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Tips on securing reliable protection for surfing the Internet: antivirus, firewall, VPN

Today no active Internet user can feel completely safe, unless he attends to securing effective data protection on his computer from external attacks. There are many modern software tools for safe surfing and downloading the information from the network, from complex anti-virus protection to VPN services that create private channels for data exchange. Such a rational approach to seemingly basic things is an effective way to counter cybercriminals, which is entirely consistent with modern realities. The fact is that the development of malicious software industry grows at the rate proportional to the development of the IT-services market. And every achievement in the field of information technology becomes, in fact, a tool in the hands of hackers.

A vivid example is provided by implementation of ActiveX technology by Microsoft, which became an alternative to Java-applets in creation of modern web applications. This framework gave IT developers and designers the ability to use the web browser not only for the transmission of text information, but also for graphics and animation, creation of interactive HTML-elements and other high-quality imaging features. Certainly, this feature expanded the capacities of worldwide network users, making the Internet as we know it today – bright, vivid, graphical and informative. But there is a downside. Complex scenarios, embedded code elements, and other ActiveX controls are working closely with the operating system, providing the access to its system files and libraries. This downside was immediately exploited by the developers of viruses, Trojans, spam applications, advertising scripts for the browser and other software capable of significantly complicating the life of the user. If you neither attend to safety of your workstation nor create a secure VPN channel for data exchange, a simple visit to a harmless site can result in a loss of control over the system, theft of confidential data and other troubles.

To make surfing the Internet safe it is enough to follow few simple rules.

Choose a reliable browser by a well-known developer

A special program – a web browser – is used to access the variety of content on the network. One should choose the most popular and frequently updated distributives of such software, and download them only from the developer’s website. One must pay close attention to this issue, as many malicious web resources are disguised as official pages of famous brands, slightly changing the domain name in the address bar. If upon downloading the user receives a non-standard distributive file with indication of the index of the current version, such an application in no case should be run, and it is better to delete it from the hard drive right away. Executable files from dubious sites install malware on the computer, and in the best case scenario, it will be an annoying adware application.

Take the time to install a firewall, up-to-date antivirus protection and use a VPN client

If the computer is used for corporate purposes, storage of valuable data, development of design projects or administration of websites, you should choose your antivirus very thoroughly. It is better to give preference to a product by a well-known developer and use only the licensed version. To maximize the efficiency and create a reliable protection between your computer and the Internet, you should additionally install a firewall and a VPN program. This will help control the traffic and prevent penetration of malicious content into the system. Typically, the features of the standard firewall built into the OS are insufficient for these purposes. It is much safer to create a local VPN channel, which is a private type secure connection. All outgoing requests are encrypted, transmitted to the server of the company providing the service, and only then the user gets to the target site. All incoming content is also encoded. As a result, the actions of the user on the network can neither be identified, nor linked to a specific IP-address, which means they cannot be used for personal gain. This will spare the owner of the computer from many unpleasant surprises, for example – minimize the risks of email or user accounts being hacked and significantly reduce spam advertising.

Create the means to protect wireless networks, and supplement the built-in encryption system with VPN service

Using Wi-Fi connections provides mobility to the user, yet also unleashes a certain category of cybercriminals. It is much easier to hack the system over a wireless network than over a cable Internet connection. Standard router security system provides for authentication mechanism and encryption technology - WPA and WPA2. But hackers armed with the modern equipment hack this kind of protection without breaking the sweat if the connection channel is not additionally protected against hacking by the VPN technology. Virtual Private Network is a local area network created with the use of reliable server equipment, which provides a much higher level of security and failure reliability than a standard router.

Even when following the aforementioned tips and equipping your computer system with the up-to-date security software, the user should not neglect the basic rules of safe surfing. Using dubious torrent trackers, file sharing services and other sources to download multimedia is the most common way to infect your computer with viruses. Also, you should ignore pop-up banners leading to sites in advertising or news category. No firewall or secure VPN connection technology will cope with the attacks of malicious software if you naively trust all the Internet gimmicks. And, of course, you should carefully read the information when installing any application on your PC and “check the boxes” only if you are confident in your actions.

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