Internet Security: Mistaken Beliefs – Pt. 3

It’s time once again to learn about 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.

  • My computer is safe because I only visit well-known sites and avoid the shady ones.
    • No one is immune! High-profile sites are not immune to malicious software. A criminal practice known as malvertising displayed banner ads on 22 popular sites, including Yahoo Finance, AOL, The Atlantic and Match.com, infecting users’ computers with CryptoWall, a malicious ransomware program, according to security film Proofpoint.
  • I’m sure no one would attack my computer. There’s nothing on it worth stealing.
    • 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 change my passwords often to be more secure.
    • Changing passwords often does not improve your security. In fact, if you change them so often that you’re tempted to come up with quick-and-dirty passwords so a website will accept them or write them down to remember later, it can actually lower your security.

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

-Kara S., Chief Information Security Officer

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