Although more and more people are realizing that they shouldn’t take protection against cybercriminals lightly, there are still many of us who believe that antivirus is enough to turn our devices into impenetrable fortresses. But the technological boom humanity has been experiencing since the late 2000s also came with more sophisticated types of cyberattacks, with which wrongdoers can fool even the most advanced antivirus solutions. So, it’s better to rephrase the question: what else is needed to get enough protection?
Why Other Solutions Are Needed
To this day, many people assume that cyberattacks only involve computers. Sadly, that couldn’t be further from the truth; nowadays anything that connects to the internet can be in danger, whether that be a phone, a tablet, a TV, or even Tesla’s electric cars. And unlike computers that are now equipped with built-in defenses – think firewalls or Windows Defender – many devices lack proper protection, making them easy prey for wrongdoers. Combine this with the number of different online accounts an average user has and the fact that the most advanced malware doesn’t even require direct interaction to carry out its attack, and it’s easy to see why relying solely on an antivirus is the worst possible decision. Granted, an antivirus is still better than nothing, but instead of considering it a knight in shining armor, the best approach is to think about it as a brick in the virtual wall we need to build to keep out cybercriminals.
Your Virtual Army
Since averting malware is becoming more complicated due to the variety and disturbingly sophisticated nature of cyberattacks, antiviruses – which are, thankfully, also evolving at a rapid pace – have to be complemented with other internet security solutions. Although there are plenty of these apps for various issues, having the following ones will guarantee the necessary level of protection that average users need:
Even though it’s mostly known for being the tool internet users use to access geo-blocked content, the virtual private network – more commonly known as VPN – has another advantage that’s actually related to internet security. When it’s turned on, you get a new IP address and your data traffic simply becomes invisible in the eyes of wrongdoers and even internet service providers.
Aside from being a virtual vault for passwords, credit card data, IDs, etc., password managers are great assets against cybercriminals because of the military-grade encryption they use. This means that whatever is put into the software’s storage will remain encrypted until you access the password manager’s vault or until it’s inserted into the right place, whether that be a login screen or an online form. In addition to that, password managers are also capable of generating and recalling insanely complex passwords, meaning that logins can be forgotten without remorse, since the app will fill them in for you.
A must-have for families with children under the age of 18, the parental control tool isn’t just for blocking sites with potentially malicious content. In fact, the software’s modern iteration can be set up to limit the time children spend in front of the computer, send alerts to parents should the app detect something suspicious, take screenshots on a regular basis, and even track portable devices should they be lost or stolen.
Other Precautions to Be Taken
Having other internet security solutions besides an antivirus is an effective way of safeguarding your privacy, but it’s only part of the equation. To ensure full protection against cybercriminals, there are many other things to do:
• If it’s possible, install internet security solutions on all of your devices.
• Regularly update all apps and each of your device’s firmware.
• Use a multi-faceted antivirus solution that not only contains scans and real-time protection, but also comes with or can be upgraded with additional features like antiransomware, a webcam shield, a built-in firewall, a network scanner, etc.
• Perform virus scans from time to time. This can be done manually, but most antivirus programs can be set up to initiate scans at predetermined intervals, too.
• Change your router’s default settings, especially if a vulnerable device like a smart TV is connected to it.
• Be aware at all times; never open suspicious links and files, avoid visiting untrusted websites, and always download apps directly from the provider’s page.