Today’s internet is an entirely different beast from the net we knew and loved in the 2000s. Now, with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, machine learning, and AI, our networks are vast, eminently interconnected, and far far more fraught with risk.
From malware and ransomware to drive-by downloads and everything in between, staying safe online is a daily task of critical importance to each user. If you don’t protect yourself, you risk financial losses, identity theft, and more.
With that in mind, here are a few essential tools you need in your cybersecurity toolkit.
VPNs or Virtual Private Networks were once thought of as tools to evade content pirating laws and other shady acts. Today this perception couldn’t be further from the truth, VPNs have come to be recognized as essential cybersecurity programs.
Your VPN does two key things: it creates a private network for you to browse on and secondly, it encrypts any data transmissions you send, keeping your info safe. Downloading a VPN ensures your personal information is protected from unauthorized access or unwanted online snooping.
In addition to your antivirus program, you should have a solid anti malware installed on your devices. Phishing attacks are at an all-time high and the modes of delivery are changing. Now, text messages can also contain fraudulent links. For that reason, you need to protect your smartphone as well as your laptop.
Instead of letting your devices remember all your account details, which is a recipe for a cybersecurity disaster, invest in a password manager. With these tools, you can create strong passwords and forget having to memorize them. Instead, you sign in to your password manager with one master password and it will then automatically fill login forms.
Choose multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is key to good digital hygiene because it ensures that any compromised passwords are not the final line of defense. Just be aware that text message verification isn’t the perfect solution it is often touted as; if your phone is lost or stolen, it can easily become a tool for hackers to reset and enter your accounts.
Follow the four easy and actionable steps above and you’re well on your way to more secure and safe devices in 2020.