Security is a huge concern in the world of computers and on the Internet. Security breaches are becoming more common, with hackers trying to break into people’s accounts for their personal information or even taking control of your computer without you knowing about it. Security is especially important if you own a business and use the computer for work every day. It is also important in everyday life when using social media, shopping online, or banking on your phone to be aware of the risks that can occur if you are not aware. Here are some important tips on how to keep your information safe while browsing the web, making purchases, and anything involving your computer or mobile phone.
The best thing about this is it’s all absolutely FREE!
- Updating Windows, Mac and Mobile Phones Regularly
- Antivirus – What Exactly Does It Do?
- What Is The Best Free Antivirus Software?
- Avast One Essential
- What Is The Best Free Disk Cleaner?
- What Is The Best Free Online Scanner?
- What Is The Best Free Driver Updater?
- What Is The Best Free VPN?
- Best Free VPN
- BackUp Data For Free
- Send Emails Securely
- HaveIBeenPwned – Has Your Data Been Breached?
- LastPass – Free Password Manager
- Two-Factor Authentication
- DropBox – Sending Files Securely
- DuckDuckGo – Browse The Internet Privatley
- TOR – Stay Anonymous Online
- 3 Best Chrome Extensions For Security & Privacy
- Stay Safe While You Shop
Updating Windows, Mac and Mobile Phones Regularly
Before we go any further, it’s important to keep your operating systems up to date whenever a new update is released. This is because new updates often contain security patches and bug fixes that protect your computer from malware, viruses, and other types of attacks. It’s important to note that most software companies release updates for their products on a regular basis – so it is best practice to update as soon as possible after you see an available update notification in the corner of your screen.
Antivirus – What Exactly Does It Do?
Antivirus is a computer program for Windows, Mac and Mobile Phones that monitors, identifies and eliminates potential threats or malicious code that may harm your computer. The software works in the background while you search the web and carry out day to day tasks.
Security on the web is always changing, not just with malware but also technology and there are new ways to access files or PCs remotely (such as Ransomware), so it’s important that you keep your security software up to date at all times. This includes adding any recommended updates for Windows too. Most Antivirus programs will complete this automatically so you won’t have to worry and so does our two favourite Antivirus programs below.
It is important to know that the best antivirus software cannot protect you from every single threat on the internet. There are limits to how much protection an antivirus can offer when it comes to harmful websites or email attachments, for example. It’s also worth considering that some threats might be aimed at your privacy rather than your computer. For example, there have been cases where hackers would access private information by using viruses in order to make a profit off of their findings.
No matter what antivirus protection you have you should always be wary of what you download and open on your PC because even if they don’t contain any type of virus themselves, they could still lead you into opening something dangerous without realizing it!
Right let’s get you
What Is The Best Free Antivirus Software?
Let’s take a look at our favourite:
Avast is one of the most popular antivirus software systems available for free download and for good reason. It has a lot to offer and packs the punch you need to stay fully protected including some serious protection, ease of use and effective performance. If that’s not enough then they have been awarded 2021 PCMAG Editors Choice Awards, AV-Tests Top Product Award and Awarded the highest level for Malware protection and performance.
Avast provides real-time virus scans with its malware detection system that blocks viruses before they can cause damage to your computer or steal valuable information like your credit card details. The user interface is simple; it will scan all files that are accessed by you in order to detect any harmful code then quarantine them immediately if there was anything wrong detected without interrupting your work process too much. Additionally, if you fancy watching some TV online but don’t want anyone else to be able to see what you have been looking at, Avast Privacy Advisor lets you decide what is viewable to the public and automatically removes any traces of your online activities.
It has an effective performance with a simple user interface which makes it easy for both beginners as well as experienced users. The free Avast Antivirus offers real-time protection, automatic updates, a powerful virus detection engine, an internet security suite that includes firewall protection, safe payment options in its privacy advisor tool etc.
Avast One Essential
Avast has recently introduced a new free all in one product line that provides all the protection from the previous platform but with improved speed, security tools and a completely new interface. Avast One has been tested and delivers excellent results for protection against malware attacks, low false positives and very low-performance lag/impact.
