Do you ever get the feeling that somebody may be watching what you do online? Well, you should! Tracking has grown so prevalent that it’s almost unusual if advertisers, major platforms like Facebook and Google, and other snoops aren’t interested in what you’re doing on a particular site.
Fortunately, there have been some decent strides in improving user security and privacy. Here are a few of the essential features that you need to make sure are on your device now.
Biometrics like a fingerprint or facial scans have gotten pretty common on smartphones. They are an excellent way to securely unlock your phone as well as connected apps.
Unfortunately, this excellent technology is not quite so common on laptops and desktop devices. While you might have the cash to buy a brand new laptop with biometrics, you should consider accessories or software tools you can use to harness their security benefits.
VPN or virtual private network is a vital internet security tool. It both conceal your IP address while encrypting your internet connection, making you much safer online.
Some computers and even internet browsers do come with VPNs pre-installed. But similar to biometrics, this isn’t true for the majority of devices. However, unlike biometrics, getting excellent VPN software (for example this one) is easy and affordable. Just make sure you choose one that you can use across all your digital devices.
3) Webcam Covers
It is extremely creepy that hackers can not only access webcams but also leverage whatever it is they discover to blackmail people. Nowadays, you can find computers with all kinds of cool webcam features, including ones positioned at special angles, shutters that cover the lens, and even ones that pop-up on command.
If these aren’t options, go old school and place a piece of tape across the front. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing!
4) Hardware Keys
To the average internet user, hardware keys seem like both a throwback and futuristic technology. Rather than using a password or another authentication method, hardware keys involve specially designed external hardware (usually USB) to create a special unlocking combination.
They are not only very secure but convenient and are particularly useful for conducting financial transactions like swapping cryptocurrency or logging into your bank account portal.
2FA or two-factor authentication is okay. But it suffers from a serious problem. If a hacker manages to get access to your email address or SIM card, then they do little to protect you.
With dedicated authenticators, though like Google’s, you get a one-time passcode that’s securely paired to your device. It’s a much higher security level, especially if you already use biometrics to unlock your phone.
6) Password Managers
We shouldn’t have to tell you this. But you can’t recycle your password anymore! Even if you have one really excellent password, it only takes one data breach to get exposed and put all your accounts in danger.
Fortunately, you can use password managers to create, manage, and store complex and lengthy passwords. The benefit is that these passwords are not only much harder to crack, but if a hacker does manage to get access to one of your accounts, they can’t leverage that to break into the other ones.
Password managers also securely store other important information like form data and credit card details to keep your most sensitive data truly safe.
7) Automatic Threat Assessment
People love complaining about Windows updates and security scans. They forget that proactive management is a hugely effective way to reduce your risk of cyber-attack. Windows Defender is now AI-powered, meaning it’s even better than ever at threat detection.
But we’re definitely not just pumping up Windows. Whether you use Mac, Linux, Android, or anything else, make sure you have security software that’s watching out for you.=
So, do you have everything on this list? If not, you better get started now to prevent hackers, advertisers, and other threats from tracking and harming you.