Kaspersky recently analysed what digital superstitions internet users believe in nowadays and investigated whether there are grounds for these beliefs.
According to the global Kaspersky Digital Superstitions survey, the most popular misbelief is that one should not pronounce “Yes” or “No” when speaking on the phone with strangers. Allegedly, the conversation can be recorded and used to steal money from banking accounts: the majority of respondents surveyed from the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa (META) region (84%) agree with this. In fact, voice identification systems are used in some banks, but only as an additional authentication tool which is not enough for carrying out a transaction, in particular to withdraw or transfer money.
Another common misconception that 85% of respondents in the META region believe in is that the HTTPS protocol of a website guarantees its authenticity. While in fact, the HTTPS certificate means that personal data can’t be reached from outside of the website, however this data can still be stolen by the site itself if it is a phishing resource.
Are digital superstitions real?
More than half (57%) of respondents believe that it’s possible to delete all information on a smartphone by rolling it back to factory settings. In reality, the data can often be recovered after a factory reset and formatting. Specifics of the storage space on gadgets implies that the data is deleted only in case it’s overwritten, which is not happening during a reset.
57% of respondents from the META region think that if the device is not connected to the internet, it is impossible to infect it with malware. In fact, it’s possible to infect a device even if it is not connected to the Internet, for example, using a flash drive or other removable media.
Four in five (82%) users think that the “Incognito” mode in the browser provides complete anonymity on the internet. Though “Incognito” mode doesn’t guarantee absolute privacy. In this mode, the browser is not saving the history of visiting websites, cookies, download history and authorisation data which is not equal to complete anonymity.
“For over 25 years already we’ve been fighting not only various cyberthreats, but also digital superstitions. However, many of them are extremely durable. For example, it is interesting that more than a third of the users surveyed still believe that cactus plants absorb radiation from a monitor that may be harmful. That is why it is important to constantly improve digital literacy, as well as use reliable security solutions. There is nothing to be ashamed of not knowing something – and it is never too late to learn something new,” says Brandon Muller, technology expert and consultant for the MEA region at Kaspersky.
To protect against various cyberthreats, Kaspersky experts recommend following the below tips:
- Pay attention to privacy settings in social networks and on popular platforms.
- Use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts (at least 12 characters with letters in different case, numbers and special characters), store them in password managers.
- In those services that allow it, set up two-factor authorisation.
- Download applications only from official stores and periodically check which programs are installed on the device.
- Do not follow suspicious links in mail, instant messengers or social networks (even if they were sent by friends).
- Carefully check the name of the site in the address bar before entering your personal or payment data on it.
- Do not believe the myths and constantly improve your digital literacy, and in order not to worry about the safety of your data, install a reliable security solution on all your gadgets, including mobile devices.
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