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Keeping Secure: 8 Awesome Ways to Help You Make Your Data Safe

Keeping Secure: 8 Awesome Ways to Help You Make Your Data Safe

If you read about the rate at which data of the world is increasing on a second and minute basis, you will be surprised how everyone is managing to store this data. At times it seems the world will run out of solutions to storing data pretty soon looking at the alarming rate of increase of data.

Think about the devices capturing data every second of the day. You have your barcode scanners, CCTV cameras, mobile phone cameras, computers, body scanners at airports, ultrasound machines, etc. are just a few of the millions of devices capturing loads and loads of data at any given moment.

Whether you own a large enterprise, a small business or you are just a person sitting at home with a personal computer, data security is an extremely important factor to consider. While data security is crucial for every person who has some sensitive data to protect, its importance is much higher for businesses because businesses hold sensitive data of other thousands and millions of customers. If you own a business and there is data that needs protection, make sure you take a step right now. Here are some tips to help you make your data secure:

1. Update Your Softwares

Most people think of protecting data in terms of hiding their photos, pictures, files and sheets in a way they are not disclosed to anyone but them. However, protection of data includes a lot of other things.

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The most important thing is protecting your softwares, applications and tools as soon as their updates arrive. Old softwares with vulnerabilities are the best places for hackers to get into your systems. There is a reason why companies are sending updates for their softwares constantly. While improving on other things, they are also getting rid of the vulnerabilities of the past versions of their softwares.

2. Encrypt The Data

Whatever sensitive information you have on your computers, it needs to be protected through encryption. There are many tools you can use for encryption purposes. It does not matter where you keep those sensitive files and data, once things are encrypted you can be rest assured no one can meddle with them.

Encrypted files can be kept on your own computer, stored on external storage devices for future use or uploaded in the cloud so you can access the data whenever you want. Make sure to use a reliable software for encryption purposes.

3. Monitor Employees

It is not to say that all employees are bad but people who have bad intentions don’t have any particular signs on their face to recognize them. You can install certain softwares to make sure no employee at your workplace is compromising on the security of your data.

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You can also hand over smartphones to them and install spyware software tools that can monitor their activities on the phones you have given them. You can restrict their access to certain websites or use softwares that record whatever is happening on the screen. Some screenshot softwares can be used to take shots of the screen.

4. Backup

The most important thing for any data’s safety is its backup. No matter what measures you take, things can go wrong at any time. Even the biggest tech giants of the world, whose security solutions are trusted by millions around the world, have been attacked by cybercriminals.

Should someone get access to your sensitive data and wash it out completely, your backups will save you from going out of business. You can save these backups on external devices. To make it more affordable you can put your backups in the cloud for monthly or yearly subscriptions.

5. Secure With Antivirus

Of course, how could you ever forget the importance of installing an antivirus? There are many different antivirus softwares to choose from. You have to look for one that provides the best solution for businesses. Do not rely on demos and trials because they lack many of the most important features.

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Do not go for an antivirus company that is more known for making antivirus for personal computers. Look for an antivirus solution from a company that’s known for making antivirus softwares for commercial use. Have it installed on your entire system for protection against viruses, malwares, spywares, adwares, Trojans, etc.

6. Work With IT Experts

One great way to take care of the whole security related problem is to get in touch with the professional IT experts. Working with IT experts ensures that professionals are doing their job and you can focus on yours.

They know not only the best softwares but also the best practices to keep your data and system protected against any cyberattacks. IT companies that provide such services can help you in many different ways. They provide advisory, monitoring and technical services so your systems can be secured not only today but for tomorrow as well.

7. Use Strong Passwords

It does not matter how insignificant some online services is for you, when it comes to choosing a password you have to make sure to pick a strong one. What you might not realize is that hackers can find a loophole in one of your accounts and access all of your other online accounts using just one.

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The big problem here is how one can remember so many passwords. The best way to deal with this problem is to use a software tool that not only allows you to store your passwords but generates random and difficult passwords too.

8. Be Intelligent

You are the most important link to all of these things. If you don’t go for best practices to secure your data, nothing will work. Make sure you log out from your accounts when you leave the computer.

Make sure to lock the computer when you leave your seat. Do not open any unknown links that come to you in emails or even on instant messaging applications like Skype, WhatsApp, etc. Do not download softwares from third parties. Don’t be alarmed if some random website tells you that your computer is at risk and asks you to install some random antivirus software.

Featured photo credit: Website Hosting via websiteshosting.net

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Published on September 25, 2020

10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

How to Choose a VPN

  • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
  • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
  • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
  • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
  • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

1. NordVPN

The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

Buy this VPN.

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2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

Buy this VPN.

3. Surf Shark

With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

Buy this VPN.

4. CyberGhost

Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

Buy this VPN.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

Buy this VPN.

6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

Buy this VPN.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

Buy this VPN.

8. TunnelBear

As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

Buy this VPN.

9. Norton

Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

Buy this VPN.

10. StrongVPN

The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

Buy this VPN.

Bottom Line

Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

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