The internet is a great thing, but sad to say, it can also be dangerous. Hackers and cybercriminals take advantage of the fact that millions of people use the internet on a daily basis to steal data, passwords, credit card details and even identities. However, providing you have security measures in place, you can browse the internet and access your online accounts in privacy and security. So, with this in mind here are 3 useful security tools you really should not be without.
The Benefits to Installing Antivirus
A good antivirus should be the first thing you install on your computer as soon as you get it.
Computers and laptops generally arrive with some antivirus installed but it may be freeware or a trial. For instance, Windows PCs come with Windows Defender. However, it can pay to upgrade it to have more comprehensive antivirus.
The best antivirus software will run constantly in the background of your computer and stop it from becoming infected by viruses.
Real time protection is essential. Any files you download are automatically scanned and if a virus or Trojan is detected, the antivirus will pick it up and stop it from infecting your machine.
Free software generally does not offer this feature. Instead, it will scan at a set time and only then pick up the virus or malware. Quite often, this is too late, as the damage is already done.
By picking up the virus or malware before it reaches the computer, it cannot do any damage or imbed anything in your system where it may go undetected.
How You can Benefit from Using a VPN
Another extremely useful piece of software you can install on the device you use to connect to the internet is a VPN.
This is a Virtual Private Network. As the name might suggest it helps you remain private when browsing the internet.
A VPN is an easy-to-install software that is downloaded from the provider of your choice. Apps are usually available for all of the common devices, including Windows and macOS computers and laptops, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.
A Virtual Private Network is a great security tool to have and it comes in useful in many different ways.
First, when you use the VPN app to connect to a server offered by the provider it masks your own IP address. No one looking, such as hackers or cybercriminals, can find your true location.
You can also fool the ISP into thinking you are located anywhere in the world. For instance, if you take a vacation outside of your own country you can connect to a server from your country to stream your local version of Netflix or access other streaming services.
Secondly, once you have a connection to a server you are behind a virtual encrypted tunnel. Any information you send through the tunnel is encrypted, which means it is unreadable. It is only unencrypted once it reaches its destination.
This means no one can read the information, which may include your usernames, passwords, banking details and more. It also means you can beat censorship if you visit high censorship countries.
So, in short a VPN offers privacy, security and anonymity whether you use a plan at home or abroad.
Why Use a Password Manager
If you are among the many millions of people worldwide that chooses birthdays, pets, children’s names or even simply “password” or consecutive numbers as passwords you are among the many people who are at risk.
It is relatively easy for hackers and cybercriminals to guess passwords. If you use the same password for all of your accounts, you stand to lose a great deal.
Of course, if you choose combinations of letters, numbers, use capitals, lowercase, and mingle in some asterisk or hashes, the passwords are going to be much harder to break. The downside is they are not easy for you to remember, especially if you have several accounts and use a different password for each account, as you should.
This is where a password manager comes into its own as it can help you to remain secure, while at the same time making it easy to get access to your passwords.
Password managers can even generate passwords for you, keep track of all passwords for different accounts and retrieve them when you need them. All you have to do is choose one main password to access the manager and you are good to go.
There are many password managers out there, with the best using AES-256 bit encryption for security.