Last Updated: 21st of May, 2019.
An antivirus is a tried and tested protection against common cyber threats such as viruses, Trojans, and worms. But in reality, what antivirus software provides is often exaggerated hence user affords a false sense of security. This piece of cybersecurity software appears no longer enough because sometimes it proves incompetent against all the new threats looming online.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop using it altogether, of course. It makes sense to be prepared for the worst so antivirus is your first line of defence in a strategy that entails a layered approach. Moreover, to start off on the right foot, it’s crunch time to couple your traditional antivirus app with an all-inclusive security suite.
There are at least four other types of security software that are considered essential in this digital age while they also act as a raft against all contemporary threats lurking online. They are capable of working around the clock and operate behind the scenes to keep you protected from an inevitable malware shot and privacy breaches if you use them together. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and more inventive each day, and so should you. Let’s cut to the chase, here’s how.
Essential Security Software for a PC Besides an Antivirus
Building Your Own Cybersecurity Kit
You can never be too careful while using the internet, especially the way you’re using it today and back in time, this practice wasn’t bad at all, but we need to state a couple of truths, firstly the malware exists, and secondly, they may infect your system. With so many devices connected to the network, you’re never actually off the grid. Leaving your digital footprint all over the online realm makes you an easy and traceable target.
Now consider what you’re using the internet for. Your digital footprint includes credentials for your banking accounts, physical addresses, business documents, private correspondence, family photographs, and more. There’s a lot at stake, and just as many entry points to your PC. A single antivirus solution cannot possibly cover it all.
In fact, no individual piece of software can safeguard you from the many perils of limitless connectivity. Modern-day cybersecurity requires a systematic approach. More precisely, a combination of antivirus software, anonymous web browsers, encryption software, VPNs, and steadfast password managers.
Virtual Private Networks
Virtual private networks provide a combination of anonymous web browsers and encryption software. They encrypt the information your computer uses to communicate with websites. Every online activity relies on this exchange of information between your PC and the website. A VPN masks both your online data and physical address.
Similarly to anonymous web browsers, a VPN gives you a new IP address, making your information impossible to trace. This allows you to browse the internet and access geo-restricted content privately and safely.
A decent VPN for Windows adds another layer of protection to your cybersecurity kit, all while making it more convenient for you to enjoy the internet. All VPNs that don’t collect users’ data are super-secure, so pick one based on your online needs.
Anonymous Web Browsers
You use a browser for almost everything you do on the internet. Not only does your web browser record the browsing history, but it also stores small pieces of data on behalf of every website you visit. These so-called cookies are the reason why you may be paying more for your plane tickets than your friend, even when you’re both flying together to the same place.
Every single thing you do on the internet leaves a footprint for marketing companies to analyze. This is why you see personalized ads wherever you go. The browser exposes your data to marketers’ network traffic analysis tools, but also to online criminals while making a web browser activity shockingly easy to be compromised.
Anonymous browsers, on the other hand, don’t store your history. They also disable cookies and send internet traffic through many individuals relays. This confuses network traffic analysis tools, rendering them ineffective in tracing your data and putting these information pieces together.
But what about the data you keep on your PC?
Cybercriminals can still break into your internet-connected computer and steal personal information from your hard drive. This includes your photos, videos, contact lists, passwords, business docs, crucial PDFs, personal notes, and everything else you store on the PC.
Therefore, you need special software to encrypt this data and keep it locked. There are many encryption software solutions you can choose from. It all depends on the volume of data you have on your PC and the level of protection needed. Almost all of them are immune to brute force attacks, which means that they cannot be decrypted using password-breaking programs.
Using powerful encryption won’t help you avoid cyber attacks if your passwords are weak in the first place. A strong password is one of the most robust cybersecurity measures against data theft; the same as antivirus is the best protection against viruses. But remembering all of your passwords is not easy.
There are so many rules you need to follow. A secure password must be over ten characters long and include lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Using these rules, you should create a different password for every account. But writing them down defies their purpose and memorizing them all is near to impossible.
This is where password managers enter the scene to help you generate, store, and protect your passwords. Top password managers fill forms automatically, keep passwords for both websites and apps, and let you sync your account across different devices.
All Things Considered
Some malware is devised to defeat the OS files or steal your crucial data such as emails, usernames and passwords for your online accounts, for instance, the bank logins and E-Wallets passcodes. If your PC has been affected with the malware you should assume that some critical information has been compromised. Resetting all of your logins will presumably take longer than disinfecting an infected PC, and seriously, you should have to consider setting aside a big chunk of time to this task; hence you have to go an extra mile. Therefore, To avoid being tricked into choosing malicious files, you may use a whole set of the mentioned programs, that are all imperative at times.
Adding layer upon layer of online and data protection will hardly discourage criminals from targeting your PC. But it will definitely prevent them from breaking into the computer. The more of them you add to your cybersecurity kit, the better. Just don’t leave the most important ones out as it’s not possible to get them deployed in the nick of time.