Common Myths

-Courtesy of Secured IT Solutions

“You are not a target”

By all means you are. You may not be the target of large scale attacks like Target was, but you can be the target of smaller scale attacks like phishing or ransomware. These attacks can be quite costly, whether by identity theft or encrypting your files and holding them hostage.

“Macs, Cellphones, and Linux devices cannot get viruses/malware”

This is an incredibly common myth that has been perpetuated by many. Anything made by man has a vulnerability in it somewhere, no one person or company is perfect. Because of this, proper security on these devices is important. More information on antivirus software can be found here: Antivirus Programs

Strong passwords are passwords you can’t remember

There are so many things wrong with this that beginning is hard. People will frequently do this, and then not use a password manager or something else to manage it. So in order to remember their passwords, people will write them down or use an insecure password, or use one password for many sites. In order to prevent this use a passphrase. More info here: Passphrases

“I have an antivirus/firewall software running, I’m safe”

Unfortunately this is not true. New malware programs are being made every day, and until it is identified most if not all antivirus software cannot detect these. Firewalls only work if configured correctly. The best way to protect yourself from losing any important data is always to make frequent backups. This could be as simple as storing your important files on a removable hard disk, or using an online backup service.

Anti-malware software is also effective when connecting external devices.  When plugging in USBs, hard-drives, or any other devices, scan them with the anti-malware software to remove any potential infection.

“Phishing emails are easy to spot”

While this was true at one point, now these emails look like they come from legitimate companies, and the links inside will direct to a website that looks legitimate. These emails can look like they come from family members or government agencies as well. The best way to make sure is if it is an agency you recognize, go to their website directly, and if it is supposedly from a friend or family member, look at the style it is written in. If it seems unusual, ask them if they sent it. If not, then don’t follow any links in it.