Here are 5 Internet security tools to protect your devices

Internet security should be priority No. 1 on any smart phone, tablet or PC user’s mind.

When looking for solutions, I discovered five tools you can use to make certain your computers – smartphone, tablet, PC – are virus/hacker free. (Like everything, there is no 100% guarantee on this.)

When it comes down to it, there are just five tools that will give most of the protection you need — Internet security software, a password manager, a firewall (we’ll talk more about this in a moment), virtual credit card numbers, and privacy settings.

No. 1 – Start with password security. This is probably the simplest changes you can make and for the most part, it’s going to be free… You’ll just have to spend a little  time at it if you have multiple devices. Scambusters.org also suggests looking at those “secret security questions.” There is personal information available all the time, so picking your elementary school may not be so smart.

No. 2 – Use a password manager. As we age, we forget … so this gives total recall and  generates strong passwords all the time. And, don’t trust the browser requests – “Do you want XYZ.com to remember this password?” – may not be the wisest choice. Consider: LastPass, KeePass, 1Password and RoboForm.

No. 3 – Install anti-virus software (and allow automatic updates). Current software products give you greater spam, malware and  spyware.  Set up impenetrable firewalls and router security. Computer operating systems like Windows has a built-in firewall, and most security software has an even more powerful defense that alerts you to any attempt to penetrate your system.

No. 4 – Virtual Credit Card Numbers. Use the one-time credit card number for online transactions.  This means if the number is somehow intercepted, it has no further value beyond that one transaction. Check out the complete discussion here. May save stolen information.

No. 5 – Change your privacy settings. Look at the myriad browsers, emails, social networks and other online programs you are using… each has privacy settings. Time consuming, yes, but with tracking capabilities of each site picking your personal information up, it’s becoming critical.

You can also check out bbb.org for an accredited computer store near you.

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