20 Common Security Myths

This is part five in my many part series on IT Security In Libraries. Part 4 was a general “How To Stay Safe Online” post that covered topics like patching/updating, watching links and downloads, and using good passwords. In Part Three I covered passwords. In part 2 we talked privacy. In Part One I tried to lay the foundation for security.

Today’s post is short and sweet, 20 myths I’ve run across while working on the series. I’ve tried to include a link on most of them that explains why something is wrong.

  1. You have nothing important to steal ‘Steal everything’ era of hacking
  2. Having antivirus software makes you completely safe Online security doesn’t exist and/or No Software Is 100% Fault Free And That Includes Antivirus Programs

    Your antivirus software is a seat belt – not a force field. – Alfred Huger

  3. Using Mac/Linux makes you safe OSX Security Myths
  4. Patches and updates make things worse and break them Test shows how vulnerable unpatched Windows is
  5. You can look at a site and know it’s safe and not serving bad stuff Put that website down, you don’t know where it’s been! also, How To Check If A Site Is Safe
  6. Using a firewall makes you safe The Three Myths of Firewalls
  7. Complex frequently changed passwords make you safe How are passwords stolen?
  8. Avoiding IE makes me safe Internet Explorer is most secure browser for malware
  9. If an email comes from a familiar face it’s ok What Is Spearfishing?
  10. If a link comes from a friend on Facebook/twitter it’s safe Facebook Worm Refuses to Die
  11. If I just click a link it’s ok
  12. Only porn, gambling, and other “sketchy” sites are dangerous Mass Infection Of WP Sites
  13. Only naive users get infected with malware and viruses
  14. You can only get infected if you download files Drive By Download
  15. If I’m compromised I will know it How We Interpret Antivirus Lab Tests also… Opening the email that was used to hack RSA
  16. Infections come from email
  17. P2P and torrents are safe
  18. Hardware can’t spread or come preinfected with malware Pre-infected hardware and software ships to the US
  19. If I never log off / restart I can’t get infected
    And finally…

  20. I’m too smart to get infected… Yes, you and me both!