Can you imagine a world where you wouldn’t go online? It’s tough, right? We can’t either. The internet is used every day for so many actions. Looking up the weather, directions, streaming music, watching movies, chatting to friends.
And it’s used at work too, sending files, emails, instant messaging, video chats; it’s a major part of our everyday life. This means you want to make sure your details and personal information are kept as safe as possible when you’re online.
At the same time, you don’t want to pay through the roof for it. That’s why we’ve found some of the best cost-effective measures to take in order to protect yourself online.
Don’t Be Put Off by the Price Tag
There are so many different types of security software; it can be difficult to know where to begin. For many people, the free option is often the first place.
While this might be good in the short run as it can help you get accustomed to how different software works, the actual protection they offer is limited. And more often than not, they’ll also be riddled with adverts or constant messages for you to upgrade to a paid platform. That’s why it’s always worth paying out for a good piece of software in the first instance.
Whether it’s a firewall or antivirus software like Avast or AVG, just take a look at the reviews, compare the prices and then bite the bullet and install it onto your computer or device. It might seem expensive at first, but it works out cheaper in the long run, especially if it helps to stave off any online threats.
Passwords Stronger Than 123
Or ABC. When it comes to creating a password, you definitely need to avoid any Jackson 5 inspired songs. Or your name, names of family members, and words like ‘password.’ Unfortunately, passwords can be easy to crack if you leave them straightforward.
You can choose your own strong password, mixing up special characters, numbers, and letters (and that advice is for free!) to put any wannabe hackers off your scent. Alternatively, you can invest in special password managers that will create strong automatic passwords for you.
The best thing about this is that they also store the passwords, so you don’t have to remember them. You can change them frequently too, and never feel like you’re Guy Pearce in Memento trying to remember things.
Get Yourself a VPN
Virtual private networks (VPNs) play a key role in keeping yourself protected when online, helping to keep out snoopers and hackers. While there are free versions available, they’re often slow and not up to the job.
However, a good VPN will come at an affordable price and offer you the protection you need when you’re using streaming services, browsing the web, or just generally being online. You can see what a VPN is and how it works to find out exactly how it will help you.
Avoid the Clickbait
We know it’s tough. Sometimes the articles promised within a clickbait link just seems too good to be true.
But have you noticed that once you click through and start reading, you have to click through page after page after page to see the picture or main story you wanted?
Why go through all that and let potential hazards onto your device when you could just Google what an 80s kids’ TV star looks like now. It’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper than potentially damaging your device.
When using the internet, your personal information can be stored in lots of different places. Your banking details and address stored on Amazon? And what about all the information you keep on your device? You can take out measures to protect your online passwords and safety, but you also need to cover your tracks on your device too.
Encrypting your information is the way to go. You can always find affordable encryption technology that lets you encrypt individual files on your system. But even cheaper than that is to use an encrypted operating system. On Macs, you can use the Apple FileVault, and Windows offers Full Disk Encryption – both encrypt everything on your device. And did we say it’s free?
Despite the ongoing rise of cybercrime, there are lots of preventative measures you can take to keep your details safe. Even better, they’re all easy to do and very affordable. In fact, the majority of them are free; you just need to be extra vigilant when you’re online.