What Is The Best Free Disk Cleaner?
CCleaner is the best disk cleaner for Windows. It clears out disk space and improves speed by removing temporary files, history, cached images, cookies and logs. CCleaner also includes a registry cleaner that cleans junk entries from the windows registry which is responsible for error messages when you open certain programs or run them. CCleaner has an option to erase all data in one click without any recovery required so if anything ever happens just use this feature then reinstall everything again using their installation file.
The free version includes all the features that are needed for daily use and paid version is just to support the developer. this software is a must-have on any windows computer especially older laptops or computers, clearing out anything that slows the system down is important.
The interface is easy to use and it doesn’t take a long time to complete the scans. There are different features that you can choose from depending on what your computing needs may be. You have an option for custom cleaning which allows you to determine exactly what files or apps to get rid of, giving you control over how much space gets freed up. On top of all these great things, there are no popup ads throughout the computer either.
The free version offers what you need but if you were wondering what the premium features offer below are the features for only £24.95 for the year. What I will add though, is you can get a Driver updater for absolutely free which we will be talking about next.
What Is The Best Free Online Scanner?
ESET Online Scanner
It is of vital importance to keep your device safe and secure against all the new threats that come up every day. If you want a reliable way to detect and eliminate potential problems, ESET online scanner should be a good choice to check if your computer has any threats quickly. ESET online scanner is completely free and can be a quick one time scan to check if you have any vulnerabilities on your computer
What Is The Best Free Driver Updater?
Driver Booster 8
Driver Booster scans your PC for out-of-date drivers and then updates them to the latest, most compatible version. It also backs up any updated drivers in case you need to restore them at a later date. In my experience, Windows does actually miss out on some important updates so this is really important to ensure that everything is updated to the newest version.
Updating the drivers on your computer is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that it runs smoothly. First, not updating them leaves your computer more open to viruses and other problems that are very common in today’s world. Secondly, by using updated drivers for all components on your computer you will have a faster and more stable system.
What Is The Best Free VPN?
What Is a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN for short, is a way of allowing remote computers to connect securely with each other over the public internet. It uses encryption and tunnels traffic between two devices so that it appears as if they are directly connected on one local area network (LAN). For example, if you have an office in London and your employees need access to files stored on their work computer at that office from outside the building remotely then setting up a VPN will allow them to do this by appearing as though they were actually inside the building physically when in fact they could be thousands of miles away. Many businesses use VPNs like these every day but consumers can also benefit from using them particularly when connecting through public WiFi hotspots since any data sent over such connections can be easily intercepted and monitored by third parties.
What Is The Difference Between a VPN vs Proxy Server?
A proxy server changes your IP address to a different one, but it still works within the same internet. So if you use a UK server when in China, then all of your traffic will get routed through that server and the Chinese firewall won’t be able to detect its presence (and block).
A VPN routes ALL of your traffic through another country by changing both your IP Address AND DNS settings. That way even if someone can see what websites you are visiting, they won’t know which ones you’re actually connecting to because things like Netflix think you’re sitting somewhere else entirely! A VPN is not something everyone should have there’s a greater financial incentive for hackers or intelligence agencies to target people using them than other options. But it’s also much
Paid vs Free VPN
A free VPN is a service provided by some companies to their customers as part of their package for cheaper rates or better deals. They don’t usually require users to pay any fee at all and they even may give out limited data usage which can be extended if a user decides to make a purchase. However, it should only be used when needed because there might still be hidden costs that come with using these services such as performance issues and customer support problems. Not every provider has good enough infrastructure to provide quality speed so it pays to research before committing your money to something that doesn’t work well.
Paid services are a better alternative because it usually provides unlimited speed, server switches and bandwidth. The customer support system has improved as well and they often provide good assistance whenever there is an issue encountered by the user. There are some drawbacks though such as high fees which can be expensive especially if you’re only using their service for a limited time or not at all during certain periods in your life. Yet, these paid options also have their own benefits such as 24/24 support team availability so users won’t need to worry about contacting them even during emergencies.
