Why TV Is Not The Place To Go For Cybersecurity Advice

Christian Cawley 20-11-2014

When disaster strikes, online and digital security is big news. Big data breaches, major security threats to online users and other security related topics result in the “experts” being wheeled out to offer a supposedly professional analysis of the situation.


Often what they say regurgitates press releases and the analyses of their contemporaries, resulting in a generic – often inaccurate – message. Is it their fault? At best, these guys seem to be poorly presented on news and current affairs programs; at worst, they’re guilty of misleading viewers. It’s difficult to say where the blame lays. Fortunately, there is something you can do about all this.

Put simply, if you see an expert giving cybersecurity advice on TV, you should head online and get what you’ve just heard verified. After all, 4chan isn’t a person.

But if you can’t trust the talking heads, which websites should you put your faith in?

Sophos Naked Security

One of the most respected names in online security, Sophos has been publishing anti-virus software (for Mac OS X Protect Your Mac With Sophos Anti-Virus For Free There was a time when Mac users did not have to worry about any sorts of threats, whether it was viruses, Trojans or worms. Read More as well as Windows) since the mid-1980s. Its Naked Security blog is a well written and regularly-updated news source of all of the latest threats usually accompanied with a clear explanation of the implications.



Security information is offered across a range of topics, such as Android, Malware, Privacy and more, and the site also offers a newsletter, which we think you should subscribe to.

The resources listed here don’t necessarily have to be approached in the order that they appear, but I would recommend that Naked Security should be your first choice if you don’t already subscribe to it in your mobile newsreader.


Worried about Facebook security and privacy?



You’re not alone, which is probably why Facecrooks is a popular destination for those with such concerns.

While it isn’t updated as regularly as some of the other sites in this list, the site nevertheless provides vital information to Facebook users about scams and privacy and even provides the means to report what you consider to be a scam on the social network.

The depth and breadth of information concerning your data and Facebook on Facecrooks is unparalleled, which is why you should subscribe or bookmark the site.

Wired Threat Level

If you already read the Wired website, the chances are that you’re already familiar with their Threat Level pages, a cleverly-named collection of the latest news, presented with the same depth and professionalism as you find on their other technology pages.



This attention to detail and quality journalism makes Threat Level a great resource for anyone interested in finding out more about online security issues, or even getting to grips with some good quality digital security journalism.

Schneier On Security

Bruce Schneier is the man to listen to when it comes to online security. After launching an online newsletter back in 1998, his blog at opened in 2004, regularly alerting readers to the latest security threats and weeding out the facts.



It’s a method that works, and Bruce’s blogging style is conversational, so you get the impression you’re listening to a knowledgeable friend rather than a journalist who covers security as part of his remit as a technology expert. Ryan spoke to Bruce earlier this year about the matter of computer security Security Expert Bruce Schneier On Passwords, Privacy and Trust Learn more about security and privacy in our interview with security expert Bruce Schneier. Read More , and his comments were as insightful as ever.

If it’s answers you’re looking for, you’ll find them at Schneier On Security!


Yep, right here. Over the past few months we’ve developed our security content considerably, and the drive behind this is a simple philosophy: make sure the reader understands.


We’ve provided clarity on a number of recent security issues, from the recent eBay breaches New EBay Security Breach: Time To Reconsider Your Membership? Buyers shopping for new iPhones have found themselves scammed by criminals employing a cross site scripting vulnerability on eBay listings. Find out how to avoid being caught out by the security weakness. Read More to the potentially devastating Heartbleed bug Digging Through The Hype: Has Heartbleed Actually Harmed Anyone? Read More , while also bring you details about ATM fraud ATM Skimming Can Ruin Your Life - Here's How To Stay Safe Unfortunately, ATM machines are not as safe as we'd like them to be. Read More , guides on how to setup a memorable-yet-secure password 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 and information on how to avoid getting scammed on social networks.

Should you have any misgivings or doubts about the cybersecurity information you see on TV, these five resources are the best places to go for verification and often a more in-depth appreciation of the subject.

Take any opportunity you can to follow these sites on Twitter, subscribe to their newsletters or Facebook pages, and generally stay in touch with the updates they’re publishing – and bookmark them too. In short: make sure you know what’s going on by checking these sites.

Where do you find is the best place to get clear, accurate advice about online security issues? Share your favoured links in the comments below.

Image Credits: Working of a laptop Via Shutterstock

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  1. Cynthia Heltherbro
    November 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Got some info here in this article and amazing

  2. Roger Caldwell
    November 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I have seen so many of these inaccurate "reports". The one that stands out is a video that so many people have forwarded to me because they just don't know any better. It was aired on FoxNews which is no surprise as they seem to be striving for the record of Most Deceptive Reporting on TV.

    The segment was warning people about the dangers of smartphone "flashlight apps" and how they are all just Trojans that are sending all of your private data to a remote server in Russia. They then showed an example of an iPhone with the stock flashlight app. Yeah, I'm so sure that Apple's in-house app is going to be the culprit. The real issue is just a few flashlight apps on Android. Way to go FoxNews....once again. :(

  3. KT
    November 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Awesome article. MUO and Wired are long time faves of mine. I'll probably be adding the other sited to those. Thanks for the info.

  4. STLShawn
    November 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Great article. Very much to the point and readable over lunch.

    Makeuseof seems to be definately on track with these articles that are very timely. As an I.T. Person, I do get many questions from people about security and the things that they have heard on various sensationalized and half accurate television reports, but when I point them at the information streams that I use, it only confuses them. I will definately keep a bookmark of this article to hand out to people who are curious about security.