We are constantly seeing an increase in phishing attacks, malicious websites and other threats lurking on the web. All that adds up to big money. According to the US Federal Trade Commission, consumers lost more than $3.3 billion from fraud in 2020.
You do not have to take it lying down. Between security software and pre-preventive measures like a thorough system scan for malware, there are plenty of options to protect your devices from damage. Tap or click here to see the best online virus scanner you can use for free.
If you’re looking for simple, effective ways to stay on top of cybersecurity, these five free downloads can help protect your system from malware infections, secure your network, and give you peace of mind. Can help you browse the web with Here’s what you need to install.
1. Essential Antimalware Software for PC and Mac
Anti-malware programs are essential for scanning and cleaning harmful files from your computer. And when it comes to free alternatives, Windows Defender and Malwarebytes have all your bases on Windows and Mac.
Windows Defender is designed by Microsoft to work with Windows 10 computers and comes with your PC by default. Because it works behind the scenes, there are no downloads or installation files to mess with. Using the program, you can scan your computer for malware, quarantine malicious files, and remove them with just a few clicks.
In addition to performing background scans, this software automatically scans downloads, opens programs and provides new Windows Update definitions so you can stay on top of spreading threats. Make sure you are using the latest version. Update Windows Defender here.
For Apple systems, macOS doesn’t have a stock equivalent to Windows Defender, but that doesn’t mean you should go without protection.
Malwarebytes for Mac is designed for speed and can scan your entire computer in as little as 30 seconds. It identifies and removes malicious files for you once the scan is complete – no additional work is required on your part.
To get started, click on the link below and choose Free Download. The installer file will appear in your Downloads folder in the lower-right corner of your Dock, where all of your program’s icons are found. Click on the file to open it and follow the on-screen instructions.
Malwarebytes will go through your first scan once you boot it up for the first time.
2. Quad9 Helps You Optimize Your Network for Security
DNS is responsible for directing you to specific websites when you type a web address and why you don’t need to enter an IP address every time you want to visit a site. Your Internet provider usually assigns your DNS settings automatically, but hackers can hijack these settings to redirect you to malicious websites.
Use the Secure Option: Cyber security advocates at IBM and the Global Cyber Alliance maintain the Quad9 Domain Name System. Every time you click on a web link, Quad9 will check the site against IBM X-Force’s threat intelligence database of more than 40 billion analyzed webpages and images.
Quad9 works to protect you by blocking unauthorized DNS redirects right off the bat and can protect your device from cyberattacks by blocking remote hosts as well.
All you have to do to use Quad9 is edit the address in your DNS settings, so there’s no additional program to download. Tap or click here to learn more about the Quad9, including step-by-step instructions for your Windows PC or Mac.
3. HTTPS Everywhere Encrypts Insecure Websites So They Stay Secure
Are you familiar with HTTPS? This online marker shows whether a website is properly encrypted for secure communication and appears as a lock icon in your address bar, as well as an HTTPS:// in the web address .
Most websites these days use HTTPS to protect against hijacking and malicious hacking attempts, but not every site has made the switch.
Fortunately, the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension fixes this problem. It was created as a joint venture between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project. Using a little bit of clever coding, it’s able to rewrite your web requests as HTTPS – even if the website you visit isn’t properly encrypted.
If you’re worried about visiting an unknown or new website, HTTPS Everywhere can give you a little more peace of mind. Make sure to pair it with a good cyber security suite like the one above for maximum protection.