It’s been drilled into all of us time and again how the internet can be as dangerous as it is amazing. Scammers and hackers abound, and many of us already use some cybersecurity tools not to fall prey to them. Even so, how familiar are you with all the capabilities of such tools?
This article explores some lesser-known features of several security tools everyone should take advantage of. Get to know these features to become a power user who can get the most out of them.
Cloud storage – The next level of file management
Cloud storage has all but replaced USB sticks, CDs, and other impractical external storage media. After all, why bother schlepping data from one device to another when you can access it all from the cloud? But convenient access from anywhere only scratches the service of cloud storage capabilities.
Security is one of them. Any data from your holiday photos to conventional business document storage receives end-to-end encryption when you store it on the cloud. Even the provider isn’t aware of its contents, and only you have the key that can unscramble the nonsense unauthorized snoops would see if they ever got their hands on your files.
Such encryption and the redundant copies made during upload qualify cloud storage as a dependable data backup solution. Best of all, you and anyone you authorize can work on such files in real-time. Everyone gets access to the newest version, and you can set up incremental saves so previous versions are available, too.
Password managers – More than just juggling logins
You can do hardly anything online without an account, and accounts need passwords. They’re supposed to be a strong line of defense against hackers, yet people take them too lightly. Admit it – there’s a “qwerty” or similar ridiculously easy passwords to guess among yours, isn’t there?
Password manager’s name would suggest keeping track of all your passwords and help you fill them out automatically. While true and convenient, that’s just one of the features, and there’s more you can get excited about.
Password managers’ true worth lies in the ability to create passwords no one can crack. They use complex algorithms to come up with long strings of gibberish that make perfect sense as secure passwords. They do so for an infinite number of passwords. Better yet, you can have the manager change some or all of your passwords instantly.
There’s also the information vault feature. Password managers let you keep secure copies of sensitive info like safe combinations, PINs, etc.
Having impenetrable passwords doesn’t help if you share or write them down so someone else can gain access. But the better password managers also integrate a two-factor authentication feature.
2FA protects your accounts even if a password is compromised. Enabling it adds a failsafe in the form of a code you get via message or an authentication app. You can then use the account only if you enter that code along with the password. Additionally, you’ll get notified that an access attempt took place and can replace the unsafe password with a new one.
Antimalware – Shaping your kids’ online experience
Adware, Trojans, and other malware types are on the rise again, especially on mobile devices. Built-in protections can’t cut it alone, so dedicated malware apps are a must for peace of mind. Apart from protecting your family’s devices from threats, antimalware may also help your children develop a healthy relationship with theirs.
Parental controls are now a core part of the most advanced antimalware packages. You can use them to limit screen time, block unwanted sites, and even get reports about your kids’ online activities. They’re flexible, allowing for less stringent measures as children grow older and show more responsibility.
Some plans even offer location tracking so you always know if your child is where they’re supposed to be.
VPN – Safer, faster, more carefree browsing
It’s easier than ever to go online from anywhere with a single tap. It’s also never been more dangerous unless your connection is secure. VPNs get around even notoriously unsafe connections like public Wi-Fi by establishing an encrypted tunnel between your device and the online world. While indispensable, that’s only a VPN’s most talked about feature.
Did you know that some ISPs throttle certain sites? That means they can detect when you’re accessing social media or your favorite streaming service and may purposefully cut your connection speed. Using a VPN obscures your online activity. Your ISP won’t know you’re visiting a site they’re throttling, so you’re getting the full experience.
Different countries have different regulations and deals with streaming and other sites. Why should you miss out on the new season of your favorite show just because you’re on vacation or a work trip? VPNs can make it look like you’re connecting from anywhere and conveniently bypass such restrictions.
Companies might need them to drum up business, but ads are a blight upon the average netizen. You don’t even realize how ad-infested the internet has become until you turn them off and can breathe again. The best VPNs that the Reddit community explored have ad blockers that let you read articles or watch videos without being bombarded by advertising.
Finding the right security tools can be confusing, especially if they all offer the same core functionality. Be on the lookout for ones that offer and excel at the extra features we describe here to get the best bang for your buck.
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