6 common misconceptions about computer security

computer security

By Ken Wilson, ThePCDoctor

The world today is more connected than ever, and it will keep going that way. This leaves us open to cyber-attacks and our personal data at risk more than ever. There are myths about security that you should not believe because it leaves you open to these attacks.

It would never happen to me

Think you have nothing hackers want? Think again. Yes, the internet is a large space with billions of users, but you still have personal information on your computer that hackers would find useful. If you do not protect yourself, it only takes one hacker to ruin your life by taking your identify or confidential information stored on your computer.

Protecting your Wi-Fi is enough

Hopefully you know not to leave your Wi-Fi open while you are out in public or at your house. There are a couple tools that are commonly use to protect Wi-Fi network, such as SSID and MAC filtering. Yet, these are not enough to protect yourself. While people may not be able to see your network, as soon as you log on your SSID is sent over the air where Wi-Fi scanning tools can then be used to pull this information.

I don’t need anti-malware

Even if you do not do anything risky online, you still need to protect yourself from malware. For example, the Styx virus was put into YouTube ads so anyone who viewed videos with those ads gets the virus. YouTube is considered a safe website by most, which is why it is necessary to have anti-virus and anti-malware on your computer. It is better to prevent something from happening than trying to recover or fix damage that has been done to your computer.

Browsing incognito will protect me

Incognito mode will protect your privacy somewhat, but only from others who use your computer. For example, if you are looking up Valentine’s Day gifts for your significant other who uses the same computer, use incognito mode so they cannot see what your recent searches have been. Yet, your internet provider can still see what you are browsing and you can still be tracked online.

VPNs make me anonymous

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are good to have, but they do not completely give you anonymity online, nor do they entirely protect you from hackers. They do help give you more privacy while you are browsing the web, certainly more than if you are not using one at all. Yet, people will still be able to trace your browsing history depending how determined and skilled they are.

Passwords are enough

Yes, passwords are necessary but do not think they protect you from hackers even if you use uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. There is advanced software that is dedicated to guessing different passwords. One piece of software guesses eight million password combinations per second. Make sure to have more protection than just a password.

Taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself, identity, and data are extremely important. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions out there that can leave you vulnerable to attackers. No matter what you do, no piece of software or precaution will make you 100 percent attack proof. There are things you can do to make yourself close, however; and make it harder for hackers to get your data.

Ken Wilson is a Tech Guru and Security Specialist at ThePCDoctor

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