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Common myths about cybersecurity that increase the likelihood of being hacked you should avoid

In the world of the internet, numerous myths circulate about cybersecurity, leading to potentially misguided decisions that increase the risk of hacking.In this article, we will address some common myths about cybersecurity, shedding light on their reality and associated risks.

Cybersecurity has become one of the paramount areas of importance, requiring users of devices and networks to pay special attention. A breach of your accounts and devices exposes your information and data to the risk of theft and exploitation, including personal and financial details, potentially resulting in significant losses. In the case of companies, a breach can harm customers and individuals associated with them.

Cybersecurity measures encompass a set of technologies and controls implemented to protect systems, networks, software, and data from electronic attacks and to mitigate risks. The fundamental principle in this field emphasizes that no one can breach your devices and networks without your assistance or without neglect on your part to implement specific preventive measures.

Common myths about cybersecurity that increase the likelihood of being hacked you should avoid

Myths that expose your data to hacking 

A lot of misconceptions and widely circulated myths about cybersecurity create a false feeling for users around the world, making them less cautious in protecting their devices and networks. These false assumptions increase their likelihood of cyberattacks and hacks. Here are some of the most prominent of those myths.

Cyber ​​attacks target only celebrities and companies 

Many people commonly believe that cybercriminals exclusively target large corporations, wealthy individuals, public figures, and celebrities, assuming that ordinary individuals with modest wealth or no fame are not at risk. However, this belief is entirely inaccurate.

While financial gain may be a primary objective for some cyber attackers, small businesses and ordinary individuals remain susceptible to hacking threats. According to a 2019 report from the Federation of Small Businesses in the UK, more than 10,000 cyber attacks were targeting small businesses daily in the United Kingdom, equating to a successful attack on a small company approximately every 19 seconds.

In some cases, collective cyber intrusion attacks aim to showcase the attacker's skills and acquire technical expertise. System security is spotlighted regardless of the identities of the affected individuals. Developers and companies leverage these attacks to enhance their security systems, providing an opportunity for attackers to gain financial benefits by offering consulting services in the field of security reinforcement.

In April 2021, over 533 million users fell victim to a breach on the Facebook platform, causing significant losses for Meta, the company that owns Facebook.

It is worth noting that many hackers target individuals and small businesses that may lack robust security systems due to their limited budget for security expenses. While large corporations prioritize cybersecurity and allocate substantial resources to strengthen their security systems, bypassing their protection proves challenging for attackers.

Cybersecurity is not my responsibility

The prevalent understanding in some organizations is that information and data protection falls solely under the domain of IT employees. Additionally, many individuals believe that safeguarding their data and ensuring the security of their networks is the responsibility of the companies developing hardware, operating systems, and applications.

Despite the efforts of these companies to discover and address security vulnerabilities, it remains essential for the user to take responsibility for taking necessary measures to protect the security of their devices and networks. Users should employ antivirus software, use strong passwords, and avoid clicking on unreliable links.

Moreover, it is expected that all employees in the organization play a role in protecting systems and data. A single misstep by an employee, such as clicking on a suspicious link or downloading files from untrusted sources, could lead to a complete network breach by electronic attackers.

Hacking only occurs from outside parties

Indeed, some users are taking cautious measures against hackers, spam, unknown accounts, and unsafe websites and apps, but you should also be aware that accounts and devices could be hacked from within.

When an account or device is stolen or hacked, this may leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks, such as phishing and ransomware, so you must secure all components of the system and avoid internal and external sources of danger.

For example, in a famous incident at Heathrow Airport in England, an employee lost a USB device containing sensitive data, and despite handing it over, the employee was accused of negligence and compromising data privacy, resulting in a fine of £120,000.

Complex passwords are all I need to protect my accounts 

Adding uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to a short password is a common myth. Experts in SEO recommend focusing on the length of the password rather than complicating it. They argue that the primary standard for password strength is its length, making it difficult for intruders to guess long passwords compared to shorter, even complex ones.

Avoid using a single password for all your accounts and ensure each account or device has a unique password. Also, refrain from writing passwords on paper or in an insecure place. It is advisable to use reliable password management programs to enhance the security of your accounts.

Security solutions are very expensive

A common myth in the cybersecurity world is that only large companies invest in expensive security technologies, which is a reasonable assumption for billion-dollar enterprises. However, this is not necessarily true for small businesses or individuals. This assumption relies on a misconception that cybersecurity is always costly, which is not accurate. Even for small businesses and individuals, the investment in security can be much lower than the potential losses they might face in the event of an attack.

For instance, the cost of purchasing antivirus software may be much less than the expense of replacing a new computer or losing all data due to a malicious software attack.

You can rely on anti-virus programs alone 

Antivirus and malware protection programs play a crucial role in safeguarding devices, systems, and networks from cyber threats, yet they are not the sole means to address all challenges. There are mechanisms, tools, and procedures that must collaborate to maintain systems securely.

Despite the effectiveness of optimal antivirus programs against most known malicious software, there are other types of internet attacks that these programs alone cannot combat, such as phishing messages. This includes impersonating public figures or known entities to lure users into disclosing their personal information unlawfully.

Cyber attackers continually evolve their strategies, creating viruses and malicious software at rapid rates, posing increased challenges for antivirus programs. For instance, more than 350,000 new versions of malicious software are developed daily, necessitating regular updates and enhancements to antivirus programs.

In addition to using antivirus programs, several measures can be taken to mitigate the risks of infiltration, such as regularly updating system software, backing up essential files, and employing strong passwords with multi-factor authentication for accounts. Caution should be exercised in dealing with unwanted email messages, avoiding the opening of illegitimate links, and refraining from downloading programs from untrustworthy sources.

Understanding the importance of cybersecurity and adopting a culture of tech awareness can effectively mitigate cyber threats, preserving the integrity of systems and networks.
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