The Internet is a powerful and wonderful tool, yet many people feel that making use of it exposes their persona to the constant threat of scrutiny and theft by hackers. Most of these fears are compounded by widely held myths, while on the other hand, some users tend to feel the complete opposite – that virus and anti-spyware software has their ‘personal assets’ fully protected. In reality, both views are slightly exaggerated.
MYTH 1: HACKING
Some people believe that hackers tend to be teenagers, who are simply snooping around aimlessly, and have no specific interest in specific personal information. In fact, hackers tend to be very inquisitive, and often destructive people. An example of this is the recentdefacement of China’s Baidu site by Twitter hackers.
Learning the weakness of computer systems’ design and protocol, and exploiting it is seen as challenge and a test of their skills. Furthermore, accumulation of persona to further enable their access to computer networks and systems is a necessary follow-on of such tactics. This your information may not at some stage be more useful to them in a monetary sense – the purchases they make from your credit card may primarily be used to finance their hacking activities.
Additionally, hackers have simplified this process through the development of hacking tools anyone can use. You no longer need specific technical knowledge to hack into computer networks. The best preventive measures you can take is to secure your files, and email accounts with unique passwords (not one for all of them!). Try make these passwords difficult to guess/decipher by staying away from personnel monikers such as your, date of birth, nickname, etc. Chances are if they are genuinely interested in gaining access to your account they will have done some research on you.
MYTH 2: VIRUS SOFTWARE PROTECTS ME COMPLETELY
Contrary to popular belief, anti-virus software does not automatically mean your computer is secure from viruses, unwanted access and undesirable programs. Even the best virus protection software is still only a precautionary measure which offers support to your PC’s security. Daily, many new viruses are developed to try exploit weaknesses in your operating system, or software environment. Mac users note that the latest version of Mac OS is Unix-based, an environment long understood by experienced hackers. Updating regularly and maintaining some control to the access of your computer is paramount. This can be simple if you are mindful of file sharing, whether through a flash drive, network, or email account.
No computer system, whether it be a home computer or office network, is completely safe from the hazards of the information age. Privacy has become less personal and more public with the advent of the internet. The best advice is to be pro-active in your usage of the information superhighway. Keep what is personal safe and secure your assets by using a combination of preventative measures.
Source: Mobile Computing News