Encryption 101: your complete guide
Infosec 101 - 11 min read
May 18, 2022
Aug 19, 2020
4 min read
We’re living in a time of ultimate efficiency: complete tasks faster, work easier, order cheaper. There’s an app for everything. But while many of them help us do less and achieve more, they do so by collecting heaps of data and leaving security holes all over your network.
You can still use your favorite apps, but don’t forget about security. Here are the best tools that will help you stay secure.
A decade ago, everyone knew that if there’s one thing you need on your computer, it’s an antivirus. While it can’t protect you from every threat, it’s one of those cybersecurity tools that can do a lot with very little resources. These days, the hype has died down, but not because antiviruses are not useful anymore. Microsoft and Apple now have a built-in security package, so you don’t need to download third-party software.
But not everyone trusts OS developers with cybersecurity tools. If you feel the same way, get a third-party antivirus. There are a number of services to choose from, but you can't go wrong if you pick a company with good reputation, frequent updates, and additional support for mobile devices.
Firewalls are also among the most popular cybersecurity tools. They work a bit like an antivirus, and they often come in the same subscription package. The difference between the two is that while an antivirus is mostly concerned with incoming files, a firewall is a network security tool. Plus, it monitors incoming as well as outgoing traffic. In other words, firewalls provide not just malware prevention, but privacy as well. For example, you will know when someone is accessing your network as well as when apps send data out.
Just like antiviruses, firewalls are pre-installed on Windows and macOS computers. But make sure to check if it’s enabled on yours — even though firewall software comes with the OS, it could be misconfigured or even turned off. If you’re looking for more advanced features, there are plenty of good third-party firewalls.
Backup software is the seatbelt, the parachute, or the emergency exit in your cybersecurity scheme. You might never need these things and have a safe, pleasant flight. But if something does happen, having those items can save you from a lot of trouble.
And in cybersecurity, something does eventually happen. Performing backups yourself can be a cost-effective solution to many cybersecurity problems. But there’s also software that can automate the whole process for you. To know more about data backups, check out this article.
File encryption offers the best protection of personal and business data. We’re not saying that just because that’s what NordLocker does. Good encryption is hard to break, so when you secure your data, no one else can access it.
Here’s how NordLocker protects your files:
Try it now. Download NordLocker, secure your files, and have them with you wherever you go.
It’s fair to say that no one keeps strong passwords in their head. You either reuse the same few passwords (which instantly disqualifies them as strong) or use a password manager. But reusing passwords is such an unnecessary risk when a password manager could do all the heavy lifting for you.
A password manager creates complex passwords, protects them, and helps you log in with ease. You only need to remember one password. Besides, there is an abundance of password managers to choose from. From free tools to advanced password managers for families and corporations, there’s something for everyone.
There are billions of stolen credentials on underground marketplaces. Some include passwords from breaches that happened years ago, and they still work. The problem is that many account owners don’t know about the breach and haven’t changed their passwords. While the risks can be mitigated if you don't reuse passwords, you need to know if your data has been leaked.
Have I Been Pwned is a service monitoring the internet for leaked passwords and informing their owners if their account has been compromised. You can also set alerts that will notify you about any breaches in the future. While we all find intrusive notifications annoying, this one you’ll want to keep on.
A VPN is not intended as a cybersecurity tool. It can’t protect your computer if you click on a malicious link or download a compromised attachment. But VPNs can be beneficial. Besides masking your IP and protecting your privacy, it can prevent attacks when you’re on an insecure network. If you want to know more about what a VPN is, check out this article.
A new online tool is launched every day. How do you pick which is right for you? Is it the price? Features? Or maybe a friend’s recommendation? Either way, before you commit to any tool, app, or service, consider how secure it is. Try to find out if they use encryption, what data they collect, and how long they store it. Knowing this will help you pick the tool for the job without weakening your data security.
Elisa’s all about languages. She speaks five, loves stand-up comedy, and is writing her first novel. Besides her extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, she’s an expert in persuasion techniques hackers use and strives to teach people how to avoid online scams.