Six Tools To Protect Your Online Business

in Security

internet securityBarely a week goes by without the news being full of stories about computer hackers taking people’s personal information from a wide variety of sources, from telecomms companies to banks. No-one, it seems, is safe.

The latest tale of woe involves TalkTalk which has suffered three security hack attacks this year with news coverage about users having money taken from bank accounts.  Allegedly the latest attack was carried out by a group of teenagers “for a laugh.” Seeing as how the hackers/conmen accessed bank TalkTalk customers’ accounts prior to this latest debacle, then they must have been using data stolen from the previous  two attacks.

Negligence

The fact that after these initial attacks TalkTalk did not encrypt customer data smacks of extreme negligence and I am certain that the UK Information Commissioner will be taking an in-depth look into this and the story has legs to run and run for some time.

As an end user we are very much at the mercy of the companies we do business with, but there are ways that we can look at our personal and organisational security measures to protect our data from our work and home PCs.

Anti Virus

Anyone who doesn’t have anti-virus protection on their system should be taken down a dark alley and given a good kicking. I jest in the extremity of that statement and appreciate that sounds severe, but a reliable and robust anti-virus is one of the first things you should put on a PC for its security. Most AV packages come with bolt on extras such as Malware protection, but I prefer the horses for courses approach and choose dedicated tools.

I have used Avast as my anti-virus tool of choice for many years and have never had any issues with the level of protection on either my PC or mobile devices. AVG is another highly reputable package but I cannot recommend Norton due to an experience, many years ago admittedly, when it was installed and drilled so far down into my system it was easier to reformat and reload my PC hard drive than simply uninstall it!

Malware

To protect my system against Malware attacks I use two tools. The first, Malwarebytes, appears to update it its database on an hourly basis. The second is an old favourite of many years Spybot Search and Destroy. Both these packages analyse your system at the simple click of a button and have immunisation modules.

Encryption

If you store information on a service like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc you should encrypt the sensitive stuff and the best tool I have found for this is Boxcryptor. On installation the service creates an encrypted folder which houses the Dropbox folder, etc, that you want to store and encrypt your sensitive files. Drag n drop your documents into those folders and they are encrypted on the fly.

Virtual Private N etwork

If you object to your electronic vapour trail being tracked all over the Internet then you should look at a virtual private network (VPN). My VPN of choice is Tunnelbear which is easy to install and operate. Once it is up and running you choose the country you want to run your encrypted connection through and flick the on switch. That is all there is to it. It also has some basic ani-tracking blocking facilities. Tunnelbear also has apps for IoS and Android.

If you want a heavier duty blocker then you should look at Disconnect Desktop. I have had this running for just under a week and it has blocked more than 5000 tracking attempts from adware and analytic trackers.

All of these services are available for desktop and mobile devices and, for added oomph, come as free or premium packages.

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