The world of online security and privacy is filled to the brim with rumors, misconceptions, and outright lies. So if you believe something that’s not true, don’t feel bad. With every site saying something different, even the smartest get confused.
However, it’s time for us to clear the smoke and debunk some of the most persistent rumors about security. Not only is it great to learn something new, but by clearing the rumors, you can make sure you’re secured.
Rumor: You Don’t Need Antivirus Software if You Constantly Use Windows Updates
Updates can be annoying, demanding you to restart the computer when you need it the most. However, they’re important, as they patch security flaws and strengthen your system. So one could assume that all you have to do is update, and there’s no need to worry about antivirus software. However, that is not the case, and it can lead to trouble.
Truth: The Updates Come After the Virus
While you should always update your computer, you need an antivirus handy, due to the fact that it always works hard to keep your computer safe.
Think of like this. The anti-virus is like a security system in your house. It works nonstop to make sure that your home is protected, and it will ward off people who try to break into your home. It works its best to make sure you’re safe. Meanwhile, a Windows update is like calling the police after your home has been ransacked. They may catch the person, and it’s one less intruder to worry about, but the damage has been done, and there are more people like that out there.
It happens all the time. There’s an issue with Windows, and Microsoft updates with a patch ASAP. But sometimes, they don’t know about it until it’s too late, and by then, the virus has already did possibly irreversible damage to your computer. So you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you’re only relying on updates.
Besides that, they don’t protect you from things such as malware, so that’s another reason why you need an antivirus.
So while the updates fix flaws in the security, they’re not going to protect you from all the different threats out there. So keep updating, but keep an antivirus running at all times.
Rumor: You’ll Easily Know if You Have Malware
It seems obvious that if you have an application that’s rogue, it will be noticeable, and you’ll be able to get rid of the problem shortly after. A few applications are like that, after all. If you’ve been having strange popups in your browser, that’s usually a sign. However, that’s only a small part of malware out there.
Truth: Malware Can Be Discreet
While a good chunk of malware is obvious, another good chunk can be running on your computer without making a stir. They’ll spy on you, and you won’t even know it. They’ll attack your website and send you spam. They can get your password and take your accounts behind your back.
A recent example is the Scarlett Johansson incident, where a hacker put malware in email forwarding so the hacker could read her messages without her even noticing. If a celebrity can be easily hacked, you can too, and by knowing this, you can prevent it. The moral of the story is to not trust anything on your computer, and make sure you always change your password constantly to keep them at bay.
Rumor: If You Don’t Have Anything Valuable, You’re Not At Risk
People think that just because they’re not a celebrity or CEO of a company, they don’t need to worry. After all, a hacker couldn’t care less about them, right?
Truth: No Matter the Contents, You Are Worth Something
If you think that malware makers only care about stealing valuable data, such as a billionaire’s payment info or secret government documents, you’ve thought wrong. First, your time, hardware, and energy are valuable. After all, you’ll need time to remove the malware, and you’ll waste time and money if you hire someone to fix your computer.
If you have to start over, that wastes more time. But malware developers aren’t looking to just waste your time. They want to spy on you, steal your passwords, and track every stroke you make. Everyone is worth something, and hackers love to target an unsuspecting person. Even if your computer is old and you barely use it, you’re still at risk.
Rumor: Only Microsoft Gets Viruses and Malware
This rumor just won’t die. A lot of Mac users believe that Apple has it all figured out, and their software could never get a virus. Or, you may think that your smartphone and tablet are virus-free as well. There’s truth to that; because Windows is one of the most used systems out there, more malware and virus crafters are going to make programs exclusively for that OS. That’s why malware happens less often. But it still happens.
Truth: No Matter What, You’re Vulnerable
Viruses made for one OS won’t affect the other, but every one has their own problems. Back in 2012, for instance, the Flashback Trojan hit Macs that ran OS X. Your Androids can be hacked, as ransomware and apps that scam you are real. While iOS is secure, you need to watch out if you’re running a jailbroken device.
While you may not need to install an antivirus on your phone, you shouldn’t run it unguarded. Beware of scams, phishing attempts, and hacking no matter what your platform. If someone has your password, it could be the end of you, no matter what platform you use.
So while these rumors keep persisting, you can stand up against them by arming yourself with knowledge. By doing this, you can protect yourself with that, and make sure no virus hits you. So stop relying on Security Essentials and updates, and get you an antivirus software that will protect your computer. You’ll be glad you did.