Best Free VPN
Hotspot Shield is a virtual private network (VPN) utility developed by AnchorFree Inc. that claims to provide Internet security and online privacy to its users. Hotspot Shield only works on Windows and Mac operating systems and has a free version and a premium version which you can sign up for a free 7-day trial to test out.
Below is what’s included in the Free VPN plan:
With the free plan, you have a 500MB maximum data limit, once used up you will not be able to use the VPN till the next day. Hotspot Shield offers a maximum connection speed of 2 Mbps and if you compare this to the premium plan which has 1 Gbps this is a considerable difference.
Free VPN’s are a good choice for people on a budget or that would like to use the VPN for watching movies and shows only available in other countries. But, there is considerable restraint on what you can use and how long you can use it. For that reason, I would advise, if you require a VPN, that you choose a paid VPN.
What Is The Best Paid VPN?
Express VPN is a service that provides online security and privacy. The company’s website claims it allows you to remain anonymous while using the internet, unblock websites around the world, and protect your data from hackers or spies. ExpressVPN’s headquarters are located in the British Virgin Islands where there are no mandatory data retention laws. Therefore, not even the British government could collect the data that you have used as this is secured where there are no legal requirements to hand over data.
Express VPN has long been the leading paid VPN service with excellent ease of use, fast speeds, secure and a large selection of locations to choose from. The ability to choose from multiple countries and the cities and towns within them makes Express VPN extremely useful.
Features listed on their site include high-speed servers with unlimited bandwidth, 256-bit AES encryption for all traffic coming into and out of connected devices, a strict no-logs policy, and a variety of protocols including OpenVPN.
Express VPN has three different price plans available which are 1 month, 6 month and 12-month plans. If you choose the 6-month plan or 12-month plan you will get a discount but you will have to pay the full price straight away.
1 Month – £9.86 Monthly
6 Months – £45.62
12 Months – £76.06
Its up to you what price plan you prefer but paying in full does save you a lot in the long run.
BackUp Data For Free
You should back up your operating system because it is the foundation of all data that you store on your computer. If something happens to this crucial piece of software, there is a risk that you will lose everything. There are many reasons why an OS may fail: viruses or malware can corrupt files, ransomware attacks lock up vital documents, and power outages drain batteries while saving changes – if any one thing goes wrong at the wrong time then disaster might strike!
Operating systems usually have very specific functions in mind for their users – these range from simple tasks such as writing memos through office suites or playing games to more advanced processes like managing databases or running server applications over networks. If anything disrupts these apps then productivity grinds down to a halt.
If your operating system inherits a virus or a bug having a backup may save your bacon, especially if you use your computer for work. But issues are not always just limited to software, hardware issues such as faulty RAM chips could lead to applications to crash unexpectedly, while errors in drivers create instabilities everywhere else by interfering with data transfers between different components inside or outside the computer case. Sometimes pixels won’t show on screens properly due to faults in their structure, which means that the graphics card needs replacing.
There are many other reasons why you should backup your operating system, but this list covers all of the most important ones! You can never predict when disaster might strike or how much it will affect you in every case – so don’t take any risks and back up regularly to make sure that nothing gets lost forever. This way, even if something goes wrong then at least there is a plan to fall back on. If everything runs smoothly for years without problems then congratulations, having reliable backups means that you can breathe easy knowing that they’re always available whenever needed.
Easeus backup is free software to help you create a backup for your system or data. It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems. Easeus is a free recovery software to help you recover lost, deleted or formatted photos and files on your PC. You’re able to back up your computer and in one click you will be able to recover data and it’s all absolutely free.
The free version includes backup and recovery and full Full/Differential/Incremental Backup, all you need to ensure peace of mind.
