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Stubborn myths in ICT

By Leah Navalayo

The term ‘information technology’ is enough to induce panic in some people. Just thinking of words like ‘gigahertz’, ‘QR Code’ and ‘metadata’, just to name a few terms; honestly, the basic tenets of IT need not be complex to understand.

At Epesi Cloud, our goal is geared towards delivering the best possible experience to our clients. And this in some instances involves demystifying IT processes. When simple concepts are often dressed up in difficult terminologies here, at Epesi Cloud; we uncase them back and communicate to you in a very concise and easy way to understand.

In this post, we look specifically at seven common digital technology myths and misconceptions. This is to enable you to sort the wheat from the technological chaff. The ICT world need not be a scary. We demystify some of it for you below.

  • Myth 1: Some computers cannot get viruses.

While it is less common that some Windows computers can get malicious software (malware) including viruses, there are several reasons why this myth is so prevalent. Firstly, computer hackers are generally familiar with operating systems, so they can easily create viruses. PCs will try to run any program they’re asked to, even if it’s dangerous though Macs will tend to block them, thereby limiting any damage. So while viruses may be more common in PCs, they can still happen to Macs they just need to be specifically designed that way.

  • Myth 2: Cloud computing is insecure.

Most people don’t understand why the term ‘cloud’. Other would ask why computer geeks couldn’t come up with a better name really. The ‘cloud’ evokes images of opacity and a lack of clarity. There are incidences of the cloud being compromised in its still-early stages. There’s also an argument that the risks are no greater than those threatening the workplace computer system. In that, information stored in the cloud is safer than information have stored in any other place.

  • Myth 3: One backup is enough

Large companies use more than one method to backup their systems. Smaller companies often don’t and this can be a grave mistake. Most companies once they have backed up their system, it’s ticked off and forgotten about. But in essence, multiple backups should be performed and stored in multiple locations. A single external hard drive is not a reliable backup. Backing up to the cloud is a better solution. As they say; ‘don’t have all your eggs in one basket’, so that they don’t all crack.

  • Myth 4: IT systems don’t need ongoing monitoring and maintenance.

How many people let their cars go subserviced for too long? Car owners know the importance of regular check-ups. The same goes with IT systems. They keep changing, are complex and need their sprockets tightened regularly to ensure they operate at maximum efficiency.

Just as cars need their brakes, wheels, engine, and gear boxes checked regularly, so is IT systems. The following need to be addressed on a weekly basis: Anti-virus software updates, firewall monitoring, backup maintenance, spyware detection, hardware maintenance, system optimization, server space and spam filter installations.

  • Myth 5: Small and Medium sized companies aren’t targeted by hackers

The profiling of high-profile business hacks in the news cycle often tricks small and medium-sized businesses into thinking that they can’t be targets of hacking. In reality, the opposite is actually the true picture. Data breach victims could be small businesses and not mega businesses. Many businesses aren’t targeted specifically, but instead are victims of what’s known as “spray-and-pray” attacks. In that hackers set up automated systems to randomly infiltrate businesses. As these attacks are random, any business can be damaged, regardless of size. Small businesses tend to be easier targets as they have less funding for advanced data protection software and often don’t have skilled security teams, which makes them more likely to fall victim to spray-and-pray attacks. Targeted attacks also tend to focus on small businesses, precisely because they’re unprotected.

  • Myth 6: Avoiding scams is all about common sense

Everybody has encountered Internet scams at least one and has measures on how to go about avoiding them; like not clicking on any dodgy-looking links, not trusting unknown downloads and never, ever entering your password on unknown sites. Unfortunately, these common-sense tips are not enough to ensure your security.

Some of the malicious software used by hackers can sneak into your system silently and start to wreak havoc. Anti-virus software that can detect malicious programs when they arrive is very essential. It’s about you being proactive, taking precaution with anti-virus software for you to be ready for any situation, no matter how dire. 

  • Myth 7: If WI-FI has a password, it is secure

If your business or company has employees who travel often, work remotely or use shared workspaces, they may incorrectly assume that a password keeps a Wi-Fi network safe. While in reality, Wi-Fi passwords primarily limit the number of users per network. Other users using the same password can potentially view the sensitive data that’s being transmitted. These employees should just invest in VPNs to keep their data more safe.

Therefore, in ICT we shouldn’t assume but get encouraged to be proactive and knowledgeable.