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Common security myths

01 Dec 2010

The writers at news site V3.co.uk recently put their heads together and cobbled together some of the most common misconceptions about security. Here’s a small selection:

  • Government agencies do business via unsolicited email. No, they don’t. This is a ploy of spammers and phishers. Don’t even open them if you get one.
  • Microsoft’s monthly ‘Patch Tuesdays’ give you all the protection you need. Wrong! If you don’t have fully-patched versions of Internet Explorer, Acrobat Reader, Java and Flash, you are just asking for a malware infection.
  • Familiar ‘brand’ sites are safe. Not necessarily. Legitimate websites are often compromised by hackers who exploit coding flaws to inject malware code into them. Beware of unexpected links and pop-ups in familiar websites. If in doubt, don’t follow them.
  • Get security software and you’re OK. Think again. Having anti-virus software doesn’t give you a licence to behave recklessly. Going onto shady web sites, downloading applications from anonymous sources and failing to patch your system puts you at risk even if you’re running the best security software.