Remember how careful we used to be about how we used the internet? We would update
our antivirus software regularly, ensure we didn’t go near certain sites, and run checks on
our computer every so often. Today, most people skip all of that stuff.
This is in spite of the fact that online security is more important than ever. Identity theft is a
very real problem, with millions falling prey to it simply by being online. Since so much of our
lives happen online, we are at serious risk.
When I ask my friends whether they have the best antivirus installed, they question the need
for antivirus software at all. I understand why. The internet is such a basic, easily-accessed
part of our lives that it seems a lot safer to us than it once did. Furthermore, we’re all at least
a little bit over-confident about our ability to face online threats.
The unfortunate truth is that no one is immune from making some very bad online decisions.
But what security software is actually necessary?
Must Have Security Software in 2019
Yes, antivirus software is still necessary, even if you’re using Apple devices. Apple does an
excellent job of securing its devices by creating closed systems, but they don’t block out
everything. And they can’t account for human error or human stupidity.
I’m the first to admit that I have clicked on links that were obviously dodgy. I have even
opened files that downloaded after clicking those links. Convincing phishing scams are also
relatively easy to fall prey to.
Antivirus software will find anything that your device’s inbuilt software misses, and it will
correct your mistakes immediately by blocking unsafe files and performing regular checks to
make sure nothing has gotten through.
But the real MVP when it comes to online security is the virtual private network (VPN). It
amazes me that some people still don’t use a VPN, even when downloading torrents or
doing other dodgy stuff. VPN protection is necessary even when you’re just using the
internet as usual.
Without VPN protection, you’re remarkably easy to hack. The government can also easily
trace you. This doesn’t mean they’re watching you – unless you’re really important, they
won’t be. But their algorithms are set up to detect anything they deem untoward.
VPNs are important for privacy and security, but are also valuable when it comes to
censored content. Many governments crack down on the press and ban certain sites. It is
your right to see what they’re trying to hide, and you can do so with a VPN.
Password managers are valuable, but not as much as they used to be. These days, good
web browsers do essentially the same job. Firstly, you need something to keep your
passwords. We have far too many accounts to remember passwords otherwise, and we
come up with laughably easy ones.
However, they have another important use. Password managers create strong passwords
for you, that you never have to input yourself or even think about remembering. These days,
Safari does the same thing, and will recommend a password whenever you’re creating an
account or changing a password. Use this option. No matter how much work you put into
your password, it is not going to be as secure as the combination they come up with.