Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

With all the conflicting information available online, it’s understandable that you sometimes don’t know who to trust. Security and privacy are no strangers to misconceptions; we’ve covered some of the most dangerous cyber myths 4 Cyber Security Myths That Must Die 4 Cyber Security Myths That Must Die Read More .

If you’ve taken these myths as truth, it’s time to get the facts straight! Extinguishing the lies is a big step in making sure everyone is safer online.

Misconception: Windows Updates Make Antivirus Software Unnecessary

Our guide on everything you need to know about Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More highlighted the fact that updates are crucial to your PC’s security. It seems to follow, then, that if you’re diligent about installing patches you can forget using an antivirus. This, however, is a deadly mistake.

01-Windows-Update

Reality: Windows Updates Come After The Fact

While keeping Windows up-to-date is a necessary part of security, it can’t replace an antivirus, which works nonstop to protect you.

Consider this analogy: a real-time antivirus Stay Protected From Every Type Of Malware With Avast Free Antivirus Stay Protected From Every Type Of Malware With Avast Free Antivirus Comprehensive malware protection doesn't need to cost a fortune. Many reputable free antivirus programs are equally effective as paid ones, and avast! Free Antivirus stands with the best Windows antivirus programs. Read More is like guards watching every window and door in your house to make sure no unwanted guests get in. An antivirus scan Make Sure You're Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows] Make Sure You're Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows] It sucks to be constantly bombarded by computer-related threats, whether they’re spyware, malware, viruses, keyloggers, or whatever else. A popular way to combat this problem is to install an antivirus solution that sits in the... Read More is those guards searching every corner of your house to try to find a problem. It makes a lot more sense to keep the problems out so you don’t have to look for them later. Relying on Microsoft to patch problems out of Windows is even worse, because the fixes come on their time.

Advertisement

02-Guard-Standing

A real-life example of this happened recently, when Microsoft hurriedly issued a security patch to fix a serious issue Windows Users Beware: You've Got A Serious Security Issue Windows Users Beware: You've Got A Serious Security Issue Read More . Had Microsoft not found out about the problem, the issue could have been prolonged for days or weeks. If Windows Updates are your only security, you’re putting yourself at increased risk. Aside from big problems like the one above, Windows Updates don’t protect you from malicious software that you might install on your own, such as browser hijackers 3 Essential Steps To Get Rid Of Chrome Hijackers In Minutes 3 Essential Steps To Get Rid Of Chrome Hijackers In Minutes Have you ever opened your browser of choice and been greeted with a bizarre-looking start page or an unsightly toolbar glued to the top of the page? Restore your browser to tip-top shape. Read More .

In short, Windows Updates patch known vulnerabilities, but aren’t meant to protect from everyday threats. Thankfully, you can make Windows Update less annoying Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Fix Windows Update & Make It Less Annoying Without Compromising Security Windows Update can be a nuisance. Here is how you can protect yourself from its annoyances without compromising security. Read More without taking away from its security benefits, so be sure you aren’t neglecting it, either.

Misconception: Malware Infections Are Obvious

It’s easy to think that anytime you have rogue applications on your computer it will become evident. Sometimes, such as in the case of browser pop-ups Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Pop-ups can catch you off guard, and if you're not careful they can create problems. Learn how to avoid them and how to handle them if they do come up. Read More , you will be able to detect foul play, but this isn’t always what happens.

Reality: A Lot Of Malware Is Silent

For every loud and proud piece of malware, there’s a dozen rogue applications that are spying on you without making a sound. Many of these create zombie computers Is Your PC A Zombie? And What's a Zombie Computer, Anyway? [MakeUseOf Explains] Is Your PC A Zombie? And What's a Zombie Computer, Anyway? [MakeUseOf Explains] Have you ever wondered where all of the Internet spam comes from? You probably receive hundreds of spam-filtered junk emails every day. Does that mean there are hundreds and thousands of people out there, sitting... Read More , which are responsible for much of the spam and website attacks that happen constantly. Additionally, if you fall for a phishing scam What Exactly Is Phishing & What Techniques Are Scammers Using? What Exactly Is Phishing & What Techniques Are Scammers Using? I’ve never been a fan of fishing, myself. This is mostly because of an early expedition where my cousin managed to catch two fish while I caught zip. Similar to real-life fishing, phishing scams aren’t... Read More and a password falls into a thief’s grasp, they could be accessing your accounts — quietly, of course, so that you don’t suspect anything.

For instance, a hacker set up email forwarding on Scarlett Johansson’s account so that he could read all of her messages without her knowledge. Knowing how to avoid being hacked like a celebrity 4 Ways To Avoid Being Hacked Like A Celebrity 4 Ways To Avoid Being Hacked Like A Celebrity Leaked celebrity nudes in 2014 made headlines around the world. Make sure it doesn't happen to you with these tips. Read More goes a long way in defeating these stealthy infections.

The take-home message: don’t assume that just because everything looks normal that it is. Change your passwords regularly 6 Tips For Creating An Unbreakable Password That You Can Remember 6 Tips For Creating An Unbreakable Password That You Can Remember If your passwords are not unique and unbreakable, you might as well open the front door and invite the robbers in for lunch. Read More to be sure that someone isn’t getting in behind your back.

Misconception: I Don’t Do Anything Important On My Computer, So I Don’t Need To Be Careful

This is probably the most common reason people give for not keeping their computer safe. Sadly, it’s a poor excuse and those who give it are wrong.

