Security Matters, fact or fiction?
July 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM
We’ve all been there at one point or another, an email, a dodgy link or just an unlucky decision.
But one way or another we always find a way to believe we’re not going to be scammed, hacked or taken advantage of on the internet.
The fact is we are all equally likely to be a victim of cyber-crime, and increasingly so as the tech industry becomes a larger part of our public and private lives.
Here are a few myths we all fall for at some point:
1) No One Would Want To Hack Me, I Don’t Have Anything worth Taking
Although you may be right, you may not realise what you have. A computer, a home network and an internet connection, in the wrong hands these tools can be remotely controlled for use in Denial of Service Attacks, or more recently to mine the digital currency bitcoin without the computer owners knowledge!
2) Services Like Tor and VPNs Make Me Completely Anonymous
Services that provide some form of anonymity online are great, we use them, corporations use them, and we’d say home users should too. But these services aren’t foolproof , and in reality, you online habits still put you at risk. Great services such as these undoubtedly make you a far more difficult target for criminals, but for the truly driven, not impossible at all.
3) MAC Filtering and Disabling SSID Broadcast Is Enough Protection For My Wi-Fi Network
While technically sounding like great solutions for keeping your wireless networks safe, the truth is, that for anyone with the technical know-how, these measures do very little.
Hiding you Networks SSID is pointless, because the moment you use your wireless network your SSID name is sent over the air anyway.
Mac address filtering is a slightly more time consuming matter and requires you to manually allow which mac addresses are allowed to connect to your wireless network, if you can maintain it, it will deter many criminals simply because it is far simpler to move to the next network which in all likelihood will not have set up this mild obstacle. However it is still possible to monitor which mac addresses are accessing the network and spoof one of them to gain access.
4) Incognito Mode Protects My Privacy
One of the more popular myths around at the moment. So just to clarify, incognito modes provided on browsers can protect your privacy from other users of the same computer, but it does not actually protect you from the rest of the internet!
ISP’s and websites you visit can still track your IP and log them. Also any potential add-ons you have installed on your browser of choice may still be collecting data without your knowledge.
5) I Don’t Need Anti-Malware Tools, I Don’t Do Anything Risky
The common perception that users have is that “common sense” will keep you safe, if you do nothing risky, nothing risky will happen. The problem here is simply just how users define “common sense”.
A simple antivirus/antimalware application is a good idea for any user. Obviously how effective it is at preventing viruses and/or malware is up for debate, but similar to a safety belt, it doesn’t take much time to install one of the many options, and without a doubt eventually it will protect you in one form or another