Internet Safety Guide for Seniors: What Parents Should Know
1. Dangers on the internet
2. Solutions and how they work
3. Top three antivirus recommendations for internet safety
4. Top Three VPN recommendations for internet safety
Internet safety has become a vital requirement for our day-to-day activities, especially that the world is a growing place with so many new trends to keep track of. A large part of how fast the world is growing is the global access to the internet, which has become an essential part of our everyday life.
If you're a parent, you must notice how your children are spending an extended amount of time online, and you might be worried whether the websites they're visiting might be dangerous or not. In this article, we will show you how to maintain internet safety for your child and how to make sure no harm gets to your devices even if you're busy with work and lack time to monitor.
4. Man in the middle attacks
5. Access to unwanted sites
What could go wrong when surfing online?
The internet is lurking with so many dangers that you can rarely find an antivirus company that can stop everything; with some estimations of around 360,000 new viruses and malware emerging per day, it becomes hard to detect and record every one of those. That's why many antivirus companies switched from the typical signature-based detection using databases only to more adaptive types of protection.
The new approach antivirus companies are going for these days for internet safety includes artificial intelligence-based threat detection and protection, which can analyze how files behave and act accordingly; they often include something called a cloud-based scanner, which is an online scanner that keeps getting updated moment by moment with every new malware detected.
Malware is the general term to describe all the malicious programs that can cause harm to your device. They include viruses, trojans, worms, and many more subtypes.
Although antiviruses are called antiviruses, they protect against all types of malware. Viruses were the first of these programs written in code language. Viruses harm devices while replicating backups inside files, and they often try to insert themselves in non-deletable files, so users have trouble getting rid of them. Today viruses compose around 0.5% of all malware.
Malware can be installed on your device when surfing online, downloading an infected file. Using an antivirus with high protection points such as the case with Avira or TotalAV can solve this problem by preventing suspicious download, and even when infected, can resolve infections.
Ransomware is a special type of malware that can encrypt your file (creates a lock on your files that require a special key to decode), then asks for money to release your hostage files and decrypt them. Ransomware can infect your device when you click on spam emails or open links that are meant to infect your device.
Phishing is the process where a fraudulent website/ email spam would disguise itself as legitimate while asking for sensitive information that can be used to gain access to your personal data and result in data breaches.
The most common form of phishing is via email, and it involves sending a fake email, asking for your information in a deceptive manner. Here you can take a look at a few examples of how a phishing email looks like.
A man-in-the-middle attack is the type of attack that can intercept your data when you connect to an unsafe website and act as the recipient of information.
This can be dangerous if you are paying online, and your payment data gets intercepted by a man in the middle attack, a few tips you can use to avoid it include accessing safe websites with a lock shaped drawing near the address bar and using an antivirus with anti-fraud, and safe online banking features.
It is no secret that other than viruses and harmful programs on the internet, there are predators on the internet which your child can get in contact with while browsing online. However, thankfully there are many antiviruses with parental control which can prevent access to these websites while also acting as a limiter for how much time your children can use the internet.
Now that we talked about dangers, we will talk about internet safety and the role of antiviruses and VPNs in protecting you, describing each tool and its protective function against each of the previously mentioned dangers.
Antiviruses can be your most effective tool against so many dangers, providing you internet safety and protection. Tools that we find most important in antiviruses include:
Threat protection against viruses, malware, and ransomware using databases of recorded viruses and malware, while also monitoring behavioral activities that resemble viruses and malware to help detect never seen before viruses.
Identity protection that detects attempts of leaking your information out, this tool can be very helpful when you have a child at home, as it blocks any attempts of writing your credentials, and credit card number that might put you at risk.
Anti-phishing protection to block bad sites and emails containing malicious URLs.
Firewall and network connection monitor to keep track of all incoming and outgoing data, thereby blocking any threat that might arise from inside your network.
Safe online banking provides you with safety when purchasing online by making sure the website is safe and encrypting all payment data.
Parental control provides parents with the means to block unwanted traffic to their children using a color-coding feature to block unwanted websites.
