Antivirus alone won’t protect you
We’ve all been annoyed at those update popups, seemingly always there at the most inconvenient of times. But giving into the prompt and taking the time to restart and install software updates is one of the best security measures to undertake.
Hacks into major companies and organisations are happening far more often and frequently becoming publicised. Governing bodies, healthcare providers and major banks have all experienced security breaches in recent times much like what Sony Pictures’ networks suffered back in 2014.
It is now more evident than before that Antivirus alone just isn’t enough to protect you, but there is something we can do to help ourselves.
Google has conducted research into the top online security practices and why we should prioritise some techniques over others. The findings, published in July, detailed the best safety measures to undertake from experts’ advice; at the top of the list, install software updates.
“Software updates, for example, are the seatbelts of online security; they make you safer” advises Google’s own software engineer and researchers. Patches are fundamental in revising flaws in the software and decreasing your online risk.
Worryingly this was in contrast to non-experts’ opinions of what will prevent hacks and keep themselves secure online. The research suggests that many people believe Antivirus will protect them against the majority of malware threats. Antivirus software gives a false sense of security; as it’s not a 100% secure solution. Installing software updates regularly will prevent hackers from breaking through and grabbing data from the start.
Both experts and non-experts share a general consensus that strategic and careful password management was fundamental for online security. Experts recommend using a password manager allowing you to have both strong and unique passwords.
The fundamental misunderstandings about basic online security practices highlighted by Google are concerning. Software updates is a priority security measure yet many people mistakenly think updating their software puts them at risk. This has resulted in Google researchers looking to improve how security best practices are prioritised and communicated to the public.