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Common Security Myths

Myth: Macintosh computers don't get viruses.
Truth: It is true that MAC computers suffer fewer attacks than computers running Windows, however, this does not make MACs invulnerable. Apple rolls out security updates regularly and you should download them onto your computer to stay safe.

Myth: I don't send anything important through email, so I don't need to use encryption software.
Truth: Your opinion about what is important may differ from an attacker's opinion. If you have personal, student, or other financial data on your computer, attackers may be able to collect it and use it for their own financial gain. Even if you do not store those types of information on your computer, an attacker who can gain control of your computer may be able to use it in attacks against others.

Myth: Protection software makes my computer run slow.
Truth: Many types of security software run behind the scenes while you're using your computer and you won't even notice it.

Myth: My best friend is not going to use my usernames and passwords without my permission.
Truth: It would be nice if this were true, however, you cannot trust anyone with your usernames and passphrases. What happens if you get into an argument with this individual and they are no longer your best friend? They can use your information to hack into your accounts and post inappropriate comments, read your private messages, or even worse, empty your bank accounts.

Myth: I haven't downloaded anything onto my computer, so there is no way I could have a virus.
Truth: Sometimes just visiting a webpage is enough for a virus to attack your computer. This is called a drive-by download.

Myth: Nobody can hack into my computer because I turned off the computer monitor.
Truth: If your computer is on, especially if it is still connected to the internet, a hacker will be able to gain access.

Myth: Backing up data is a waste of time.
Truth: You won't think it is a waste of time when all of your personal documents are lost or deleted. It doesn't take much time to back up your information, but it could save you a lot of heartache in the future.

Myth: Internet surfing on my phone is safer than on my computer.
Truth: Computers have safety measures to protect against viruses, trojan horses, etc. However, phones use public Wi-Fi connections without any safety programs, making it less safe.

Myth: I don't have a smart phone with internet access, there is no way my phone will be targeted. 
Truth: You can still receive text messages or phone calls that contain viruses, scams, and fraudulent requests. If you receive a suspicious voicemail or text message, do not follow its directions. Screen your calls and don't hesitate to hang up on a suspicious caller.

Myth: I have anti-virus software, so I have nothing to worry about.
Truth: Anti-virus protection is important and you definitely need it. However, just having the software isn't enough. New viruses emerge often, therefore, you need to update your virus definitions regularly to make sure that they are current. You also need to conduct a full-system scan of your computer every week. Anti-virus only keeps out the viruses, not the hackers or spyware, so you need more protection to be completely secure.

Myth: If I download several anti-virus software, my computer will be invincible.
Truth: Using several anti-virus software can actually cause your computer to have less protection than if you just had one anti-virus program.