7 Online security and privacy myths, debunked
We know a lot when it comes to our online security and anonymity, but are all the information that we have true? We help you find the answers by debunking seven of the most common myths on online security and privacy.
Myth #1: My security software can protect me against all online threats.
Fact: Anti-virus and anti-malware software are designed to protect your computer against spying and hacking, but they can’t protect you completely. One reason is because hackers create thousands of new malicious programs everyday, and many of these are created specifically to bypass a particular software. Additionally, some intrusions are not within the scope of most security software, including attacks via social media and email downloads.
Myth #2: Private browsing shields my data from spies.
Fact: Using private browsing disables your browsing history and web cache. While this is great for keeping your search history private, it’s not enough to keep your sessions safe from being monitored by spies online. Websites can still capture data about you when you visit, and they can use the information to identify your location and IP address, as well as the other websites you visit.
Myth #3: A strong password can protect me from hacking.
Fact: A strong password is necessary for a secure online experience, but it is not enough to keep you protected. There are many ways a hacker can crack even the strongest of passwords; with the right software, they can execute brute force attacks and dictionary attacks, both of which allow them to access your online accounts even without even knowing your password.
Myth #4: I'm not important enough to be a target of hackers.
Fact: There are millions of computers all over the world that are connected to the Internet, so why would hackers even care about hacking yours? Actually, there are a number of possible reasons. For example, they can recruit it into their army of zombie computers, allowing them to strengthen their DDoS attacks and send and steal data across millions of devices.
Myth #5: I don't have anything worth stealing on my device.
Fact: Yes, you may not have anything on your device that have monetary value for hackers. However, they can use all the metadata on your device to again administrative rights in your system. They can even use the data to steal your identity; they can shop online, visit adult sites, and conduct criminal activities while posing as you to evade being caught, all while pinning the blame on you.
Myth #6: Data collected by sites about me are not that sensitive.
Fact: It’s a well-known fact that the most websites today are capable of capturing the “footprints” of their visitors. Websites say they do this so they are able to make browsing more convenient for users. This can be a privacy concern, though, because advertisers, companies, government organizations and even other users can access all data stored by these cookies with the right tools.
Myth #7: I'm safe as long as I don't visit infected sites.
Fact: A lot of users stay away from adult sites, pirate sites and other shady websites because they think that doing so keeps their device safe. What many do not know is that just by going online, they are already at risk of becoming a victim of hacking. Attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. It’s possible for a user’s security to be compromised just by browsing through social media, clicking on an ad, or opening an excellently engineered email.
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