Expert Opinion

[Expert Opinion]: 6 Common Myths & Myth-Busters About Cyber Security

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In the 21st century, we are rapidly moving towards the use of digital technologies in our daily lifestyle. From the household activity to the business, in every domain, technology has become an inseparable part. The dependency over the technology gave rise to various technologies and products such as smart home devices, voice-controlled systems, artificial intelligence robots, and whatnot.

Apart from the ease by enabling technology, at the same time we are at much higher risk, the risk of getting compromised, the risk of getting abused over the internet, the risk of privacy and asset theft and the list goes on so long.

The whole technology space connected with a digital medium comes under cyberspace, and the crimes committed here are dealt with under cybersecurity. However, In general, Cyber Security is taken as a complimentary precaution rather than considered as a primary precaution. Most of the end-users think that they have nothing to lose or they are secure enough just by having some strong passwords, having antivirus in their system. It is the biggest myth. Even if you plug out yourself from the internet, you are still indirectly on the internet. You are still vulnerable from being compromised & you can be a target.

cybersecurity

Source – Heimdal security newsletter

Credits: @LoriLewis & @OfficiallyChadd

Source – breachlevelindex.com

Taking a closer look at the above infographics, you might be able to observe that what is essential for you over the digital platforms that you access in daily life and think for a while if all of this is compromised. How is it going to impact your life? What trouble might you face?

Did you know?

Humans are said to be the weakest link in cybersecurity. There is a bundle of the reason(s) behind that, and one of the prominent ones is that humans are emotional, which makes them vulnerable to many things. , and so many of the massive enterprise-level attacks are carried out just with the help of such vulnerable human link.

If you have watched the famous Series Mr. Robot and if you remember the in initial episodes, how Elliot manipulates the mind of the guard to get into the clearance. Well, if you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend you to spare your weekend with that. You will get an insight into some real hacking and manipulation there.

Read Also: [EXPERT OPINION]: How to secure your first internship through Internshala?

Golden Rule –

Machines and technologies are created by humans, Hack the creator, you will be able to hack into anything concerning the target system.

Moreover, this is why a proper understanding of necessary security know-how is essential. So, I’m going to tell you about some of the biggest traditional and common myth about cybersecurity & safety.

Six Common Myths & Myth Busters about Cyber Security
1. A Strong Password makes me secure

Well, this is partially true. A strong password acts as a barrier for the attacker by making it complex to guess and crack the password using some traditional methods. However, at the same time using the same password, more than one place might enable you to get compromised. We aren’t able to remember multiple complex passwords and as a result of which we use the same password or same pattern of password for multiple accounts. If any of your accounts is compromised, or data is leaked containing your password, all of your accounts are at considerable risk.

Few Tips to keep passwords secure –

  1. Rotate passwords by every two-three months.
  2. Try using multiple passwords for multiple accounts.
  3. Don’t write or save your passwords anywhere, not even in a textbook or notepad.
  4. Don’t use default passwords or passwords like your mobile numbers, pet names and others.
  5. Don’t use your passwords in someone else’s device or over any public wi-fi.
  6. Use password managers such as Dashlane, LastPass, TrueKey, to name a few.
  7. You can check your password complexity and strength here – https://password.kaspersky.com/
2. Antivirus is enough to secure & protect my system –

It is one of the biggest and most common misconceptions. Let’s first understand how Antivirus works :

  • Antivirus filters out various malicious files, web pages and others by tracing and looking for a particular pattern in the file. This pattern is known as a signature.
  • Whenever there is some new type of malware detected, it is tested, and a signature is generated, which is then updated to Antivirus signature library.
  • If the signature matches to a particular extent, the file is marked as malicious.

Now, in case of a significant cyber attacker or a specified cyber attack, the attacker never uses a malware with a known signature. They develop a newly coded malware, and since your Antivirus is not aware of the new signature, the malware quickly passes the Antivirus check and you are compromised.

The best way to stay protected in this case is to make you update your Antivirus regularly, and you don’t visit untrusted websites, download something from an untrusted source or plug any device from an untrusted source. This way, you can add extra security to your system.

Most of the end-users compromised when they open or visited some untrusted sources.

 3. Factor Authentication keeps my accounts safe

Two Factor Authentication is a great way to prevent cyber theft against your various online activities. It adds a layer of security on password, thus requiring an attacker to dig deeper. At the same time, Two Factor authentication can get compromised.

While enabling Two Factor Authentication, you receive some backup codes, and every attacker tries to chase down to hack into the devices where you have stored the backup codes. If the attacker manages to get the backup codes in any way, the 2FA is useless at the point.

The best way to keep it safe is to make a monthly security checklist and rotate the passwords, backup codes or any other authentication mechanism. It may feel like a burden but better than getting compromised and facing future threats.

4. Freeware, Giveaways, Freebies & Discounts – Yeah, I am saving a lot

Saving a lot is a myth; Losing a lot is a reality. Often attackers lure a user by offering something attractive such as some big discount coupons, giveaways, freebies and other things. The aim is to drive you to the webpage or application crafted with malicious intents, and when you provide your login details such as passwords or credit card details, at the same moment you are shopping for the attacker.

These personal details and credit details are sold over the darknet or can be used for the attacker’s sake as well. It not only damages your privacy, reputation but may end up in a significant financial loss.

To stay safe from such things, make sure you visit only trusted websites & cross-check the web URL twice.

A legit URL looks like – https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshbothra

A fake URL for the same may look like – http://www/linkedim.com/in/harshbothra

Notice there are two things to look –

  1. Misspelt words. Legit websites don’t contain misspelt words in the URL, and in general, we don’t pay much attention to small things.
  2. The protocol used in the legit website is HTTPS while in fake URL is Well, it’s not always a differentiator, some fake website may even run on https to fool the user.
5. I got a Friend Request, that too from Angel Something

Creating a fake profile which looks like legit is one of the most significant social engineering tools of the cyber attackers. They often create such profiles with attractive opposite genders to befriend you. By having the conversation or being able to access your private profile as a friend, their ultimate goal is to get the personal data, social engineering by talking with you over the chat.

Be careful while accepting the friend requests.

6. Whenever I see something like Subscribe Me, I can’t hold on myself

We often visit a lot of blogs, websites, newsletter application and they ask us for the options like subscribe to the newsletter or log in with your Google/social media account and most of the time, to save the time we authenticate with one of our social media accounts. If we find the content good, we often subscribe to them. Next time, before you do such a thing, keep in mind that if the website or application’s data is breached, your name will be on the list. Be selective while subscribing and prefer creating an account with a password different than your social media account to keep them safe

Taking small steps towards ensuring your cyber safety makes you no longer vulnerable to the attacker. Today, the data is everything, and our ultimate aim is to surf the internet, safely & fearlessly. Be an aware user, know the basic tactics, spread them in society and make the world cyber safe.

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https://in.linkedin.com

You can connect with me at: 

LinkedIn –  www.linkedin.com/in/harshbothra

Twitter – www.twitter.com/harshbothra_

Instagram – www.instagram.com/harshbothra_

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