07/12/2016 12:16 GMT | Updated 03/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Security Myths That Can Make Brits Laugh... Or Cry


(Image Credentials: Shutter Stock)

'Thankfully! I Am Not a Celebrity: I Shouldn't Be Bothered About Online Security & Privacy'. A common myth which I tried to demystify in my previous blog but it's not the only one, is it?

Not many internet users are aware or bothered about cyber security concerns. Even when they opt to prevent themselves from such, the measures they take are deduction of their own intuition and acuity.

As a security analyst, I strive to debunk such myths and this time I managed to compile six online security & privacy myths (including the one mentioned previously) in form of a brief video.

A common definition prevails, "Myths are often stories that are currently understood as being exaggerated or fictitious" Oxford Dictionary 2016.

Since different people have different orientation based on their cultures, regions and environment, there could be hundreds of cyber security myths which might not be covered by security experts or bloggers. Therefore, a culture of research needs to be prevailed.

Having said that, let's just review the myths illustrated in the video:

#1: Hackers dress in black and work in dark basements

In my early school days, I always imagined hackers as people working late at night, having bulk of weird gadgets with them, hooded with black and so on. Let me ensure you, this is not as fictional as we might perceived while growing up.

Hackers work and interact with others just like we do; they wake up early and go to work as we do. You can find them hanging out in cafes & public spots. Another myth associated to this is that we believe hacker would be somebody who is a college dropout, who does not socialise with the rest.

Cyber threats have increased in exponential numbers which somehow make me presume that it could even be my own brother (Sarcasm) or a close friend.

#2: Hacking is like what they show in movies

Hacking is way different then what we perceive it to be. Hackers do not require many resources to hack into someone's system. They won't be carrying mainframe computers or fantasy chip-sets to perform their malicious activity rather a laptop will be enough to carry out their work.

With no disregard to females, but yeah! Hacker can be a beautiful lady sitting next to you asking for a hot-spot connection. Hold your nerves guys, as this might be the easiest way to access significant data stored in your IoT device.

# 3: Only important and rich people are targeted by cyber criminals

To debunk this myth, here are three questions referenced from my previous blog:

'What is at stake if your online security & privacy gets compromised?'

'What if your personal photos with your wife gets leaked?'

'Who will be there for a common internet user like you?'

Consider these and you will know how important is online security & privacy for a common internet user.

# 4: Your Social Networking Profiles are completely safe and private

A lot of us think that sharing anything on our social profiles would be safe or private and few supplement this with freedom of speech. However, a number of incidents demystified this myth as employees can be sacked for social media use, even outside of work.

"A questionable tweet, post or comment while sitting on your couch at night can cost your job - whether it is about work or not"

#5: There's no important data on the machine, so there's no need to protect it

What might not be important for you, can be a useful leak to hackers. This can be information saved in cookies, which could be enough to know your shopping preferences, your interests and so on. There are tools which can even predict your purchasing power, social interests etc. from the browsing history and cookies.

Similarly, your system can be used as a server if not protected the way it should.

# 6: Internet Security is expensive

You might not be laughing at this myth but hackers will, if you as a common internet user do not consider spending some money on online security. There are various utilities available which might cost you less than £10/m.

In fact, considering the losses you may face if your device starts getting monitored or hacked, the cost of employing internet security is fairly cheap!

To sum it up, do consider genuine measures to secure your IoT devices. There isn't any lack of research, information or utilities available to you. The only shortcoming I believe is lack of intent to consider online security & privacy a concern.

Note: You are encouraged to share some untapped myths concerning online security & privacy.