3 Security Steps to Take After Installing Antivirus Software
Digital security is an essential aspect of technology. After all, flagship smartphones and ultrabooks cost hundreds of dollars. But one flaw many people commit is thinking that installing an antivirus program is enough to keep their gadgets safe. Here are a few steps to further improve cybersecurity.
1) Get an Encrypted Email
Online communication is common for both personal and work purposes. Thus, it’s important that your messages are always secured — only the recipient should have access to what you send. Otherwise, cases of identity theft and stolen company secrets may occur.
Having a strong password and using two-factor authentication helps a lot, but it’s also better if you use an email service that protects its users. Google Mail is free and easy to use, but you’ve probably noticed how your ads change based on the content of your emails.
While Gmail has yet to offer end-to-end encryption (E2EE) as it promised, you should switch to an email service like ProtonMail. It’s an open-source email service that doesn’t only offer E2EE but its user data is also governed by Swiss privacy laws. You don’t have to worry about the service scanning your messages for the sake of ad-based revenues.
2) Use Secure Web Browsers
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser of 2018, but it’s not the best option since we all know that Google is in the business of tracking its users. A good alternative is Firefox, which is an open-source browser that has anti-phishing and anti-malware features.
Another secure browser is Brave. It’s a relatively new app, its loading speed can compete with both Chrome and Firefox. It also has no interest in user data. The Brave Browser even offers ways for you to block pesky ads and trackers. Lastly, this browser automatically disables plugins by default.
On a related note, you should get security extensions if you intend to stick to Chrome. The HTTPS Everywhere extension ensures that websites open with their HTTPS versions. If a site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it will display a security error.
3) Get a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is another highly effective encryption tool. Simply put, it hides your browsing activities from unauthorized entities — including governments, hackers, and even your ISP. There are VPN providers that offer both a long trial period and affordable subscription plans, but what exactly are the differences between antivirus and VPN services?
Antivirus software is designed to scan incoming and outgoing data for malware. This program also removes viruses and warns you when you try to open an unsafe website. However, it cannot encrypt your data, which means that hackers will see it in plain text if they successfully attack your device.
With a VPN, hackers won’t understand the data because it will be transformed into ciphertext. This service can also hide your IP address and stop ISPs from messing with your bandwidth. You can access the internet using public wifi without worrying about others snooping on your sensitive data.
Protecting your computer goes beyond antivirus apps since hackers are always coming up with new ways to steal data. Always ensure that you take additional cybersecurity measures.