Reality: Everything You’ve Invested In Is Worth Something

People who claim things like “I don’t have anything valuable on my computer,” or “There’s nothing worth stealing on there!” when referring to malware might not have military secrets or even financial info on their machine How To Keep Your Paypal Account Safe From Hackers How To Keep Your Paypal Account Safe From Hackers Read More , but they haven’t stopped to think about less obvious implications.

03-Mouse-And-Key

Claiming that your equipment, time, and energy are not valuable is just silly. At the bare minimum, a virus or other malware What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] Some people call any type of malicious software a "computer virus," but that isn't accurate. Viruses, worms, and trojans are different types of malicious software with different behaviors. In particular, they spread themselves in very... Read More infecting your PC — even if your financial info isn’t at risk — is going to take time to deal with. Your time is valuable Time Is Money: 4 Ways To Cure Financial Procrastination & Save Today Time Is Money: 4 Ways To Cure Financial Procrastination & Save Today Wake up! The longer you wait around to get your present and future money in order, the more money you're going to lose. Yes, that's right. Financial management is time-critical. Read More , and if you’re recruiting a tech-savvy friend to fix your PC Why You Should Never Ask Friends or Family to Fix Your Computer [Opinion] Why You Should Never Ask Friends or Family to Fix Your Computer [Opinion] There seems to be this huge misunderstanding that anyone who knows something about computers is a geek and can fix them, regardless of what is broken. In reality, when it comes to complex issues, most... Read More after your neglect, their time is affected too. Wiping your computer and starting fresh thanks to malware means more time and effort to get your programs re-installed and running just the way you like.

Even so, your time is not the only consideration here. Remember that most malware isn’t looking to steal files on your system. Rather, it’s tracking your every keystroke 4 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Keyloggers 4 Ways To Protect Yourself Against Keyloggers Keyloggers are one of the most well known and feared security threats on computers today. There are many ways to protect against keyloggers, however, and ensure that you don't become a victim of identify theft... Read More , stealing passwords, or even hacking into your webcam How Easy Is It For Someone To Hack Your Webcam? How Easy Is It For Someone To Hack Your Webcam? Read More to spy on you. A barely used machine is still a practical target for malicious use, so claiming that your computer isn’t worth anything simply doesn’t hold up.

Misconception: I Don’t Run Windows, So I’m Immune To Malware

Another common reason as old as Windows itself, those who give this excuse see Windows as a virus-laden cesspool and believe that their Mac or Linux computer (or perhaps their Android or iOS phone/tablet) are totally invulnerable. While it’s true that these platforms have less of an issue with malware, they aren’t 100% immune.

Reality: All Platforms Are Vulnerable

While Windows viruses won’t affect Mac computers, Macs can still run into problems I Think My Mac Has A Virus! 3 Ways You Can Tell I Think My Mac Has A Virus! 3 Ways You Can Tell Is your Mac acting kind of... weird? Whether you're seeing adverts you can't explain, or your system is unreasonably slow, you might think the problem is malware. But you're probably wrong. Read More , such as the Flashback Trojan Flashback Mac Trojan Is Back, With A Vengeance [News] Flashback Mac Trojan Is Back, With A Vengeance [News] Read More that affected machines running OS X in 2012. Android ransomware is a real threat FBI Ransomware Hits Android: How To Avoid Getting It, And Remove It FBI Ransomware Hits Android: How To Avoid Getting It, And Remove It Learn how to keep your Android device safe from FBI Ransomware with these tips. Read More , and there are even scam apps in the Play Store Scam Apps in the Play Store You Need to Avoid Scam Apps in the Play Store You Need to Avoid For every amazing app you can find on Android, there's a cheap knockoff waiting to waste your time and steal your money. Read More waiting to take your money. iOS devices are inherently secure — unless you’ve jailbroken Smartphone Security: Can iPhones Get Malware? Smartphone Security: Can iPhones Get Malware? Malware affecting "thousands" of iPhones can steal App Store credentials, but the majority of iOS users are perfectly safe – so what's the deal with iOS and rogue software? Read More .

04-Creep-Guy

Do you need to install an antivirus on your iPhone? No, but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. You can fall for phishing tricks 4 General Methods You Can Use To Detect Phishing Attacks 4 General Methods You Can Use To Detect Phishing Attacks A "phish" is a term for a scam website that tries to look like a site that you know might well and visit often. The act of all these sites trying to steal your account... Read More , perhaps via email or social media 5 Ways To Spot Social Media Scams & Rogue Apps 5 Ways To Spot Social Media Scams & Rogue Apps Facebook is a huge platform for all sorts of scams. Cleaning up after falling for one is a pain; let's take a look at some ways to identify and avoid them. Read More , no matter what platform you use. Accidentally handing your password over to a fake site is going to yield the same result no matter if it’s done on Windows, Mac, or Android.

Myths: Busted!

It’s unfortunate that security myths spread so widely online, but by taking the time to understand the truth, you can arm yourself better against the ever-present threats on the Internet.

We’ve debunked more big security myths 5 Security Software Myths That Can Prove Dangerous 5 Security Software Myths That Can Prove Dangerous Malware is still a thing! Tens of millions of PCs remain infected worldwide. The damage ranges from unstable computers to identity theft. What makes people not take malware seriously? Let's uncover the myths. Read More in the past if you’re interested in further reading. Still using Microsoft Security Essentials? You need to replace it with a proper antivirus solution Why You Should Replace Microsoft Security Essentials With A Proper Antivirus Why You Should Replace Microsoft Security Essentials With A Proper Antivirus Read More as soon as you can.

Which security misconception do you wish would go away? If you’ve got an unbelievable security story, share it with us below!

Image Credits: Holding tablespoon via Shutterstock, Guard via morgueFile, Mouse and Key via morgueFile, Peeking Man via Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *