We increasingly live our lives online, from shopping and banking to simply chatting with our friends. This means it’s vitally important to protect your computer or mobile device from the many threats that lurk online. Keeping you and your family safe needn’t be costly, though, as there are effective free antivirus and other security tools available to download from File Hippo.

Be Prepared

Whilst they used to be simply an annoyance, hacking and cyber crime these days are big business. The bad guys are out to steal your personal details or lock your files and get you to pay a ransom to release them. Protection is therefore crucial whether you are a business or just simply shopping online for yourself.

The latest versions of Windows are better than ever, with firewalls and malware protection built in. It’s quite possible to safely use a machine out of the box without risking disaster – something which wasn’t a good idea a few years ago. Some people still prefer the peace of mind of extra protection, however, and you can’t rely solely on technology.

Free Antivirus

Fortunately, protection needn’t cost you a lot of money. Yes, there are paid-for internet security packages, but there are also free antivirus tools available that can be just as effective. Just like the commercial tools, these are easy to use and regularly updated with the latest definitions to ensure you don’t get caught out.

Protecting The Kids

The internet should be a useful resource for the whole family. Younger members need to be protected, though. Whilst they may be confident in using the technology, they don’t have the life experience to spot scams and dangerous situations. Installing and, more importantly, using parental control software is a must, and even then you should ensure that younger children only use the web under supervision.

Guard Your Passwords

One of the most common causes of data breaches is stolen or compromised log-in credentials. You should therefore always keep your passwords safe, and don’t be tempted to use the same one on lots of different sites. This means you’ll have more to remember, but there are free vault tools that you can use to store them securely. Make use of features like two-factor authentication where they’re available too. This can give you double the amount of security and is especially important for a business that may need multiple passwords saving.

Safe Surfing

However much protection you have installed, you should still practice safe surfing. This means not opening email attachments that you weren’t expecting, not clicking on links that seem too good to be true – free giveaways on social media are usually scams looking to harvest your details, for example – and ensuring sites are secure before giving payment details. The internet can sometimes seem like a very scary place, but not using it at all is simply letting the bad guys win. Take sensible precautions and make use of the security tools available, and you and your family can enjoy the benefits of the web in safety.