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Office of Information Security Newsletter

The Top 10 Myths of Safe Web Browsing and 5 tips to reduce threats on the world wide web.

How do we persuade the UTB/TSC Community to pay attention to security?

Very Good question indeed. The best way to integrate security into the UTB/TSC Community is by working habits and give the UTB/TSC Community useful information that can help them personally or that they can use to help their families and friends stay safe in the ever-growing world of electronic communications. 

Recently, the Office of Information Security received a short summary of some basic Web safety information freely available from Sophos that can serve our purposes in raising security consciousness and involvement.“The 10 myths of safe web browsing.”

Chris McCormack, product marketing manager at Sophos, introduces the booklet as follows:
"Are you suffering from misconceptions about safe web browsing? You might think you're being safe, but with a newly infected webpage discovered every few seconds, it's next to impossible to stay up to date on infected sites — no matter how educated or aware of the risks you are.

To start this judgment, ask yourself some questions:

Do you and your users practice safe Web browsing? Avoid risky sites? Limit time spent online during work hours? Use a secure browser? Have the experience to know a risky site when you see one?

Mr. McCormack, goes on to state the following: "The premise of this myths white paper is that most readers are likely aware that there are web threats... but have misconceptions about them. It's assumed that most readers would answer 'Yes' to at least one of these questions, and thereby think they are protected, when in fact, they are clinging to a myth. If readers answer 'No' to all of these questions, then they are completely naive and this white paper about misconceptions is not for them. They need more direct education of the threats and should probably study our Threat Report."

The Ten Myths are as follows: (for full information regarding each myth, please click here)

  • Myth #1: The Web is safe because I have never been infected by malware.
  • Myth #2: Users are not wasting any time surfing inappropriate content.
  • Myth #3: Web Usage is controlled, so policy is good as it stands.
  • Myth #4:  Only porn, gambling, and other “dodgy” sites are dangerous.
  • Myth #5: Only naïve users get infected with malware and viruses.
  • Myth #6: You can only get infected if  you download files.
  • Myth #7: Firefox is more secure than Internet Explorer.
  • Myth #8: When the lock icon appears in the browser, it’s secure.
  • Myth #9: Web security requires a trade-off between security and freedom.
  • Myth #10: Endpoint security solutions can’t protect against web threats.

Five tips to reduce modern web threats are follows: (for full information regarding these tips, please click here)

  • Keep your systems patched and up to date.
  • Standardize your web software
  • Secure  your browsers.
  • Enforce a strong password policy.
  • Use an effective web security solution.

The purpose of these myths, and tips are not to scare you or intimidate you, but to educate you. The more information you have about web these myths and web threats, the better. At the end of the day, the difference between a good day and a bad day is being informed when surfing the world wide web. Thank you for your attention.


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