Sending money online used to be scary. Most people didn’t have credit cards and those who did fear that someone would steal their hard-earned cash. That might seem like it happened in the distant past, but it’s quite recent.
Companies like Amazon struggled with it. Jeff Bezos mentioned how people from Bulgaria sent money for their orders by sticking cash in floppy discs (the physical version of the save button).
Now, we order things online with one tap, and a new package will be at our doorstep tomorrow. But the more we send and receive money online, sign up for online services, or share personal info online, the more data hackers have on us. Our entire lives are online, and like you can send money with one tap, a hacker can one-tap your banking account to zero. To ensure that doesn’t happen, here are 6 security tools everyone should use on their computers.
Using an ,a hreef="/antivirus">antivirus is one of the easiest things you can do for your cybersecurity. You download and install the software; it runs in the background all the time. You don’t need to do anything, and it keeps you safe.
The primary purpose of an antivirus is to scan your device and new downloads for malicious threats. If something suspicious comes up, a notification will pop up. You will have the option to delete the threat, put it in quarantine, or ignore it.
Modern antiviruses are superb at detecting threats and even tell you the risk factor. It’s the first layer of security you must have to start your cybersecurity journey.
Every device that connects to the internet comes with a dedicated IP. An IP is a few numbers representing your digital address. Every website, internet service provider, and online app can see it. But a problem arises when hackers can see it too.
That happens when you connect to a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Hackers can intercept your communication, monitor your activity, and breach your device.
A VPN stops everyone from seeing your online activity. For starters, it hides your real IP address and masks it with a new one. Next, it encrypts your communication and activity from prying eyes. Most VPNs have extra features like a kill switch that disconnects you from the internet in case of a crash or a data leak. It’s the second must-have for complete cybersecurity protection.
3. Ad Blocker
Compared to a few years ago, the internet now looks like a giant shopping mall. Every website you visit is filled with ads, pop-ups, newsletter sign-ups, or games that force you to move pieces so you can find the X to turn them off.
It’s annoying, and it slows down your browsing experience. On top of all that, some ads can contain malware and do even more harm.
Ad blockers stop those annoying intrusions from showing up. They speed up your device and save mobile data because you won’t watch a 30-second unskippable ad on YouTube in full HD before watching a 360p video. Ad blockers complete a trio of cybersecurity must-haves and a VPN and antivirus.
4. Password Manager
Raise your hand if you use the same password (or a variation) for every website, app, or service. If your hand is in the air, you’re at a high risk of being hacked.
Imagine having the same key for your house, car, mailbox, and bank safe. All it takes is for a criminal to get the key, and they’ll steal everything. The same thing’s true about passwords.
You need to have a strong and separate password for every online account. But if you had to remember twenty strings of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, your brain wouldn’t listen.
That’s where password managers come in. You will create one master password and everything else inside it. A password manager saves you from having to remember unnecessary logins.
5. Anonymous Browser
When you accept a cookie on a website, they plant a tracker. It’s a play on words to trick you into thinking cookies are safe, non-intrusive tech necessities. The reality is different. Big tech corporations, governments, and marketers want to know everything about you.
Anonymous browsers don’t let them do as they please. Browsers like Tor protect your personal information and identity from prying eyes. If you want more online privacy, use an anonymous browser.
6. Encryption Software
If you’re dealing with sensitive data, you must invest in high-quality encryption software. Finances, medical records, crypto, and even customer logins are worth a lot of money to hackers. Confidential data needs to stay secret, and encryption software scrambles the data to make it unusable to hackers without a special key.
This way, even if you get hacked, the perpetrators won’t know what to do with the information. Encryption software sounds complicated but works similarly to antivirus and VPN programs. You install it, create an account, and paste the data you want to hide from hackers. It spews up scrambled info, and you can unlock it when needed.
The article discusses the recent evolution of online financial transactions from a fear-ridden process to a seamless experience. Despite the convenience, the more we engage in online activities, the more data hackers have on us, putting our privacy and security at risk. To combat this, this article highlights six essential security tools for everyone to use on their computers.
First is an antivirus, which scans devices and downloads for threats, providing protection in the background. Second is a VPN, crucial for safeguarding against hackers on public Wi-Fi by hiding the real IP address and encrypting online activity. The third tool is an ad blocker, preventing intrusive ads and potential malware from hindering browsing speed. Password managers are fourth on the list, creating strong and unique passwords for different accounts to minimize hacking risks. An anonymous browser like Tor takes the fifth spot, ensuring online privacy by protecting personal information from being tracked. Finally, encryption software serves as the sixth security tool, scrambling sensitive data so that even if a system is compromised, the information remains unreadable without the correct decryption key. By utilizing these tools, users can significantly bolster their cybersecurity and defend against potential threats in their online endeavors.
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