How To

Myth-Busting: 5 ways you think your information is secure online

Written by a NortonLifeLock employee


College is a whole new world. Between the excitement of living on your own, meeting new people, and picking out classes you actually care about, there are some equally important things to consider while embracing your full-fledged independence.

Student life and technology go hand-in-hand. You use your PC for research and term papers, to keep track of your class schedules, and to stay in touch with old and new friends on social media. Technology is a great tool for connecting us all, but that’s the thing- it connects everyone- including cyber-criminals. For everything you do online, there are cyber-criminals waiting to get at your information or to wreak havoc on your devices.

What many of us believe about cyber crime is often hearsay, and can be out-of-date or simply untrue, and believing those cyber security myths can lead to big security problems. We’re debunking some persistent myths about cyber security so that you can focus on more important things in your college life (like new romances and partying).

Myth No.1 - Malware is something I should only worry about for my desktop and laptop computers

You might have installed Internet security software on your home computer, but what about your mobile device? In today’s connected world where we share large quantities of sensitive data digitally, the truth is that any Internet-connected device, like a smartphone or tablet, can be infected by online threats so staying protected with trusted security like Norton Security is important.

Myth No.2 - Social networks are where my friends hang out. No malware there!

Fake pages can be created on social media sites to lure you in with a great discount offer or chance to win a great prize. If it’s too good to be true then ask yourself - could it be a fake? Cyber criminals love our trust in social networks and have become crafty at creating scams to fool us into sharing our information by clicking malicious links. No matter where you are online, always follow safe security practices to ensure any valuable data stays yours.

Myth No.3 - Antivirus will slow my computer down

The first thing on any computer you should install is a reputable security software. Having trusted security like Norton Security can also help protect you from spyware, malware and other online threats by providing 24/7 protection against the threats that could considerably slow your PC down or worse, block access to your important files. By keeping your computer in top shape and protected with trusted security you will reap the benefits of a productive online college life.

Myth No.4 - My computer is safe; I’m using some free antivirus I got online

Free antivirus is a great way to provide a basic level of PC protection, but it may not be enough for the bad stuff like ransomware (where cyber-criminals lock you out of your computer unless you pay their “ransom”). Norton’s yearly Internet Security Threat Report has shown ransomware threats increased substantially in the last few years. While grabbing a free antivirus might help tight student budgets, investing in Norton Protection provides you with up to date and round the clock security from the latest viruses, scams, phishing attempts, zero-day exploits threats at an affordable price.

Myth No.5 - I can tell if my computer has an infection. It will behave strangely and stop working

Today’s threats, like botnets, are designed to evade your detection so they can keep working away in the background, stealing your private information like credit card details and account logins and send it off to a crook. Don’t count on visual evidence to clue you in. Make sure your security software is installed, up-to-date and run full system scans on a regular basis.

You should also follow some best computing practices and secure all your devices with a good password to keep outsiders out. Back up your computer and mobile data on a regular basis. Store digital images and videos that are important to you in multiple locations, including online. Never consider yourself immune from Internet danger; assume crooks want your information and are always trying to get it.

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Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

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