Sometimes we get feedback from people who wonder what all the internet security fuss is about, they don’t quite understand why their tried and tested methods for online safety need to change. They haven’t had much trouble so far, so why the big push to improve internet security?
There are some tried and tested methods for good Internet security such as downloading your normal anti-virus software packages. But downloading a piece of software without knowing what it does just is not good enough anymore in this day and age – where new technology means that black hat hackers are always around the corner to steal your personal data, or 3rd party agencies are stealing your internet browsing habits. Try and imagine a world where everything you are doing online is being looked at by someone else, to build up a personality portfolio of you – and analysed to see how much of a threat you are…Scary!
Now meta-data surveillance (the practice of looking at, and analysing personalities through browsing habits) may be good to counter black hat and criminal activities – but data surveillance also means that what you do online now, could be held against you in court in 10-20 years. This is how internet and online security has evolved over the last few years, and this is why more recently, there have been a spate of celebrity hacks, such as the recent iCloud hacking incident.
Below we try to outline the good, the bad, and the ugly so that Internet users can make more informed security choices and understand the differences between traditional internet security and more contemporary ways to browse anonymously.
Soft-ware such as antivirus, firewalls and cleaners are the three top tried and tested Internet security staples for any internet security conscious browser. As long as they are downloaded from the correct sources and are kept updated, they will serve and protect for the long term.
It’s recommended that the only time that a user needs to change any of these tools is if the provider is no longer offering support, if they are found to have misled users about their products, or if the tool no longer suits the user’s online activities and can therefore no longer provide adequate protection. However antiviruses, firewalls and hard drive cleaners only serve to protect what is downloaded from the internet. A normal net savvy consumer would have no problems avoiding downloading these viruses. So what else can be done to protect your browsing activities?
As mentioned in the first paragraph, it may be difficult for some hardened users to give up their current methods of internet security in favour for newer means. A more modern method of protecting internet security is through VPN tools. VPNs are more than just office network access tools. They have evolved over the past decade to become one of the most useful personal Internet security tools available.
How it works is that a VPN (virtual private network) uses remote IP locations around the world to mask the users IP address. Therefore 3rd party individuals can’t ‘snoop’ or look at what you’re looking at while you’re using your VPN.
There are stories in the U.S of 3rd party ‘interceptors’ which basically intercept your unencrypted internet network in order to steal your data and browsing habits. This is becoming increasingly commonplace, to the point where if you were to buy a book (1984 by George Orwell for example) on Amazon – every single government body in the world would be able to see your purchase.
The Internet is an Increasingly Ugly Place
The first rule of security is staying on your toes. Internet security has grown too far more than what you download, but more of what you are exposing to the world.
People who are looking to steal your data isn’t now just the criminals looking to steal your bank details, or implant a harmful virus into your machine – but information agencies, looking to steal your meta-data and use it against you with or without your permission.
The above article was written by Kar, an internet security professional and ExpressVPN.com