Over the last ten years, computers and smartphones have integrated themselves into nearly every aspect of our lives. In fact, the average person spends nearly four hours of screen time per day. This includes social media, streaming content, and other uses not including work, which can double or even triple that number. Our devices store our most sensitive data from our financial accounts to our browsing and shopping histories to personal details like personal identification numbers, birthdates, and addresses.
For all of these reasons, it's now more important than ever that users start taking protecting themselves online to maintain not only their security but privacy as well. We've put together a quick list of digital safety strategies and tools that every person should be using.
1. Protect Your Files With NordLocker
Your files contain so much important information and cybercriminals know this. You may have tax records, bank statements, medical receipts along with other vital things like personal images and videos, and content like movies and games.
Hackers know how to monetize all of these types of files. They can steal your identity, target you through "ransomware", or employ a range of other malicious threats. With NordLocker, you secure your files with the highest encryption technologies, such as AES-256. It's simple to use and ultimately safe.
2. Secure Your Internet Connection with a VPN
The majority of hackers target people through their internet connections. Taking advantage of unsecured Wi-Fi networks or weak security protocols, they can gain access not only to your browsing history but also into your network and devices. With a VPN or virtual private network, you can secure and anonymize your connection with the same AES-256 standard. This dual strategy not only makes your computer extreme resilient against online threats but simultaneously protect your privacy online.
3. Use Firewalls
Windows computers do have a built-in firewall. Surprisingly many people disable it or allow exceptions that greatly decrease their security online. Take advantage of built-in software and check to make sure your firewall is working. However, firewalls aren't just for your PC.
You can install one directly onto your router to further protect all connections to it. Moreover, more companies and individuals are taking advantage of web-based firewalls to protect their websites against DDoS and other types of attacks.
4. Updates are Critical
You need to ensure your operating system and apps are always up to date. Hackers routinely exploit flaws to gain access to individual computers or spread malware. Fortunately, most developers are aware of this and quickly patch software to block these attempts. However, people who do not regularly update will not be able to take advantage of these security improvements.
Ensure your PC is running auto-updates in the background. Once a week, do a small audit to make sure things have been updated. Sometimes network errors or small problems can prevent vital updates from downloading. Also, keep up with technology news. Sometimes, hackers execute massive attacks that you need to patch immediately. For example, 1.4 billion Apple users suffered a massive data breach requiring an immediate, unscheduled update. Anybody who didn't get this update was extremely vulnerable.
5. Install Solid Anti-Virus Software
Everybody loves a free option when one is available. Particularly with computers when it seems like you always have to buy new apps or software. Think about it like this, however, if you can extend the life of your computer by 2-3 years because it stays virus and malware free, it's worth spending a little for good antivirus software.
Two of the best names in the industry are Norton and Kaspersky. These products do more than just scan viruses, but can also just for malware, issue repairs, scan files, and protect you while browsing online. Moreover, they are a vital line of defense because they can recognize almost instantly when an attack occurs on your computer.
6. Use a Secure Web Browser
A surprising number of people still use Safari or even Internet Explorer. These built-in apps are convenient but highly unsafe. Not only that, there are the least compatible choices for useful browser extensions like Adblock-Plus and other tools that can help you defend against cyber-attacks. Out of all the major browsers, Chrome has the most security features. You can also check out other options such as Opera, which includes a built-in VPN for added safety. Regardless of which browser you choose, make sure you routinely clear your cookies and browsing history.
Bonus: Ad-block Plus
More than 40% of people use ad-blocking software on their computer. While that number has grown dramatically over the last few years, it's still too low. Ad-block Plus is an incredible free software, that will not only block pop-up ads, but also prevent malicious scripts from automatically downloading and even allow you to skip advertisements on YouTube. Moreover, you can now use Ad-block plus not only on your computer, but also on the rest of your devices. Check your browser and devices to see if they are compatible with the latest release. You can also check out some of the other fantastic alternatives ad-blocking technologies as well.
Secure Your PC With These Essential Tools
Our computers and devices are vital components of our lives. They help us do almost everything. So you must secure them with the right tools. Begin by protecting your files with an encryption service like NordLocker. Then secure your internet connection with a VPN as well as firewalls both on your computer and on your router. From here, routinely check that all of your apps, as well as your operating systems, are up to date. Finally, round out your security plan by installing solid anti-virus software and using a robust internet browser like Chrome or Opera. These steps are easy to do, affordable, and will make sure you are always safe online. Don't wait any longer and start protecting your data and privacy today.