In today’s high-tech world, almost everyone has to deal with digital security in one way or another. But, full of obscure terminology, cybersecurity can be a source of confusion for many of us.
Misinformation and a variety of misconceptions plague the topic of online security and make it even more complicated than it already is. For those of us who were brought up long before technology was an integral part of everyday life, cybersecurity remains a challenge and a lifelong learning experience. Let’s take a closer look and debunk 6 common cybersecurity myths to clear up at least some of the confusion surrounding the topic.
Reusing passwords is not that bad
In short, reusing passwords is bad — that’s a fact. The main and most obvious reason why reusing passwords is a horrible idea is that it creates a single point of failure. Fancy lingo aside, this means that using the same password for a number of your online accounts puts them all at risk. A hacker only needs one password to compromise a large number of your accounts without a lot of hassle.
Use complex and unique passwords to secure your online accounts properly. If you’re having trouble coming up with strong passwords, try using our Password Generator.
Nobody cares about my data
This is a belief many of us have. It’s tempting to think that your data is not interesting to any devious third parties. After all, it’s mostly email history with our family or pictures of them. However, the reality is quite the opposite. While it’s true that hackers rarely target any specific target, it is essential to understand that they are looking for any data they could monetize. That could be your Social Security number, email address, physical address, passwords, birth of date, or full name. All such information could prove valuable to a cybercrook. You can always check whether your personal information has been exposed in a data leak with the Data Breach Scanner.
Sharing passwords over email is secure
Email is the technology we are most at home with. It was one of the first things that most of us were introduced to when the internet became a thing. Sending passwords via email is a common practice, but the potential of revealing them to unwanted parties is quite high. Put simply, it is a bad habit. There are many reasons emailing passwords can be dangerous:
emails are sent in plain text, meaning they are not protected in any way
email is often stored on your computer in plain text or other unencrypted formats
many copies of an email could still exist in many places, even once you delete it
For these reasons, hackers don’t have to do all that much to get hold of a password sent over email if they really want to. When it comes to sharing passwords, security should be your priority. Password managers such as NordPass empower users to share passwords securely.
Writing down passwords on sticky notes is secure
Writing down your password on a sticky note might seem like a reasonable way to store and remember your passwords. However, this is a common misconception, and doing so could be risky. Consider the fact that misspelling a password on a sticky note is a real possibility which leads to those endless password reset loops we all dread. And then there’s the question of storage. You might lose it or place it somewhere where other people could have a clear view of it. Not convinced? Here’s a terrifying example. Take it from the security experts at NordPass: your best chance of having your password fully protected is using a password manager.
Hackers are not interested in me
We often believe that only “important” people or large corporations are on the hacker’s target list. This belief is often reaffirmed by news that flashes us with headlines of security breaches almost every day. However, the reality is that cybercrooks rarely have a specific target in mind. More than anything else, the bad guys are after data such as credit card numbers. It is essential to understand that no one is safe from cyber attacks, and taking the appropriate cybersecurity steps is crucial.
I don’t need to regularly change my passwords
Most computer experts and security professionals recommend changing your passwords once every 90 days. Regular password changes are a great idea because they guarantee someone can’t acquire your password and use it to snoop on your online accounts over an extended period of time. Think of it this way: if any of your passwords are ever leaked in a data breach, they will more than likely appear in a database on the dark web. Hackers love those databases and use them with great joy. Regularly changing your passwords will allow you to stay one step ahead of bad actors and will help you keep your favorite online accounts secure.
A lifelong learning experience
Technology is constantly changing and evolving in today’s high-tech world. Staying secure is becoming an increasingly difficult task even for those who learned to use technology before they took their first steps. The truth is that cybersecurity is a lifelong learning experience for many of us. It’s new and demands our time and attention if we want to get better at it. But it is possible to stay secure and worry-free online. Equip yourself with appropriate security tools and make use of tips from experts to enjoy the internet the way it was meant to be – worry-free.