If we’ve learned anything over the past couple of decades, it is that cybersecurity is crucial. Bad online security practices have led to identity theft, catfishing, scams, data theft, cyberbullying, and public humiliation. These events can have a devastating impact on your finances, mental health, and the people you love.
Nonetheless, most of us are still somewhat lackadaisical regarding our online security. We choose lazy passwords and connect to the internet with no protection. Cybersecurity feels like a chore we don’t have time for.
But it doesn’t have to. With some simple security software, you can secure your data and privacy, while protecting yourself from government surveillance and censorship.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Everyone should be using a virtual private network (VPN) at this point. A VPN is one of the most basic lines of defense against cyberthreats. By routing your connection through an external server, it hides your location and encrypts your data. This makes it very difficult for hackers to steal and for authorities to surveil.
Read more about the best VPN options and make sure you secure yourself as soon as possible. Identity theft is incredibly common in 2020, and the more time you spend online without a VPN, the more likely you will become a victim.
Remember that you should protect yourself regardless of what device you are using, as any internet connection is at risk.
Passwords are a mess. Increasingly absurd password requirements from websites have done nothing but cause millions of people to create variations on the same simple passwords. They are simply harder to come up with and remember, so we go with what we know.
Unfortunately, most password regulations don’t do much. Using a number instead of a letter barely makes any impact. What really works is making your password as long and as random as possible.
Of course, you are not going to remember these passwords, although your browser should do it for you. Password managers take it a step further by actually creating the password for you. They’ll do a much better job than you ever can. Note that if you use Safari as your browser, it will suggest strong passwords for you, while keeping them safe and sharing them across your devices.
While cyberthreats have evolved, and many of today’s threats did not exist ten years ago, viruses are still a major problem. The term seems almost archaic when discussing technology today, but that is simply because we became desensitized to the threat.
While Macbooks tend to have excellent antivirus software built in, non-Apple computers without a closed system have not been as successful. Furthermore, many experts believe that even Apple devices need antivirus software.
Rather be safe than sorry. A virus can destroy your device, create ways for hackers to get in, and compromise your work. Antivirus software is not expensive and it shouldn’t have a harmful impact on how your computer runs.
In 2020, cyberthreats are worse than ever. Make sure you are protected to avoid losing more than just your data.