10 Cybersecurity Myths we Should Stop Believing

September 16, 2021

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Kayla Moore

10 Cybersecurity Myths we Should Stop Believing

 

Cyber criminals aren’t just out to get the big companies. If you own a mobile device, chances are you are a target of cyber attack. Over the years, a lot of misconceptions have come up regarding cybersecurity and who needs to pay attention to it. But the truth is, it’s something everyone needs to be aware of. The safer every individual is, the safer our networks are.

Here are 10 myths about cybersecurity that we need to stop believing.

 

10) You have no real sensitive data to protect

Even your average Joe has something worth protecting. When you first sign up for an app, you sign away your consent to have your information sold to other companies for demographic and marketing purposes. This is not a form of malicious data selling, however, this information makes companies millions of dollars, so there is no reason why a hacker wouldn’t want to cash in on this selling of data. Even if you are sure that you have nothing to hide, or that you have no significant amount of money to steal, or no important identity to uncover, this simply isn’t the case. Your identity is worth protecting.

 

9) Using security software instantly makes you untouchable

Many people think that security software will act as an impenetrable fortress between their data and cybercriminals. A group of Russian hackers breached servers of three major antivirus providers. Now, all the information they stole is up for sale on the Dark Web, as often happens with stolen data. In addition to using antivirus software, it’s recommended that you keep your operating system (OS) software and security software updated.

8) After a breach, there is nothing left to protect

With the modern-day internet, there are websites that can determine whether or not your data has been compromised with a single phone number or email, for example, https://haveibeenpwned.com/. Ending up on this website or stumbling across your own data online can bring about dreadful feelings. Your information has already been compromised, so what’s the point of continuing to try and protect it? It’s important to not slip into this mindset, as there are different types of data breaches that can contain different information. For example, say your password and username to your bank account have been breached. Do not give up – giving up empowers the hackers to pry for even more information, which could lead them to your Social Security number or more.

 

7) Phishing scams are always easy to spot

As we get smarter about spotting phishing scams, hackers are getting smarter about creating them, especially as scams on larger corporations increase. In these trying COVID-19 times, the number of phishing attacks has skyrocketed, often disguising themselves as phony vaccine appointment reminders, contact tracing, and CDC emails regarding updates on the virus. 

Very realistic-looking extortion scams are making the rounds now as well. Putting it suitable for all audiences, an email will arrive with your email address and a familiar-looking password attached. The hacker will tell you to pay a fee or else webcam footage of you browsing certain adult websites will be released. Pretty evil, but don’t buy into it. The scammer most likely got your email address and password from a data breach. It’s best to just change your password

It’s not always as simple as an unfamiliar account reaching out to you with bizarre messages trying to get you to click on a link. Sometimes, they use familiar faces against you, which leads to the next myth.

 

6) Your social media friends are not a threat to you

Social media apps like FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, etc are perfect for connecting with family and friends. Even if you exclusively connect with friends and family, no web would be without a few spiders. Gateway breaches can happen. If your friend experiences a breach, you are now at risk, as a member of their network. They may send you a link and tell you to check out a new cool website, or the like. The hacker is counting on you to let your guard down since it’s coming from a familiar face, so it’s beneficial to stay alert, especially if the friend has never sent anything to you before or has sent the link randomly.

 

5) Hackers are elusive figures

Everyone knows the classic image of a hacker– sitting in a dark room with a hoodie (and a mask, if you’re feeling especially scary), hunched over a computer with the matrix at his fingertips. Hackers are actually just normal people and are indistinguishable in a crowd. Speaking of crowds, hackers are very rarely alone. There are entire organizations, some are even funded and sanctioned by the government (these hackers are often “good”). It’s important to realize that this is a bigger threat than anticipated, which will help your level of security in the future.

 

4) You don’t browse the deep web, so there is no need for extra security

You need security software no matter where you go or what sites/apps you visit. Remember what I wrote earlier about how social media apps sell your data to make their money. The more cookies you have in your browser, the more your every step is being followed. It’s best to clear these out every so often and be more selective about who you allow to give you cookies.

When multiple sites have a detailed profile of you, that increases your chances of getting your data breached, since all companies are vulnerable to a data breach. Security software keeps you safe. It’s like two-factor authentication: a necessary step towards protecting your privacy.

 

3) You use complex passwords

In this ever-changing cyber world, even the long and overly complicated passwords are not enough. Hackers are constantly learning how to identify the passwords we use in our password creation, and there are programs that can run billions of potential passwords in a matter of seconds.  This sounds pretty alarming, we know. But one great thing you can do to fortify even the weakest password is to enable 2-factor authentification. This, combined with enabling notifications about potentially fraudulent activity, is a much more secure way to protect your accounts!

 

2) You know a fake voice when you hear it

We’ve all gotten calls from the “IRS” with its signature robotic voice demanding that we provide our social security card number. This makes it easy to say “I know a robot when I hear one”, but like with everything else we’ve discussed, the technology is constantly evolving. Deepfake technology is on the rise and can replicate more than just a person’s face, but their voice, making phone calls much harder to distinguish

 

1) You’ll know if/when your computer gets compromised

The very nature of a cybercriminal is to be sneaky and not get caught. Their goal is to infiltrate your computer without you knowing it, especially if they’re doing it to get information. Trojan horses are made especially for this purpose, allowing them to trigger no red flags in your computer.

 

HOW SECURE HALO CAN HELP.

Penetration Testing

Attackers scan for vulnerabilities that will open the door into organizations. But how do you find every vulnerability and how do you know which to prioritize fixing? Trust the Secure Halo Find, Fix, Protect approach. We assess your network security, reveal vulnerabilities, and recommend decisive actions to maximize limited resources. To learn more, click here.

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