail you confirm to the spammer that your address is legit—and encourage more spam.
  • I’m safe visiting nearly any web site, because a site can’t infect my computer unless I knowingly download something from it.
    • Think Again! You don’t always know what is running in the background of a site. Web sites can trick you into downloading malicious software via a technique known as a drive-by download. Not all security software is equally effective at blocking these downloads. In fact, computers can be infected and crippled this way even though antivirus is running at the time. This risk is a good reason to make sure you back up important files on your computer on a regular basis.
  • I’m sure my computer isn’t infected by malware because the symptoms would be obvious.
    • Symptoms are not always readily apparent, that is, not all malicious software leaves tell-tale signs such as slowing down your computer or displaying annoying popups. If you have reason to suspect an infection, scan the computer using good security software. That’s not a sure thing either, but it’s the best you can do without bringing the computer to a professional.

Remember, check back next week for more Internet Security Mistaken Beliefs!

-Kara S., Chief Information Security Officer

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