Five Tools to Protect Your Online Work & Life
We spend so much of our time online. We work on computers. We socialize on the internet. We share our lives on social media. We work with sensitive information and put the details of our lives into websites. Whether technology is your work, or you simply use it to communicate with loved ones, everyone needs to protect their online presence.
Luckily, as technology evolves more tools are invented to keep our information safe and provide peace of mind that we are guarded against hackers, malware, and other malevolent actors. Below are five tools that can help protect you and both your life and work online.
Information Technology (IT) Services
When you work on computers all day, inputting important information and utilizing them to communicate sensitive business details, you need information technology (IT) services. You can hire IT workers on-site or pay another company to handle it for you, but when you are dealing with sensitive business information you should be protecting it. You need to protect the company, your employees, and all the information that goes into running a business. IT is a good place to start.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
Another tool that you should use—whether you are protecting a company or not—is a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs are browsers that reroute your IP address to a private network on an off-site server. This allows you to hide where you are and the details of your computer network. Not all VPNs are created equal—some are better than others—but if you do your research you can choose a good one.
Even if you’re just at home, a VPN is a necessary tool to protect your online information. You don’t want your internet provider always knowing what you are doing. A VPN can eliminate that problem and help you keep your network information from not just your internet provider but from anyone else who might gain access to your network.
Cyber Threat Intelligence
One tool that will take your cybersecurity to the next level is cyber threat intelligence. Essentially what threat intelligence does is continuously send your IT staff a stream of possible threats to your network. It will offer helpful information about threats, including malicious URLs, unknown email addresses, suspicious IP addresses, and more.
Over time, the information is organized and sets of data are created to reveal more complex threats and where they might be coming from. While the average person might not need cyber threat intelligence for their home computers and network, if your work or personal life comes with sensitive information, using cyber threat intelligence is very beneficial. It can prevent some serious attacks.
Unlike cyber threat intelligence, encryption is something that everyone should use. Encryption is the process of converting information or data into code. This makes it much more difficult for outsiders to gain access to that information. So many different parts of the internet can be encrypted. VPNs are encrypted. Cryptocurrency is encrypted.
Perhaps the most useful form of this tool is the encrypted messaging app. Many people use SMS, Facebook messenger, Instagram direct message, or WhatsApp to message people near and far, but these can all be compromised. Instead, download a fully encrypted messaging app like Signal that instantly converts your messages into code that is difficult to decipher. Encryption should be something that everyone knows about and uses in their daily lives.
Finally, you can use Cloud services to store important information and protect it from intruders. If you use a good Cloud service that will encrypt the data, you will be able to keep all this vital stuff off your computers—away from malicious actors. It will also help you keep your computers running well and quickly. When you are dealing with lots of files and data, using a Cloud service is the way to go.
Some of these tools may seem advanced. They may seem unnecessary to you. But as time goes on you will realize the importance of utilizing these tools to protect yourself, your work, and online life from hackers, malware, identity thieves, and anyone else who wants to do harm on the internet. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to do a better job of protecting your online presence.