Send Emails Securely
Email is still the most popular way of communication on the web, but it has many drawbacks when it comes down to security and privacy. The email was not built for protecting or encrypting users’ communications – that’s what makes email encryption so difficult! When you send an email with Gmail, your message can be read by anyone who runs a server between you and Google’s servers (such as cybercriminals), any service provider along this path including network providers could also spy on your messages since they can see all data being transmitted through their networks. This means every time someone accesses the Internet from their device they automatically become part of a global network of surveillance. That’s why we need to encrypt emails and ensure they can’t be read by anyone except the intended recipient!
Proton Mail – Free Secure Email
Protonmail is an easy to use email service that comes with built-in end-to-end encryption. With ProtonMail, you can send highly encrypted emails and files of any type (doc, zip, mp…). On top of this all your data is stored in Switzerland under the protection of Swiss privacy law. That means all user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.
Protonmail also offers two-password authentication for additional security and has recently implemented a Tor hidden service to allow users even more anonymity. The best part about the ProtonMail service? It’s free!
HaveIBeenPwned – Has Your Data Been Breached?
haveibeenpwned is a website that lets you check if your email address or phone number has been compromised in any data breach. You can type in your email and mobile phone number and it will tell you if it was found in one of the many breached records available online, such as LinkedIn or Adobe for example. If there’s no red warning sign next to your name then good news! Your account hasn’t been exposed yet!
LastPass – Free Password Manager
Lastpass is a password management tool that lets you store all your passwords in one place (Vault), It’s free, secure and easy to use. You can access it from any computer or smartphone with an Internet connection – even if the site isn’t online – thanks to data encryption on their servers and has the bonus of two-factor authentication for added protection during login.
Lastpass has a chrome extension so you can easily store all of your passwords in one place and automatically log in without the hardship of remembering your password. With LastPass, you will create a master password that you will be able to log in and store passwords from websites all around the internet.
Creating a Strong Password
Lastpass has a strong password generator to create passwords instantly, making sure that your account is as secure as it can be. Password managers store passwords effortlessly so you can log in instantly to different accounts. Especially if you are like me and you always forget the password that you had on many different accounts.
Sharing Your Password Securely
Lastpass has one-to-one sharing which allows you to share passwords securely with family or friends on the internet.
Mult-Factor Authentication is a pioneer of account security, it has been around for many years but studies show only 28% of people are using this to secure their account. What’s worrying is the statistics show that this is further declining year on year.
Two-factor authentication adds an additional level of security to your account. When you log in, two verification steps are required: something you know and something you have (your phone). If someone steals your password but doesn’t have possession of your phone, they can’t access your accounts! It is important that when logging into a site like Facebook or Gmail on mobile devices that use Google Authenticator for second-factor verification, the app itself must also be secured with fingerprint/PIN protection. This goes for all apps — especially bank apps — where we store sensitive information such as PINs and passwords.
One way hackers get around needing physical access to a device is by using phishing websites designed to look exactly like login pages so that when users enter their login information, it goes to the hacker instead of being sent securely. Phishing is a common way hackers steal passwords and other sensitive information from unsuspecting victims. This can be prevented by enabling two-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it as an option! The main point here is that keeping yourself safe online is not a time-consuming, complicated process. There are a lot of simple steps you can take to protect yourself from being hacked
DropBox – Sending Files Securely
Dropbox is a cloud storage service that allows users to upload and sync files across all of their devices. Dropbox provides free accounts for up to two gigabytes (GB) which can be upgraded with paid plans starting at £95.88 per year for plus or £167.88 per year for a family plan depending on the amount needed. The security for this program has been described as an “A” but it is still recommended by experts as part of multi-layered defences, such as encryption and other methods. Basically, if you can secure your account further it’s best practice to do so. Dropbox stays secure with its strong encryption of 256bit AES encryption, which is why it falls in the upper echelon of cloud storage security.
DuckDuckGo – Browse The Internet Privatley
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. Search queries are sent to DuckDuckGo’s servers, which send back matching pages with titles and short snippets along with advertisements in the page margins. The current layout returns results on over 50 categories for users. Results can be filtered based on date/time, region (country), number of clicks from previous result links, language options, adult content filters amongst others. Duck
TOR – Stay Anonymous Online
TOR is free software, developed by the Tor Project Inc., that enables users of computers running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux operating systems (including Android phones) to protect their privacy online by hiding traces of their activity on those machines, providing protection against traffic analysis.
