Online privacy is often misunderstood.

In an interconnected world, people are concerned about online security. Several pieces of information help users increase the reliability of Internet usage and keep their personal information and data safe. But there are also many myths.

In this article, we want to debunk some of these myths.

Myth 1: Small and medium-sized businesses are not targeted by hackers. When we think about information fraud and data theft in the virtual world, the most imagined targets are large companies, banks, and large-volume financial transactions. However, according to data from the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, approximately 58% of data theft victims are small and medium-sized businesses.

It doesn’t matter the size of your company and the volume of data and money you move. If your business is online, it needs to be protected with effective security measures. Don’t underestimate your business because, surely, bad people will not underestimate what they might be able to steal.

And if your company is not big, you should be even more careful because criminals feel that these are precisely the most unprotected and easiest targets to attack.

Myth 2: Threats only come from outside. When browsing the Internet, we imagine that the main threats to our data are external. And even though many of these dangers come from “outside,” you need to be aware of potential inside risks. According to a Security Intelligence article, 75% of attacks and information theft in the business world are caused by insider threats.

This means that the people who handle the information directly are the main threat (and also the biggest defense, of course) to the integrity of that data. There is a huge trade in corporate espionage and sabotage – not to mention cases that occur through sheer human error. Thus, properly training employees, creating categories to manage people’s level of access according to their assignments, and maintaining adequate defense mechanisms are essential to information security.

Myth 3: Cybersecurity is the sole responsibility of IT professionals. Another myth about cybersecurity and information secrecy is the belief that only IT (information technology) professionals should be concerned about these things. After all, they are the ones who studied the subject. While it is true that this category of professionals is the best prepared to deal with threats to data integrity and help maintain defense mechanisms, absolutely all people who deal with data can and should have minimal knowledge about data security and confidentiality.

Using emails properly, maintaining the confidentiality of the information being careful about sharing data, and understanding essential security procedures are things that all employees in a business environment should understand and put into practice. Thus, the work of IT specialists is made more accessible.

Myth 4: Password-protecting a Wi-Fi network is enough. Many people think that a password-protecting Wi-Fi network is enough to make it immune to intrusion. But not quite. Every vault has passwords, and even then, it can still be breached. With these wireless connections, the logic is the same: you need to create additional mechanisms to protect them. Any Wi-Fi network can be breached, regardless of whether or not you have a password.

The main function of a password in this type of network is to limit the number of users. Within the same connection, several users can have access to files that are transmitted. That is, it is necessary to create categorizations and limit each person’s access according to their attributions. Malware removal is a great resource to ensure additional security to Wi-Fi connections, helping to remove all unwanted viruses.

Myth 5: You will notice if your computer is infected. Most Internet users overestimate their knowledge of information technology and cybersecurity. Many people believe that if a device is infected, there will be visible signs of the breach.

Although many viruses, malware, and even some spyware can produce noticeable signs (change in operating system functioning, file deletion, configuration change, device slowness, poor performance, etc.), it is quite likely that your computer is infected without you knowing. Several silent features practically do not change the device’s functioning and are not detected even by the best antivirus and firewalls, being identified only by more advanced programs and well-trained professionals. And until they are discovered, the damage will be great. Maintaining scanning networks and device routines is crucial to avoiding these silent threats.

The five examples listed above serve as a small illustration to show how much of our cybersecurity beliefs are half-truths or, in many cases, outright lies. It is necessary to update frequently to protect your security, whether it is in a large corporation, in a small or medium-sized enterprise, or even for your personal and domestic use.