We’re now already three months into 2022, but if you’re struggling to keep those security New Year’s resolutions you set yourself at the start of the year, we’ve got some great tips to help ensure you remain sage online.
Before we start getting into these tips and tricks, the best way to secure your devices is to invest in security software, such as Bitdefender Total Security, which offers advanced tools to protect every internet-connected device in your home.
We’re not just talking about computers, tablets or smartphones, either. Modern homes are now packed with smart devices that use the internet, such as smart speakers, TVs, games consoles and even fridges. While these modern gadgets are great for making our lives easy, they can also be vulnerable to hackers.
1. Fix those vulnerabilities
One of the best things you can do in a modern home is know exactly what devices are connecting to the internet, and ensure they are not vulnerable. This means making sure every device is updated with the latest software and firmware.
This is usually a simple process that can be done from the device itself. By checking for the latest software updates, and downloading any available ones, you’ll be ensuring that your devices have the latest security patches to help defend against hackers and other threats.
When it comes to a PC or laptop, you’ll not only want to make sure that the operating system (such as Windows 11 or macOS) is up-to-date, but also all your drivers, apps and other bits of software you’ve installed. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it as it will ensure that you’re fully protected, with any security vulnerabilities fixed.
To make this process quick and easy, Bitdefender Total Security comes with the Vulnerability Assessment tool, which scans your PC for outdated or vulnerable software, as well as any missing Windows patches or settings that may be leaving you exposed. Once found, Vulnerability Assessment will then give you advice on what the best fix is.
2. Watch out for scams
Sadly in 2022, online scams are more prevalent than ever, and scammers are more determined than ever to get money from you.
So, always be wary when you’re browsing the internet. Double-check website addresses to make sure they are legitimate, and only order goods from online retailers you know and trust.
Be careful with emails from people you don’t know, and never click on links that claim to be from your bank – they will never ask you to log in. If you’re concerned, ring your bank or visit in person.
Also be alert for scammers who will ring you up and pretend to be from Microsoft offering tech support.
To help keep safe online, Bitdefender Total Security comes with built-in anti-fraud measures that filter any websites that may try to scam you, giving you a warning before you go any further. Anti-phishing tools will also block websites that pretend to be from legitimate businesses or banks.
3. Be careful what you connect to
Free public Wi-Fi hotspots can be incredibly useful if you need to quickly go online, but they can also be a security nightmare. Always make sure you only connect to legitimate Wi-Fi networks from the business you’re visiting, and never connect to an unknown open network, not matter how desperate you are!
When using public Wi-Fi, don’t do anything sensitive, such as online banking. Leave that until you’re at home.
Bitdefender Total Security can help give you peace of mind with its Wi-Fi Security Advisor, which will give you information about the security of the Wi-Fi network you’re connecting to. Not only is this useful for public Wi-Fi hotspots, it can also let you know if your home Wi-Fi needs a security boost.
4. Use social networks responsibly
Social networks are fantastic ways for us to keep in touch with friends, family and even strangers. However, there are always risks involved as well. Make sure you carefully study the privacy settings of your accounts to make sure you’re not giving away information to people you don’t know.
You should also be careful about sharing too much information online. Constantly tagging where you are may be good for telling your friends, but you don’t want everyone to know where you are – especially if it means people know your home will be empty.
The same goes for photographs and other personal information. Sharing can be fun, but you need to be careful about what you share and with whom.
You should also be careful with links and files sent to you over social network messaging services, as these can sometimes be links to viruses or scam sites, unwittingly sent on by your friends. Bitdefender Total Security’s Social Network Protection can help protect you from any malicious links you’re sent.
5. Browse the web securely with a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Personal Network) is a great way to browse the internet in the utmost privacy. It encrypts your network traffic, so that third parties cannot see what you’re doing.
It’s the ultimate tool in online security, and there are various VPN services out there that are easy to set up and use.
If you have Bitdefender Total Security, you’ll also get access to the improved Bitdefender VPN, which offers you 200 MB a day for Windows, Android, macOS and iOS devices. This is ideal for quickly using public Wi-Fi hotspots for checking your emails, for example.
Make sure you check our Bitdefender coupon codes page for the latest offers and promo codes.