How To Maintain Security On The Internet

in Security

byod securityI have been on the Internet since the early 1990s.  In those heady days, it was all command string entry. No Windows. No Apple GUI and I paid £200 for a small modem that made a sound like a cat having its insides cut out while still alive. Seurity was not a major issuie back then either.

Since then the Net has become a global communications colossus, bringing untold benefits to millions of people. It has also bought a shed load of headaches surround security as hackers, phishers and cyber criminals try to get their hands on your bank and credit card details.  However, you need not lead your online life in total fear. There are some simple security procedures you can follow and here are my suggestions.

1: Pre-Paid Credit Card

Making payments online should be secure if you follow the guidelines and don’t try and pay over an insecure connection – look for the padlock. If you do make online payments and make regular subscription payments to services then you should consider a pre-paid Mastercard or Visa.  These are pre-loaded with however much you want depending on subscriptions etc., and if you want to make a specific payment, say for a new computer or smartphone,  you pre-load the card to cover the payment. If your card does get hacked then the people responsible do not have access to your main credit or bank card.

2: Use An Anti-Virus Program

I cannot believe that in his day and age people do not use an anti-Virus program; it is almost criminally negligent. There are several excellent free anti-virus programs out there and my choice is Avast.  I have used it for years and never had a problem. AVG is supposed to be very good, too. On someone else’s recommendations I did install Avira, didn’t like it, and for whatever reason it was a nightmare to remove.

3: Use A Malware Blocker

I know there are anti-virus solutions out there that block malware and phishers but I prefer a dedicated tool and for me that is Malwarebytes. It has a professional reputation bar none and I pay for the premium subscription, primarily for real-time detect and deter. It is weirdly comforting to see a little pop-up appear saying it has blocked an attempt from a malicious website. You can see your subscription in action.

4: Using Public Wi-Fi

If you travel a lot and use public Wi-Fi, then you could be open to attack  from cybercriminals. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects you and should be a de facto connection on your smartphone or tablet.  On my desktop PC I use PureVPN (affiliate link) and on my smartphone and tablets I prefer Tunnelbear.  Both of these have IoS and Android versions for mbile use

PureVPN on the desktop gives me far greater control over which servers I redirect my Internet connection and offers additional options for security, gaming, streaming, etc. Tunnelbear is a great click n connect options for when I am out an about and I just want simplicity.

Edited to add: Since writing this article last year I have transferred over to NordVPN for my security.

5: Use Encrypted Messaging Apps

WhatsApp recent announced it provides end to end encryption for its users, although some expert has raised doubts about this. So far no one appears to have cracked it, so what the heck. I could ramble on and offer alternatives but suggest that you pay a visit Tom’s Guide for some excellent, up to date suggestions.My suggested encrypted email is ProtonMail; end of!

6: Use Common Sense

A bit of a controversial suggestion because reading about people’s behaviour on the Internet makes me doubt that any exists in some quarters. So, if you receive an email from someone you don’t know with an attachment, don’t open it.  If something comes your way that looks too good to be true it probably is.

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