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Is Antivirus Software Sufficient to Protect you Online: A Guide To Online Privacy


Online privacy is no laughing matter. Don’t think that people will just focus on your email, or on your social media. Sure, you got nothing to hide on these platforms, but what about your bank account? What about bank payments and transactions? Are you one hundred percent sure you never used your laptop for your work email? And are you truly happy with people tracking your internet activities?

Bad actors and hackers know that most people don’t care about online privacy, and they also know that sometimes people forget about having important and valuable things on their media and on their devices. Stolen identity, hacked emails, hacked bank accounts – all of these are the result of poor internet privacy practices.

Antiviruses and Privacy

Now, an antivirus is a must for any user. No matter how careful you think you are, no matter how internet savvy you may be, having some antivirus and antimalware software is very important. Whether that’s windows defender, a paid license for some other software, or simply sticking with a trial version indefinitely, these pieces of software are a vital line of defense. However, they might not be enough.


As it’s clear in their names, they can defend you from viruses and malware, but that’s where things stop. Protecting you from certain privacy attacks and tracking attempts is not their specialty. And just keeping your data private is not possible with just any antivirus. For this reason, we suggest you check out the article below and just see what are some ways you can protect your data, and keep your online privacy to yourself.

Be Smart With Your Login Data

Too often people take for granted their login credentials. Namely, too often do they use the same passwords and surnames for multiple websites and apps. The only thing keeping your data from falling into the wrong hands when you’re online are your passwords. Making these as strong is possible, while still keeping them as something you will remember, is vital for your security.

So, first things first – pick a strong password. There is an entire list of common passwords that are pretty much useless. Think things like “0000”, “12345”, “password”, “987654321”… Basically, passwords that require little to no imagination to think of. Also, avoid your last name, or basically any similarity you might have between your password and your email/user name.


A good password is a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and even symbols if you have the option. Now, what you are looking for here isn’t length. Rather, it’s all about complexity.

Next, just practice common sense. Don’t share your password with everybody, keep it on a piece of paper you always know where it is, and don’t use the same passwords for all of your login websites and options.

Use a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) is a very useful software that can help you protect your data and information when browsing the internet. Namely, ad companies, government surveillance (think the NSA), as well as unscrupulous internet providers all track online activities. A VPN can help you hide what you’re doing online, and encrypt any and all data you send.


Now, the VPN essentially pushes you’re the data you used when you’re online through a “tunnel”. So instead of your data is out there, in the open, you hide it with your VPN. It also masks your IP address. While a VPN doesn’t actually give you anonymity, it will give you some extra privacy. A good VPN provider deletes your internet activity logs or doesn’t keep them at all.

Finally, you should keep in mind that these are pretty easy to set up. Go online, check this list of free VPNs, and choose the right provider for your needs, follow its instructions, and you are good to go.

Rethink the Search Engine You Use

Now, most browsers track your online activities. Namely, you must have certainly noticed cookies and things of that nature. No, these are most of the time pretty harmless. They remember your web preferences, for example. However, this is still data being gathered by your browser. In fact, some websites tack on cookies that still remain attached to your even though you actually left.

We advise you delete cookies regularly, or even use the relevant Incognito options most, if not all, browsers have.

Now, this will just keep cookies at bay, but if you truly want more anonymous, we suggest you try things like TO for example. TOR is great for privacy because it protects your data in several encryption layers.


Or, you can go with even more security and install DuckDuckGo. Search engines will keep your data, information on your location, and your activities. But, private search engines, like the aforementioned DuckDuckGo, as well as Fireball, are great at giving you a wide variety of results, but still not giving you any personalized search results.

Keep an Eye Out for Phishing

Phishing scams are real, and they can end up being very effective. Namely, any list of phishing scams is composed of activities steeped in psychology and social engineering, there to trick you into clicking a link you are really not supposed to.

Most often a phishing scam will use some info about you that not that many people know in order to earn your trust. However, this then often leads to you clicking what you shouldn’t, saddling you with serious malware and a hacked computer.


The best way to defend yourself if by learning how to identify phishing. Hover over any suspicious links you see, don’t click it and just copy its website address. Getting anti-phishing toolbars, like Windows Defender Browsers Protection, or Avira Browser Safety, represent some of the stuff you will definitely appreciate using.

Conclusion

And there you have it folks, a couple of things you need to keep in mind if you want to stay safe online. Antivirus software, antimalware, as well as good old windows defender,  are great for keeping you safe. However, they just cover one aspect of safety and security. If you truly want the best results, if you really want to stay safe and to keep your data out foul hands, we suggest you stick to the services and activities above. Get a VPN, be smart with your login information, check your Wi-Fi network, and don’t just choose any browser.