These days, you should not use the internet without a suite of applications and services dedicated to keeping you and your devices safe. Every day, more than 560,000 new pieces of malware are detected online — and many hundreds of thousands more likely go under the radar. Even if you consider yourself to be savvy to the risks of using the web, a single rogue click could cause you to download malware that costs you your identity, your life savings and worse.
If you are in the process of looking for an internet security suite, here are some of the features you need access to for total safety online:
By far the most important component of an internet security tool is antivirus software. Modern antivirus should scan websites you visit for threats, block downloads of malicious applications and quarantine files that demonstrate risky activity. Antivirus solutions should be up to date to keep your device safe from the latest malware. Perhaps most importantly, your security suite should be capable of running robust antivirus applications without interfering with your own internet activities.
A firewall is a tool that monitors traffic and prevents certain types of data from passing onto your network and into your device. At a very basic level, a firewall prevents just any cybercriminal from seeing and accessing your data as they please. Your security suite should have standard firewall settings, but you should be able to modify your security rules to ensure that your firewall meets your needs exactly.
Many security suites come with ad blocking tools, which will eliminate certain kinds of online advertisements to make your browsing experience streamlined and more enjoyable. Though many websites now require that ad blockers be turned off before users can enjoy content, ad blockers can still provide value by automatically closing pop-up windows or keeping you safe from corrupted and malicious ads.
Virtual Private Network
One of the newest security tools, a virtual private network (VPN) allows you to hide your IP address and location as you explore the web. VPNs give you and your device even greater privacy by encrypting your connection to the internet. If you are often in positions to use public Wi-Fi networks, you need your security suite to provide a VPN to keep your devices and data safe on the go.
It should go without saying that parents benefit from access to parental controls; kids are accessing the internet at younger and younger ages, and parental controls from a security suite can help parents ensure that their little ones are not exposed to adult content while surfing the net. However, if you don’t have kids, you can still benefit from parental controls that block unsavory images and videos should you wish to avoid them.
Security experts strongly recommend using passwords that are 12 characters long and made of random assortments of letters, numbers and symbols. What’s more, every account should have a discrete password. Because you are unlikely to remember so many random codes, you should have a password manager built into your security suite to create and track your login credentials in a safe and secure manner.
More than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, like smartphones and tablet computers. Unfortunately, most people do not try to protect mobile devices from online threats, and the amount of attacks targeting mobile devices is growing. Some security suites extend protection to your mobile devices with dedicated apps, and if you often use your phone to access the web, this should be a high priority feature for you.
The last thing you want to worry about is whether your security suite is equipped with the information it needs to protect you from the latest threats. Security applications should have automatic updates, ideally scheduled for periods of the day when you will not require excess processing power from your device. Then, you can rest assured that you are getting the best protection from your security provider.
You are not a cybersecurity expert, but you should have access to technical support for any security questions or concerns. You should be sure that the security suite you use comes with reliable access to security professionals who are equipped to help you achieve the best possible protection for your devices and data as you use the web.
The internet is filled with far to many threats for you to connect and explore without protection. Fortunately, with this list of must-have features in hand, you can find a security suite that will keep you and your devices safe.