Eric Larkin in PC World reports that we need to get rid of myths about the internet in order to stay safe online.
Maladjusted teens vandalize your computer.
Gone are the days when teenagers looked for 15 minutes of fame. Organized crime is the culprit. They want money. Online black marketers place malware on computers to make money. They take over PCs to send spam, steal logins and credit card information, or hack game accounts. They use stolen webmail accounts to request transfers from contact lists and raid online games to sell the items or the in-game currency for real money. Financial fraud by cyber-criminals have cost consumers and businesses billions of dollars.
All you need is a good antivirus program.
Wrong. A good antivirus program will help a good deal, but antivirus companies are locked in a constant battle with cyber-criminals who make every effort to stay one step ahead of antivirus software. Yes, many times the security software can prevent the attacks, but other times there are holes in the software and the criminals get the upper hand. You need more security software than just a good antivirus program to protect you from cyber-crime.
You're fine if you are just careful where you surf.
This way of thinking is outdated. Years ago you could tell if a site was dangerous just by looking at it, and if you were careful with your emails, you could go without antivirus software. Not anymore. Now personal pages and big-name company sites are hacked by cybercriminals using flaws in the security software to install malware. You would have to be an expert to recognize a hacked page or an email that was attacked. Besides antivirus software, you need antispyware, antirootkit, and a bidirectional firewall along with a team of techs to protect you from cyber-criminals.
“If it ain't broke don't fix it” requires knowing when something is broken.
These days there are malicious hidden processes, threats, files, or registry keys and you need advanced anti-rootkit technology to remove them.
The worse myth. We're all doomed. Stay offline.
Yes, you can get hacked, but if you know the risks and prepare adequately you can enjoy what the Web has to offer. By following these simple steps, you can be protected from cybercriminals.
* Install antivirus+antispyware, antirootkit, and a bidirectional firewall onto your computer.
* Make sure your computer has daily security updates, automatic upgrades to new software, and full security software support.
* Have your computer monitored daily for malware and have malicious codes stopped before they can harm your computer.
* Get protection for emails and attachments.
* Have your own team of techs to keep your computer clean and running well.
Don't fall hostage to cybercriminals. Don't accept the worst myth that the crooks own the internet and that the only good option is to use the internet as little as possible.