Most of us will usually start the New Year with some resolutions. You promise to yourself to that you will drink less, eat better, exercise more and perhaps start saving a little bit of money towards a well-deserved holiday.
Few of us, however, put data security at the top of our New Year resolutions - but prevention is better than cure, especially since ensuring the devices in your household are secure could save you time, money and a lot of grief.
It can be done easily and quickly simply by following our checklist, so here’s all you need to know to stay safe.
1. Make sure you have security solutions on all your devices
Having a security solution in this day and age is no longer enough to keep hackers and cybercriminals out. You’ll need to make sure that you have a security solution on all of your devices and ensure that the security suite runs scans regularly. On top of all that though, don't forget to install the latest version of your security solution which not only contains updated features but also usually runs faster and can tackle the latest online threats.
(Tip: Rather than buying one antivirus per device, why not save with a family pack? You can protect your family with Bitdefender Family Pack for less than $0.25 per day to secure up to 15 devices)
2. Check if you have the latest version of your browser, operating system, and applications
Your OS (Operating System) powers your devices, so make sure that it is also up to date across your smartphone, tablet and PC. Windows 10, for example, regularly issues both minor and major upgrades, as do Apple and Google (for Android and Chrome). Although they usually are automatic, they do require restarts and often users just postpone these ad infinitum.
If this applies to you, just do the right thing: restart your device, and even if it takes an hour or so for everything to settle down, this will ensure you are ready to face external threats.
(Tip: Look for a centralised security portal like Bitdefender’s Central which allows you to manage security on your devices remotely and access support team directly)
3. Install a VPN to protect your privacy
A VPN protects your online presence by encrypting all your internet traffic, making you almost invisible even on unsecured public wireless networks. This shields you not only from third parties but also from criminals and hackers, keeping your personal data truly private.
(Tip: Bitdefender security solutions all come with basic, free VPN for life)
4. Change your passwords if your emails are on the naughty list
Nearly 6.5 billion accounts have been compromised in various cyber attacks over the past decade according to popular security website, haveibeenpwned.com. The site has one purpose: to let you know whether your email address (and password) was found amongst the list of compromised accounts. Just put your email in to find out. Takes a few seconds and consider yourself lucky if you get a green light for a clean bill of health.
(Tip: Get a password manager to help you secure your passwords and other sensitive data in a private vault. Security suites, like Bitdefender’s Internet Security 2019, usually include one for free)
5. Keep your files safe from ransomware
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to your data, which is why you need to make sure that your personal files, photos, and documents are safe from this file-encrypting threat. While having a backup is more than recommended so that you can quickly recover in case of an infection, it’s probably best that you avoid ransomware altogether by installing a security solution that has multiple layers of security specifically built to protect against ransomware. From using machine learning to detect new and unknown ransomware samples, to setting up protected folders that ransomware can’t get into and encrypt your files, make sure that your security solution is built for the task.
(Tip: Bitdefender has multiple layers of protection against ransomware that can safeguard your documents, pictures, videos, and music against any kind of ransomware attack.)