There are constant threats lurking online. Unethical users, commonly referred to as “hackers”, seem to continue to find new ways to obtain personal data, infiltrate trusted sources, and spread malicious code. Fortunately, technology based companies have recognized these dangers, and work diligently to offer software products that are designed to protect our cyber world. With that being said, there are a few common misconceptions about internet safety that may prevent users from receiving the full benefit of these advances.
Misconception – Anti-virus software is the same as internet security
Reality – Not exactly. Although it is recommended that you have anti-virus protection on your computer or network, it is not the same as internet security. Internet Security is actually a type of software package that includes an anti-virus component. Anti-virus software can provide certain vital defenses against viruses, worms, trojans, and phishing. However, Internet Security software can offer that same protection, and more. Some additional benefits may include protection against spam, spyware and identity theft; as well as, a parental control management system.
Because security software packages do not usually cost much more than anti-virus protection software, it may be a good idea to research your options before making a purchase, or consider upgrading to a more comprehensive safeguard.
Misconception – As long as I only download information from a trusted source, my computer is safe.
Reality – Even if you download content from a trusted source, you may still be vulnerable to dangers such as viruses, worms, and malware. In fact, worms can infect one computer, then duplicate and spread to many other computers. This can happen by a user simply previewing an email, or by visiting a website. Even worse, it can happen without even being detected by the infected party, and continue its malicious journey to the next victim.
Misconception – My personal data is always safe if there is an SSL encrypted connection.
Reality – SSL encrypted sites do not always protect you against malware. It is not uncommon for hackers to design sites that imitate other trusted sites. This is one way that they can obtain personal information from unsuspected computer users.
Trusted sites can also be infiltrated. If malicious code is added directly to the content pages of a trusted website, harmful files can actually download and execute automatically, just by a user visiting the page. When…