Additional cybersecurity software is crucial for staying safe online and protecting your private data. In 2022, tech leaders Samsung, Apple, and major social networks Twitter and Meta experienced data leaks.
Cybersecurity experts predict that artificial technologies will worsen the situation as hackers acquire new tools to improve phishing and password-hacking techniques. This means there is no better time than now to get some much-needed online protection, and here’s where to start.
5 Best Apps to Keep You Safe Online
1. Virtual Private Network
VPNs became extraordinarily popular during the Covid-19 lockdowns that introduced mandatory WFH policies. Cybercriminals quickly shifted their attention to unsecured home networks attempting to reach corporate intranets via them.
VPN is the number one go-to software for safe remote online access. They open an encrypted and secure tunnel between the user device and the target destination, protecting from online surveillance and Man-in-the-middle attacks.
Because VPNs hide user online data flow from all third parties, including Internet service providers, they are considered a must-have to ensure online privacy.
2. Private Web Browser
A web browser is your gateway to the Internet. Google Chrome is an undeniable leader, taking over 65% of the global web browser market share. Simultaneously, Google is renowned for excessive user data gathering and has gone through numerous online privacy scandals.
Picking a privacy-protection-oriented web browser is a solid step forward toward online safety.
Web browsers like Brave or Firefox have much better online privacy features, disabling trackers and browser fingerprinting. Furthermore, The Onion Router (TOR) is considered one of the most private ways to browse the web, sending traffic through numerous nodes before going to the end destination.
TOR may lower your Internet connection speed, so it’s best to mix privacy-oriented browsers depending on your needs. You can use TOR when you require online anonymity and a regular private browser for everyday online activities. Lastly, switching from the Google search engine to an alternative like DuckDuckGo will limit the data you share with this tech giant.
3. Password Manager
Password hacking is an extremely popular cybercrime method. Nowadays, online accounts can be worth thousands of dollars, and hackers attempt to gain unauthorized access by stealing user credentials. They use brute-force and credential-stuffing attacks to exploit weak and reused passwords, often with a high success rate.
Instead of using “password123” on multiple accounts, we recommend using a professional password manager. Its password generator will assist you in producing long, complex, strong passwords. Moreover, they all are stored in an encrypted vault protected by a single master password and two-factor authentication if you remember to enable it.
The Autofill feature protects against spyware and keyloggers and is extraordinarily comfy. Lastly, fully-developed password managers offer Dark Web Monitoring and will alert you if your login credentials or email are exposed during any data leak. Most password managers cost a few bucks a month, but their benefits are outstanding.
4. Mobile Authenticators
A second layer of online account protection is two-factor or multi-factor authentication. The standard 2FA or MFA methods include a code sent to users’ email or by SMS to their phone. However, both of these methods are susceptible to several hacking techniques.
Authentication apps are a secure way of setting up 2FA on your account. For example, gaming platforms Steam and Battlenet have their proprietary authenticators. Even if cyber criminals successfully obtain your login credentials, they will be asked to verify your login via the authentication app on your phone. Unless they have also stolen your smartphone and unlocked it, there’s no way of breaching such defense and accessing your account.
5. Private Messaging Apps
Many people use popular WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. However, you should choose another messaging app if you’re looking for online privacy. Using a messaging app developed by BigTech companies is inviting them to your private life. They step the extra mile to get the user data, and messaging apps are one of the easiest ways.
Luckily, many private messaging apps do not collect user data and do not store conversations on their servers, preventing data leaks. It would be best to look for end-to-end encrypted messengers, which means that not even app owners can access private conversations.
Furthermore, they should provide a genuine no-logs policy upon your request. You should be able to choose deleted conversations once they are over, both from your device and the app servers. It’s a huge boost to your online safety because it neutralizes the threat of a data leak, which could expose your confidential details to cybercriminals.
6. Some Other mentions
- Almost every operating system now has an AntiVirus, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to subscribe to one.
- A data backup is also beneficial if your device gets lost or stolen.
- You can use encrypted cloud storage to ensure your data is safe, even in the worst-case scenarios.
- Lastly, you can use privacy-oriented email services instead of Gmail, which will limit your personal data exposure online.
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