PC security is undeniably important. It’s 2013 and you’d have to be fairly special not to know that by now. Unfortunately, there are still a number of common PC security myths pervading our society. These myths are not only false – they’re downright dangerous.
There’s nothing worse than a false sense of security. Here are four PC security myths that you absolutely must get over if you want to protect your PC:
When PC security salespeople pitch companies about their products, they may mention that security accounts for about 10% of an average IT budget. That’s generally not true. LifeHacker interviewed a PC security analyst who said that a 10% chunk of the IT budget devoted to security is “very, very rare” and would only be seen “Maybe at a bank undergoing a drastic upgrade.”
For most companies, a 1% to 5% IT budget is more than enough – even for large organizations.
In years gone by, people would back up their most important information onto physical hard drives. Physical hard drives were good because you could see exactly where your data was kept and lock that data away in a secure location – like a safe.
But today, your most important personal information is probably more accessible online. Physical security of your data is always important, but don’t invest in physical security at the expense of security on your cloud network, email account, or other online accounts. In most cases, if someone gets access to your email account, they can access virtually every other account you own on the internet.
This myth isn’t totally false, because a password with eight characters tends to be stronger than a password with four characters. But what many people refuse to realize is that choosing passwords with a personal link to you is ineffective no matter how long or complex it is.
For example, if your password hint is “my grandma’s name” then it doesn’t really matter if your grandma’s name is “Mary” or “Anastasia” because both names are just as easy for someone to guess if they know anything about you.
Your password should be:
-With multiple characters and numbers
-Containing upper and lower case letters
-And have no personal link to you
If you can do that, you’ve significantly reduced your chances of password theft.
I put this myth at number one for a reason: it seems like 95% of computer users believe it. When their friends get viruses, they laugh and talk about how they were browsing too many inappropriate websites. Or when a cousin’s identity gets stolen online, they think, “wow maybe pick a better password, hey?”.
But the truth is: most people who get infected with PC viruses have this attitude right up to the moment that it happens to them. Thinking that viruses and identity theft won’t happen to you is just naïve. Fix your attitude and your computer will be much better protected against all sorts of problems.