We all see the news stories about cyber-criminals, stolen credit card numbers, and computer hacking. This makes us ask the question... what do I need to do to protect my computer at home or work? In today's newsletter, we'll see three common myths about cybersecurity so you can keep your computer and data safe!
Myth #1: I am safe because I've installed anti-virus software on my computer (Norton, McAfee, Symantec, etc).
Fact: While anti-virus software is a very important element in protecting your computer, it does not guarantee you are protected from a cyber-attack. Be sure to also have these good cybersecurity habits:
- If an email looks suspicious, trash it and contact the sender yourself ("when in doubt, throw it out")
- Stick with trusted and recognizable websites. Strange websites are a great way to get malicious software (malware) on your computer.
- Don't be fooled by "social engineering" (when hackers pretend to be someone you know so you click on their email links). If an email looks suspicious, give the sender a call to confirm the email request.
Myth #2: The only cyber-threat is through emails.
Fact: One of the easiest ways for cyber-criminals to get into your computer is through existing software that is not updated. Companies frequently release software updates to address problems and fix security vulnerabilities. Be sure to turn on "Automatic Updates" for software on your computer or install the updates as soon as they become available. Cyber-criminals are looking for old versions of web browsers, Microsoft Windows, Adobe, and other software to take advantage of you. Most of all, keep your antivirus software up-to-date!
Myth #3: I don’t have anything worth stealing on my computer, so I don't need to protect it.
Fact: Cyber-criminals are very clever in taking seemingly useless information and using it to get your personal or financial accounts. In addition, once they get into your computer, they can access other computers on your network or in your household. Cyber-criminals can even use your computer to launch cyber-attacks on others without you even knowing it (aka zombie computer). No matter what you keep on your computer, protect it from cyber-criminals!