Protecting your data is very important, and below are a list of free tools that can help protect your privacy and keep you safe online.
The internet has opened up new modes of communication, commerce, and collaboration. But with it, also opened up new forms of threats and exploitation. From viruses, scams, to stealing our personal data, we must keep ourselves safe as we explore the internet. Below are a list of free tools that can help keep yourself safe and secure online.
It’s important to note though that you do not have to use all of them. These are just recommendations to give you a good amount of choice on what you might need.
Password Strength Testers
It is important to have strong passwords on your online accounts so that they won’t be easily cracked. A Password Strength Tester, as the name implies, is a tool to test how strong your password is. Now, most online service already have its own tester when you create your account or change your password. But if it doesn’t, it may be a good idea to test the strength of your password yourself. A good free online tool is PasswordMonster, link below.
Or instead of memorizing all your passwords, you can use Password Managers to remember them for you. These apps allow you to just remember one master password to unlock all of your accounts. This also protect users from keylogging viruses that track what you type.
One well known free password manager is LastPass. It’s a browser plugin that stores passwords for you with encryption. Another free manager is KeePass. It works similar to LastPass but a little bit trickier to configure. You can use either one of them, links below.
Being online means also means being vulnerable to computer viruses. Antivirus software protects your system from viruses, malware, and spyware. Most of these software you need to buy, but there are good ones that are have a free plan. One example is AVG, which offers overall excellent feature set. Another is Avast, which is also under the same management as AVG. If you are a MacOS user, Bitdefender is really good. For Windows users, its built-in Microsoft Defender is already pretty good if you don’t want to install third party software. You can check them out on the links below.
Sometimes, Antivirus software are not enough. There are sophisticated malware that often bypass its security. In these scenarios, we turn to software that specializes on Malware like Malwarebytes. It is a scan and removal tool that focuses on Malware. This includes Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. It is normally a paid service, but its free plan is more than enough to scan and remove Malware in your system. You check it out on the link below.
Data Encryption Tools
Encryption is the process of scrambling data, so no other person can interpret it. Windows already has a very reliable encryption tool built-in within the system; Windows Bitlocker. VeraCrypt is also a great free encryption software. It is open source and available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, link below.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
If you don’t want anyone snooping around while browsing the internet, you might want a VPN. A VPN or Virtual Private Network encrypts your connection and route it through its servers to hide your real IP address and location. Now, the best VPNs are paid services, but there are some that offer a free tier. One of the better ones is Windscribe, it offers a fair amount of server locations for its free plan. Link below.
Ads are not only annoying, but sometimes they carry malicious code that steals personal data or try to serve you viruses. Ad blockers are browser extensions that solves this problem by blocking these malicious ads. Probably the best free ad blocker out there is uBlock Origin. It works great, configurable, and uses just a few system resources. For Safari users, there is 1Blocker which is available for free on the app store. Check them out on the links below.
Some, if not most, social media platforms have this feature, namely Facebook. It gives you a sort of interactive tour to its privacy settings. You can check your favorite social media platform’s privacy settings if they have this feature and take advantage of it.
Secure Search Engines
Whatever you search on Google, Google remembers, and so does most mainstream search engines out there. If you want your searches to be completely anonymous, you can try a secure search engine. One particularly famous one is DuckDuckGo, it doesn’t use tracking cookies and can even be customized. You can also set it as the default search engine in Chrome. Check it out on the link below.
Secure Web Browsers
You can also go a step further and use a secure web browser. These browsers prevent advertising companies to collect your user data. One of the more famous one is the Brave browser. It already comes with a built-in ad blocking and cross-website tracker blocking functionality. You can check it out below.
Lastly, if you want to communicate with your love ones and want to keep your messages private, you should use secure messaging apps. These apps offer end-to-end encrypted chat capabilities to prevent anyone from snooping on your online conversations. You may not know it, but some of the popular messaging apps out there already have end-to-end encryption. An example is Viber, it uses a unique encryption key for each message you send. Apple’s built-in iMessage is also encrypted, making it a perfect secure messaging app for those who are in the ecosystem.
No matter what tool you use though, the most important thing stay safe online is to be up to date on the latest threats. Luckily, you can learn themkeep updated for free on Trend Micro’s annual virtual cybersecurity conference.
Learn about recent and relevant developments in the security industry, including emerging threats and vulnerabilities, deepfakes, fake news, scams and spam, IoT and critical infrastructures, and threat hunting and incident response. DECODE 2022 will be on November 28-29.
DECODE is the largest cybersecurity conference in the Philippines hosted by Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity. Register now for free and be a part of DECODE 2022: Detect & Respond at www.decodeph.com.