Ensuring security while working and connecting online isn’t optional — it’s vital. There are simply too many threats, too many cyber-criminals and too much interaction to assume you are not vulnerable. Many home computer users assume they need less security at home than they do at work where hundreds of server platforms may be interacting with thousands of devices at any given time, but this is not accurate. The truth is that home and work systems need the same essential elements to ensure complete protection from all threat types. Learn about the six essential elements of comprehensive Internet security so you can evaluate your current threat protection and decide if it is safely serving your security needs.
1. Ease of Use
A comprehensive Internet security solution must be easy enough for anyone to use. Whether your IT knowledge and expertise is at novice or professional level, if you can’t figure out how to install, set up and use your security system, it will be useless in protecting you against threats. Useful new tools like color-coding for safe and unsafe websites and links, pop-up messages containing threat detection alerts and other tools will help you to get the most out of your security solution. Most importantly, effortless threat detection means that you receive warnings before you take a risky action. Your security solution should also instantaneously assess the safety of Wi-Fi hotspots to determine their safety before you can log on to them.
2. Social Network Monitoring
Most people do some social networking every single day. Some people even hold jobs that require them to have continuous access to social media. Any security solution that does not include monitoring of each of the most popular social networking sites will leave you vulnerable to risks. Your solution should monitor Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest and any specialty sites you use to conduct your business. Your solution should regularly evaluate the privacy settings on your social media networks and alert you if you need to change your settings to safeguard personal information.
3. Regular Tune-Ups
If your security solution doesn’t provide regular scheduled tune-ups of your computer system, you may not know whether a slow-running system is due to a maintenance need or to an incoming threat. You want your Internet Security solution to clean up your registry, defragment your disk drive(s), scan your system start-up manager and manage cookies and temporary files automatically.
4. Parental Controls
Absolutely no home should have Internet access without installation of parental controls. Not only are children more vulnerable to predators, but they are also less educated on potential threats or unsuitable websites. With parental controls you can control the amount of risk a young user can introduce into your home or workplace, especially if you use BYOD/BYOC devices for home and work use. The parental controls feature should also include real-time protection for young users who are logging into social media sites.
5. Data Protection
With data protection you never have to worry about storing sensitive data online. Your security solution should offer you online shredding capabilities, password storage and protection, encryption for personal and financial data, access to special optional password-protected folders for especially sensitive data and more. Only with these features will your data be fully protected. You should also look for a solution that offers a syncing option so you can secure your passwords and personal information across multiple device types.
6. Platform Protection
With platform protection, your Internet protection extends to the newest platforms and device types, including Windows 8 and new Android-based devices. You also have access to mobile security while you are on the go with platform protection.
With each of these six essential elements in place, you can safely carry out all your online activities, including shopping, paying bills, pursuing your education, interacting with friends and colleagues, helping your children with their homework, and watching movies.
About the Author: Alice Monroe interned as a graduate student, studying data risk trends. That internship helped her choose her career as an IT risk management professional.