When talking about the internet, one thing is for certain – rumors and myths are as easily spread as factual information. This is a big problem when it comes to internet security.
Myths make it easier for the bad guys to operate because ignorance is the kiss of death and not bliss online, at least when it comes to keeping your computer, digital files and even your identity protected.
The good news is that we’ve done some extensive research and dug up some of the top internet security myths too many people believe. Even better, we have advice on what to do to stay safe online.
Internet Security Myths and the Truth
Below, we have several internet security myths that are still believed by a lot of people. Here at SSL.com, we want to get some good information spread around. So, if you know someone who might benefit from this post, be sure to send them a link or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or your favorite social media site. Together, we might be able to make a small difference and help keep someone from having their computer infected and taken over by the bad guys.
Myth: I don’t open email attachments, so I’m fine
The truth is that this is just one of many ways you can get malware on your computer. While email attachments were a common way to spread malware in the past, these days it’s much more common to suffer from a drive-by download when just visiting a website.
Myth: Free antivirus software is just as good as paid antivirus software
While having something is better than nothing (in most cases), in reality the free antivirus software is not going to do as much as the software that costs money. In our opinion, investing in good antivirus software is a very smart idea these days. Yes, it costs money, but it’s going to help keep your computer and your identity safe.
Myth: It’s easy to see when malware is installed
If you think that you’ll notice when your computer gets infected with malware and that you’ll be able to take action at that point, you need to seriously think again. While some malware will noticeably slow down your computer or throw up advertising, this is not always the case. The bad guys are extremely tricky when it comes to infecting computers these days.
Myth: I can visit any website I want as long as I don’t download anything
This may have been true in the very earliest days of the internet, but it’s definitely no longer the case. So called “drive-by downloads” are real, and they can catch even the most security aware person by surprise sometimes. If you’re not running any type of virus protection or a firewall, your chances of being hit go up quite dramatically.
Myth: I Don’t Visit Porn Sites or Other Sketchy Sites Online, So I’m Safe
In actuality, malware can now be disguised in advertising on mainstream sites that aren’t “sketchy.” Sometimes it’s easier for the bad guys to break into a non-porn or gambling website because they typically have lax security compared to other types of sites that make security a priority. You never know where the malware is going to pop up and try to infect you.
Myth: I don’t stick strange USB drives in my computer, so I’m safe
While malware can be distributed by flash drives, it’s actually much more common to contract a virus or malware online these days. You do want to be careful about what you stick into your computer’s USB ports, but it’s even more important to stay vigilant online and to have the proper security software installed on your system.
Myth: No one would want anything on my computer, so I’m not a target
This is definitely not true. Bad guys scan the internet looking for vulnerable computers all the time. Even if they don’t want any specific information on yours, they may still take it over. And if they install a keystroke logger, you’ll be compromised if you ever log into your online banking or another website on that computer.
More Internet Security Myths?
Think we missed one or two internet security myths? Leave us a comment below and let us know. We love hearing from our readers, especially when they have something to add to the topic being discussed. Keeping secure online these days is vitally important even if you don’t think the bad guys would be able to find your computer or want anything on it. The truth is that the web is a very dangerous place if you surf it without protection.