Nearly every business today has an online presence. Cybersecurity ensures that you’re protected online and that your valuable business information remains secure.

However, just because you have some cybersecurity measures in place does not mean you’re immune from threats. Misinformation on the risks of cybersecurity can confuse even the most sophisticated and tech-savvy professionals. That’s why we’re here to unmask eight of the most common myths in cybersecurity, so you know the truth! Read on.

#1 Small Businesses Won’t Get Attacked Online

“One of the worst mistakes to make with cybersecurity is to believe that if you’re a small business, you’ll be safe from cyberattacks,” says Tristan Parkinson, a business writer at Paperfellows and OXEssays. “This is a dangerous ideology because cyber-crime never discriminates. Whether you’re a big business, or a small one, cyber criminals can still hack into your business at anytime, anywhere.”

Tips for Securing Your Small Business:

  • Create a cybersecurity policy and educate your staff
  • Find out what additional security measures you can set for your business software
  • Hide your Wi-Fi network using a Service Set Identifier (SSID) and password protect your router access
  • Keep software updated to maintain the most recent security protocols
  • Consider hiring a security specialist to perform a risk assessment and identify any security gaps

#2 There’s Nothing Worth Protecting Online

Even if you don’t sell anything through your website, the information is still worth protecting online. Without a secure connection, you put your data at risk to cyber-attacks such as ransomware and identity theft. Cyber criminals can also use a tactic known as SEO attacks where they insert malicious keywords and backlinks to malware sites into your own website.

This can seriously deteriorate your website traffic. Most browsers will prompt visitors when a site is not secure, which is a warning sign that may cause them to bounce from your site. In addition, powerful search engines like Google use site security as a ranking signal for SEO. Google will demote your pages in search results if the right security measures are not in place.

Tips for Securing Your Website:

  •  Get an SSL certificate to secure the site
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for users to login to site
  • Implement a NextGen firewall for additional protection layers
  • Restrict the kinds of documents that can be uploaded to the site and virus scan the ones that are being uploaded

#3 Nothing Will Happen If I Have Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware

The truth is, anti-virus and anti-malware aren’t perfect. In other words, neither will protect you 100% from all cyberattacks.

So, don’t let these types of programs be your only security. You must also use your own common sense. Never open any suspicious links or dodgy attachments. Always be cautious about the websites you visit.

You could also consider getting a software firewall. This is a program installed on your computer to protect it from intrusive electronic data that comes in or out of your computer. If this data does not match the set of rules that the firewall has been given, it is not allowed to pass.

#4 Phishing Scams Are 100% Noticeable

Phishing scams are not always as obvious as you may think. For example, a phishing scam might email you from a known email address with a link to a “document.” If you suspect the email is fraudulent, you will probably email that person to be sure; but, if the phishing scam is sophisticated, it can actually respond to your email saying the document is safe, which may lead you to click on the malicious link anyway. Phishing is when scammers send you a fraudulent message or email to trick you into revealing sensitive information that can be used to further infect your computer.

Tips for Avoiding Phishing Scams:

  • Don’t click document links you weren’t expecting to receive
  • Pay attention to things like email address, spelling issues, tone of voice, and any other indicators that may lead you to believe the email isn’t from a real person
  • Install software to scan your computer regularly for threats
  • Keep your systems up-to-date with security patches and updates
  • Recognize that an established brand will NEVER ask you to enter or verify personal information via email
  • Avoid using public networks — the information passed on them is not encrypted

#5 A Strong Password Will Protect Me

Wrong.

“You can never rely on having a long, complicated password to keep you safe,” says Hugh Charles, a web developer at BoomEssays and Assignment Writer. “With cyber criminals now using speedy programs to run so many password combinations – including long ones – having a long and complex password won’t shield you from any threats online. That’s why businesses are being encouraged to enable two-factor authentication, so that it adds extra layers into their security.”

Passwords – no matter how long or short they are, or how many special characters you use – are ALWAYS vulnerable to cyberattacks. But did you ever consider how these cyber criminals are able to crack your passwords? They are not just sitting at their computer scratching their heads, trying to guess your password. They have programs that can do this for them. Password guessing programs will make guesses until a password is cracked. With all this being said, it’s important to change your passwords regularly and follow additional safety tips like the following.

Tips for Securing Passwords:

  • Use a secure password manager to keep track of all your accounts passwords.
  • Never use the same password twice
  • Don’t use personal information
  • Never use sequential numbers and letters
  • Use an authenticator smartphone app (most are free) to generate a one-time pin as an additional security factor on your phone

#6 Hackers Are Ominous Figures

You may think of a hacker as a hooded figure hunched over a computer. Because this is the way they are characterized in the media. However, in truth, many hackers can be just regular people that work out in the open. Plus, hackers aren’t always lone wolves, but organizations as well.

#7 I Don’t Need Security if I Visit Mainstream Sites

When you visit mainstream sites, you still need to be careful. Social media apps are still vulnerable to cybersecurity vulnerabilities like data breaches. Therefore, having security software when you visit such sites is still crucial. There are even many mainstream sites that can have harmful pop ups. You can avoid these pop ups by blocking them in your browser settings. Also, if you’re not sure that a certain website is legit, you can always check that the SSL certificate date is valid by clicking the padlock in the address bar of the website.

#8 It’s Safer to Use Your Own Device

Finally, using your own device can be just as bad as not having any security software. While bringing your own device (BYOD) is cost effective, it still comes with risks. With many devices connecting to a network, it takes only one device to be compromised by hackers to infiltrate the entire network.

So, when working from within a network, make sure your router has a secure and complex password. This is because routers don’t always come equipped to deal with cyber threats. 

Also, when you are not using your device, make sure to switch it off over night or over long periods of time. This will make sure you are not visible to potential hackers or threats.

In the case of a business, it is always a good idea to back up your data and information. Then, if cyber attackers do manage to get your data, you have it on another hard drive so you can rebuild your business very quickly.

Conclusion

So, there you have it!

Now that you know the truth about these myths, you can ensure that your company data and website are fully secure. Be thoughtful and proactive online to avoid the risk of cyberattack. When in doubt, don’t click, and make sure your entire team is aware of cybersecurity risks and prevention techniques to keep your business running smoothly and effectively.

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