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The security new year’s resolutions you need for 2020

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Nicescene)

January is often a time for new year’s resolutions, as we promise that this will be the year to eat healthier, drink less, or work out more. But changing for the better shouldn’t just be limited to yourself - your online security could always do with a revamp too.

As more and more devices get connected to the Internet, our lives, both at home and at work, are increasingly open to a large number of security threats.

But whether it’s malware, viruses, phishing or even having devices hijacked, there are some simple steps all of us can take to ensure we make 2020 the year of being protected online.

Keep track of your passwords

Like it or not, passwords are still the most common, and most secure way to access our online lives. However, a number of major cyberattacks in recent years have demonstrated the risks they still pose, with billions of user credentials stolen and posted online within the last 12 months.

Websites such as HaveIbeenPwned are able to identify if your passwords were among those affected, and if you need to change your details immediately, all within a matter of seconds.

Strictly speaking, you should use different passwords for each account you use, but if that isn’t possible, try a password manager tool such as that included in Bitdefender Total Security 2020, which stores all your logins in one highly secure local database, so you won’t have to remember those hard-to-guess passwords to your accounts (wink wink). 

Install a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have seen a huge surge in popularity as users around the world seek that extra level of privacy against those hoping to snoop on their Internet activity.

Yet despite the undoubted benefits, VPNs still need security scrutiny, so once you have one installed, make sure it is accompanied by a security platform that can keep your browsing safe. 

Bitdefender Premium VPN offers unlimited, secured VPN traffic, meaning you can feel confident that your browsing will stay private, allowing you to enjoy content from all over the world in complete safety. 

Take extra care against phishing

Cybercriminals are evolving their tactics all the time, working out new tactics and approaches that look to take advantage of changes in our online habits. Phishing emails, where hackers send spoof emails imitating a legitimate company in an attempt to steal login details or personal information, remain a potent threat.

This is despite simple steps that could help you keep your devices safe. If you receive an email that looks or seems suspicious, take a few moments to examine it carefully - phishing emails often contain errors in the links inside (eg coming from microsft.com rather than microsoft.com) 

Also take care when opening attachments in suspicious emails, as these can contain dangerous malware strains which could infect and lock your device. Bitdefender Total Security offers comprehensive anti-malware protection against all major e-threats for both mobile and PC devices, keeping you secure.

Ensure all of your devices are protected

From smartphones to laptops and even cars, so much of our lives are now connected to the Internet than ever before. This may be great in terms of ensuring your own personal network of devices is up to speed, but can also open you up to a wider range of security threats.

Using a security protection suite like Bitdefender Total Security keeps all of your devices safe against the latest threats. 

Covering not just Windows PCs, but also Android and iOS mobile devices, Bitdefender Total Security means you’re always protected, even against the latest threats. 

Update, update, update

Finally, you can also help keep your devices protected by ensuring you always have the latest software updates and security patches installed.

Having a robust and thorough security platform may give you a strong line of defence against threats, but you as a user can also play a vital role by ensuring all your systems are updated to the latest level.

We find it best to update your systems as soon as new upgrades are released, as hackers often try and exploit such windows to target unprotected devices. Make sure you are on the ball with the latest updates, and your devices should stay well protected.