Here’s a list of things that could be happening to you right now as you’re reading this:
• A bot might be using your computer to spam email or a server, making your computer slow to a crawl
• Somebody may be intercepting and reading everything you’re typing, hoping to steal your credit card details
• Ransomware may be waiting to lock up your computer, so it can demand for money
Your digital life may not be physically beaten, but it can still be abused, stolen and hijacked. It’s more likely than not that you’ve already seen somebody’s PC, Mac, or mobile device assaulted like this. New attacks happen so fast, it’s impossible for most of us to keep up, which is why everyone needs Internet security software to do that for them. Here are the five defenses we suggest you look for in a good security program.
THE 5 WAYS YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOURSELF ONLINE
1. Get the latest security updates
One of the ways hackers get into your PC is by exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated software, so you should always keep each of your apps updated. It can be a hassle to check for new versions one by one, but good security software can help you automatically check for and install every update.
2. Keep yourself secure on the network
Unfortunately, most people don’t know how vulnerable to attacks public Wi-Fi can be. It’s not that difficult for anyone to ‘sniff’ passwords and personal data over unprotected networks. To protect your data, you’ll need to encrypt everything you send and receive, so others can’t get to it.
3. Prevent someone from installing something they’ll regret
We’ve all clicked on a link we probably shouldn’t have, and if not you, someone using your PC might. Accidentally installing malicious software or files is a common way for attackers to hijack a PC, after which they can turn on your webcam to spy on you, steal your files, or lock your data for ransom.
4. Defend your personal data from being stolen
Phishing websites capture your login and credit card details, and they can be so polished that these phony sites look almost like the real companies they’re impersonating. Anti-phishing protection automatically blocks these sites so they don’t get your personal information.
5. Works for mobile devices too
Attackers aren’t just hunting for PCs and Macs anymore, they’re aiming for your most precious computer: your smartphone. Mobile exploits have grown through the years, a recent, well-known exploit only needed to send a link via MMS to take over a user’s device.