Tag: internet security

Selecting the Right Internet Security Software

security-protection-anti-virus-software-60504Online threats continue to grow as hackers develop advanced techniques. Today’s threats go beyond computers getting infected with viruses. In addition to viruses, devices connected to the internet are susceptible to malware infections, stolen data and identify theft. Microsoft is the most popular software for operating systems, making Windows-based devices particularly vulnerable to hackers. Since so many people use Windows, hackers create viruses and malware that can potentially infect millions of machines, which offers them access to a vast amount of stolen data. In short, everyone using a Windows-based computer is at risk of having their information corrupted or stolen, and possibly having their identity stolen as well. The only way to protect your information is to secure your device with internet security software.

New Windows-based devices come with Windows Defender already installed, which offers users some level of internet security protection. If you are a casual internet user, someone who just checks email and does a little browsing, Windows Defender will be adequate. You will want to turn on the Windows Firewall for more protection. The firewall offers packet sniffing, which will help keep hackers out of your computer. However, if you are someone who uses the internet a lot, especially for banking, social media and online games, you need a greater level of protection than Windows Defender can offer.

downloadThe company Symantec creates a line of anti-virus and internet security packages under their brand, Norton. The basic version covers virus protection, while the more expensive versions include comprehensive internet security (malware protection, email scanning, and firewall). Symantec also creates a program called Norton Utilities, which helps keep your computer running well. Millions of computer users choose Norton Internet Security to protect them online.

McAfee is one of the oldest internet security companies. Many computer brands come with McAfee Internet Security already installed. However, this is usually only for a limited time. If users want to keep it, they must purchase a license. Doing so allows them to test the program, before deciding to buy. Some people do have issues with McAfee, so you will want to do some research.

AntiFinally, Kaspersky Internet Security offers top-notch online protection. Kaspersky is increasing in popularity because it’s well-respected by internet security experts. In fact, the brand has won several awards from top technology experts and publications. A few years ago, Kaspersky was not that well-known in the United States. However, you can now find it at most major retailers (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.).

In short, if you are using a device online without any internet security protection, you are just inviting hackers to steal your data. Ransom attacks can lock up your data, and you could have your identity stolen as well. In addition to data loss and identity theft, your device could be ruined by viruses and malware. The only way to protect yourself online is to use a trusted internet security program. You can research different brands to decide which one is right for you.

Adam Quirk

Adam Quirk, MBA & MCJ

Adam Quirk is a seasoned criminal justice professional with nearly 20 years of experience in the field. Adam has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice (MCJ), as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).

How To Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft On Social Media

Providing information about ourselves online is part and parcel of modern life. Social media channels are almost unavoidable, and yet worryingly the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp provide nasty hackers with a readymade menu of information about our interests, whereabouts and daily schedule of activities.

So how can you and your loved ones protect yourselves? This is what you need to know about staying safe online:

1. Be Smart About Passwords

Cell Phone on KeyboardRemembering all our passwords can feel like a full-time job! But taking password protection seriously is important. Having something as simple as 1234 or ‘password’ is leaving you wide open to identity theft. So when using social media sites be sure to set them up with a variety of passwords that include upper case and lower case letters as well as at least one number.

If you’re worried about remembering them all, sign up with a password manager like 1Password. That way they are all securely stored in one handy place. Disabling any auto-logins is also a really smart idea. As well as meaning you’re more likely to remember your passwords, it also makes it harder for your information to be stolen.

2. Not Everyone is Your Friend

Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t recognize and be especially careful about opening links; even from people that you are connected with. Their personal security may well have been compromised, and you could be being lured into the same trap. So check the content of every message before clicking.

3. Remember Nothing is Private

privacyWhatsApp or Snapchat may feel like private conversations but they aren’t! You wouldn’t shout out your checking account details or Social Security Number to people on the street, and you should consider that conversations on messenger apps are exactly the same.

4. Turn Off Location Based Settings

When an app or website asks to know your location be sure to decline. That way hackers can’t track your whereabouts and use this information against you. The same goes for tagging yourself in places on the likes of Instagram and Facebook.

5. Tidy Up Old Profiles

You may no longer use your Myspace account but that doesn’t mean it can’t be found and the information used to build a picture about you. So log back in and close any profiles that aren’t in active use.

6. Check Out Your Privacy Settings

Social MediaIt’s pretty normal for social media sites to opt you in to lax privacy settings, so it’s a smart idea to go in and take a look at how accessible you are to online perpetrators. Make your accounts private or inaccessible to anyone but friends.

7. Monitor Your Children’s Social Media Activity

Children are using social media sites younger and younger these days, so it’s important to have a handle on the apps and websites they are accessing. Warn them about revealing personal information and that people may not always be who they say they are online. Hackers will often target children given that they are more likely to offer up information about themselves.

Adam Quirk, MBA & MCJ

Adam Quirk, MBA & MCJ

Adam Quirk, MBA & MCJ, is a criminal justice professional from Wisconsin, as well as a licensed private investigator, true crime blog writer, and world traveler.