As fast as technology develops, so do the threats that come with it. Malware is constantly evolving to become quicker, more widespread, and harder to detect. Even amongst those who consider themselves to be savvy in the world of software security, there are a number of myths that remain in circulation – myths that can potentially lead to a great deal of lost time, money and resources.
MYTH #1: If I don’t run Windows, then I am safe from viruses.
Truth: While Windows dominated the marketplace, viruses tended to be designed specifically to attack the Windows system. Today, however, Apple, Android and iOS devices are all targets for viruses and malware; no system is immune to infection.
MYTH #2: Installing antivirus software will slow down my device.
Truth: Antivirus systems can run in the background, and you are unlikely to notice any difference at all in your device’s performance. Most antivirus programs will use less than a hundred megabytes of memory while they are running, and will only require more when you decide to run a full system scan.
MYTH #3: I can protect my computer from viruses by never downloading anything.
Truth: Staying secure requires a great deal more than just common sense. You can only visit “safe” websites, and make sure never to download anything – but once you are connected to the internet, your safety depends on other people’s behavior as well. Reputable sites such as YouTube have fallen prey to hackers planting viruses in their advertisements, and the most ordinary pages and programs can all become sources of attack. Installing antivirus is the only way to protect your device.
MYTH #4: I don’t have any personal data on my computer that’s worth taking, so nobody would want to hack into my PC.
Truth: The internet is vast and it’s easy to think that your little PC is safe in its unimportance. However, personal information of any kind is gold to an identity thief. Automated bots carry out internet-wide scans to find vulnerable, unprotected computers – and then hack in to find scraps of information that can be pieced together with other sources. Most viruses originate from hackers, so don’t rely on “security through obscurity”.
MYTH #5: Using Incognito Mode will protect my details and keep my device safe.
Truth: Incognito Mode is a great way to protect your details – but only from other users of your device. Your service provider will still be able to track your browsing activity; sites that you use will have a record of your visit and anything that you download will stay saved on your device. If you run extensions in Incognito, anything they pass to your device will remain as well.
You can use devices for months and years without being infected – but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. There are real threats to your software that are advancing all the time, and it’s a lot harder to remove the effects of a virus than it is to take the necessary steps to prevent it.
Unsure how to choose the anti-virus software that you need? Check out our recommendations here!