Are you concerned about the security of your online data? Do you feel a sense of dread each time you pay a bill online? Have you noticed a lot of targeted ads lately and a sluggish computer? If so, you’re not alone. The internet—although a fantastic repository of information and great way to communicate with people all over the world—is also full of opportunists and attackers who seek to compromise data or steal it at every available opportunity.
It’s up to you to avoid these tactics and keep yourself safe. As cyber attacks grow more sophisticated and aggressive, staying step ahead of the hackers is more important than ever. Here are five reasons you need internet security now.
1. Protection From Web Threats
Internet security—whether it’s a free antivirus or a paid program—should be able to easily handle web threats. Malware causes damage to your devices. It can change program behavior, spy on you, hijack your system, and steal your personal data (something that’s happening everywhere lately) Using a good antivirus program can keep threats at bay. It’ll be able to detect web-based security risks and help you avoid them. It can also identify potentially dangerous websites. By keeping it up today and running regular scans, you can stop web threats in their tracks. Aside from using antivirus software, you’ll also want to engage common sense security practice. This includes avoiding suspicious links, avoiding putting your personal information and suspicious websites, and learning about common threats so you can make more informed decisions while online.
2. Automated Updates
Manually patching and updating software is time consuming. Although doing manual updates is certainly an option, automation can be a boon to keeping your devices safe. Every so often, companies will release patches or updates to improve the performance of their apps. These software updates serve another integral function as well: keeping the software safe from malware. Some apps have built-in functions that take care of automation for you, but you can usually tweak your settings (in either internet security software or your operating systems) to update everything all at once. Automating your updates can save you time and provide peace of mind—especially in a world where vulnerabilities run rampant and affect consumers and businesses alike.
3. Password Managers
Password managers are the ultimate package for security and convenience. When you create a new account, install a new app, or start using a new service, you’re almost always required to set up a new username/password combination. Remembering all of them is a pain in the neck. Unless you have a photographic memory (which most don’t), losing or forgetting a password is pretty much inevitable. Password managers are fantastic for two reasons. First, they store your passwords for you with a single skeleton key password. Second, they are encrypted prior to leaving the device, so your password security increases significantly when you store them inside the password manager utility. Users can also use biometrics (you know, thumb prints or facial recognition) or passphrases to keep their passwords secure. Strong passwords and passphrases are essential, so do yourself a favor and take advantage of a password manager tool
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are renowned for their ability to make your browsing more private and secure. A VPN is useful for preventing tracking. It’s also ideal for keeping data safe. Data traveling through a VPN is encrypted. VPNs also spoof your location, making your traffic seem to originate from somewhere other than your current location. Accessing certain types of content, staying safe on public networks, and having a private browsing experience are the biggest benefits. They do suffer from a few flaws, though. Sometimes the service can drop out or traffic can cause some minor bandwidth issues. They can also be somewhat costly if you don’t choose the right provider. The pros of a VPN tend to outweigh the cons, but you should be fully aware of both before choosing one for your browsing.
5. Advanced Features
Using several of the aforementioned utilities is only the tip of the cybersecurity iceberg. A big selling point of internet security software is the advanced features. One of the reasons for that is because these types of security suites are built around creating and cultivating a private, secure user experience. So many threats potentially affecting users across any device, protecting privacy and security is necessary. Choosing a cybersecurity software with advanced features offers many of the utilities we’ve mentioned here plus some.
In addition to a VPN, antivirus software, and identity protection, you can often get more advanced features. Some of these features include 24/7 support from cybersecurity experts who can help you mitigate problems, protection across multiple devices, parental controls, built-in firewall protection, and much more. Taking your online security into your own hands is critical and choosing a comprehensive cyber security solution is the first step toward accomplishing that goal.