Tor encrypts your communications so that people can’t spy on what you’re doing online. It also hides where you are when using the Internet, to keep websites from knowing who and where you are. TOR is a volunteer-based service that helps individuals around the world defend against traffic analysis — a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.
Using Tor makes it more difficult for organizations or other groups to know whether they’ve been visited by an individual user several times in succession (like spies) or just once (like crackers). This happens because part of the information sent through Tor gets randomly bounced through computers all over the world before arriving at its final location – unlike direct connections from your computer to a website which allows web servers and sniffers to record websites you visit.
3 Best Chrome Extensions For Security & Privacy
Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker
When you visit a website, it can see what site or service you came from to get there. It might also be able to see your IP address which could identify your general location. Your browser will usually accept cookies set by that site without asking for confirmation first.
If the site uses tracking cookies, every time you visit the site, it can see what you did before. For example, if the site is a shopping website and someone buys something then clicks on an ad that pops up, the company will know that your interest was risen by that product or service because of the duration you were spending on that particular product.
There are also various tools companies use to track people online such as browser fingerprinting, super cookies and canvas fingerprints.
The Ghostery Privacy app is a google browser extension that stops third-party websites from getting your data and it stops advertisers from tracking what you do online. Ghostery gives you the option to block particular websites or you can choose to block every website from being able to track you and even locate your general location.
HTTPS is a security protocol that protects the privacy of your data when it’s transmitted online. This form of encryption secures your browser session, so that nobody can intercept any information you send or receive while browsing the web.
This means if someone somehow manages to get in between you and an website (such as public WiFi), they won’t be able to see what you’re doing or steal any information like your username and passwords.
When you visit a website that has an SSL certificate installed, your browser displays a green padlock icon in the address bar. This lets you know that your data is encrypted. The padlock can also be labelled as ‘Secure’ or ‘Private’ if the website has an SSL certificate installed, to signify that it uses encryption technology.
HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.
It’s produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). It automatically switches thousands of sites from insecure “plaintext” connections to encrypted connections where available, provided you have advance permission to access the site in question.
Avast Online Security
Avast is a free security google chrome extension that is a quick and easy way to protect your computers from malicious software. With this special tool, you will be able to check the websites that you visit against one of the world’s largest virus databases before accessing them. Once downloaded through the Google Chrome browser, you can continue browsing, safe websites will have a shield in green and sites to avoid being in a red shield.
If you want to access the other features of Avast, click on the icon on the top right of your Google browser. Once you have, you will see further details of the website you’re on and you will be able to change the settings so that ads are more tailored towards you.
Stay Safe While You Shop
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, but to ensure you spend your money wisely it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers involved. Follow these tips to make sure you shop safely online:
- Always use secure websites when making payments – look for “https” at the beginning of the address bar and a padlock sign; if there isn’t one, don’t shop there.
- Check delivery costs and times – ensure that any premium rates are worth paying. And, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Keep records of what you’ve bought, and hold on to receipts; this will make returns easier if something goes wrong.
- Deal only with reputable companies – don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t know, and do some research to find out if the site is genuine.
- If an offer’s too good to be true then it probably is – don’t believe everything you read online.
- only pay by credit card if you can ensure that your purchase will be covered in the event of a problem.
- If you have concerns about items or orders contact the website’s customer support team before making a payment. They may be able to offer advice and assist with any problems.
- If you aren’t happy with a product, don’t keep it; exercise this means if anything goes wrong it’ll be easier to get your money back.
- Never give out personal details online unless you are absolutely sure who you are talking to, and always use secure websites when making payments.
Always be aware online, ensure that you are careful what websites that you click on and the files that you download. Using the above security features will decrease the likelihood of any foul play. The internet is evolving every day and companies still have to continuously provide updates as hackers and viruses become even more sophisticated.
Tell us what you think below, do you have better security features to keep you safe?