Cloud storage space is an online encrypted space to save your essential files so that they don't get lost while if anything is deleted. Not every antivirus includes cloud storage, so this adds value to your package.
A virtual private network (VPN) can add to your internet safety. It can encrypt your IP address, protect you while using public networks, or even unblock geo-restricted content. This means your browsing history is private because the data is encrypted so that no one can see what you’re doing. Even the companies don't record them.
The combination of a VPN and an antivirus firewall can protect you from possible hacking through unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
In addition, as an added perk, a VPN can allow you to view content that isn't available in your country on online websites such as Netflix and even save you money because the prices on the internet are calculated based on your local country's income.
That means if you try buying the same digital product once from a US IP and once with an Indian IP, you will most likely find lower prices with the Indian IP.
Another use of a VPN that can be protective to you is when downloading torrents, there are some legal issues that might ensue. However, when using a VPN, all these issues are solved, as governments and other people cannot track your data.
The downside of using a VPN is slowing down your internet speed. As a result, the further the server you connect to. It’s suitable for you if you’re not planning to use it to stream content from a server that’s on the other side of the globe.
Based on all we've said about antiviruses and their specifications, we decided to make you a list of the best antivirus providers that have the features mentioned above, so you can have a comprehensive list of which VPN companies to go for. In addition, we included promo code links so you can get the best prices possible!
Our top three recommended antiviruses:
Norton 360 is one of the most dependable antiviruses out there. It can easily block many threats and provide you with internet security. In addition to protection against viruses, malware, and ransomware, Norton provides a few extra features, including but not limited to:
- Parental control: If you’re a parent, you’re probably looking for a parental control feature with your antivirus service. Norton is one of the few that offer parental control options, and it’s one of the best.
- Password manager: After installing the password manager on your proffered web browser, you create a strong vault password. You can use the password generator to create passwords that are hard to crack- they can be up to 64 characters, with any combination of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Cloud storage: Every Norton 360 plan comes with an easy-to-use cloud storage space to save your essential files. Starting with 10GB in Norton 360 Standard plan and up to 75GB in Norton 360 Premium plan. Not every antivirus includes cloud storage, so this adds value to your package.
Avira antivirus is one of the most trusted antiviruses out there that provides a very high and effective level of protection, making sure you and your family are provided the internet safety you deserve. In addition to the robust antivirus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and anti-phishing, Avira provides:
- File encryption protects files with passwords, making sure nobody can access your files without a password to enter them.
- File shredding to completely delete files, so you cannot restore them. This is a nice feature to have when you want to make sure a file is deleted to the point of no recovery, as normally, it is possible to recover some files after they are deleted.
- Multimedia/gaming mode is a mode that stops notifications and momentarily stops the sudden unexpected updates, which is useful when working, or in a meeting, and in instances when you're enjoying your time and don't want interruptions such as watching movies or TV shows, or if your kids are playing video games.
- Network traffic manager is an extra line of defense in addition to your firewall to defend your network and keep track of what's happening in your network.
Another antivirus that you will find to your liking is TotalAV. TotalAV can achieve the internet safety you desire while providing you with more functionalities at the same time. In addition to the virus, malware, and ransomware protection, TotalAV adds to the functionalities:
- The Password Manager by TotalAV helps you create strong passwords and saves your passwords in a secure place. It’s a benefit, especially if you have a hard time remembering your passwords. TotalAV’s password manager is only included in the Total Security package.
- The System Tune-up tool by TotalAV is used to clean out junk files and speed your PC’s performance. No one wants to use a slow PC, am I right?
- TotalAV provides a firewall protection service to protect your network from harmful traffic and provide you with internet safety. It can be accessed through the settings menu into network protection and adjusted from there. You can choose between enabling or completely disabling it as you wish.
As we mentioned the VPN and their benefit in internet security, we provide you a list of the best available VPN services, along with their promo code discounts.
Our top VPN recommendations include:
NordVPN is a favorite for so many people. It is based in Panama (Not a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance) with a strict no-logs policy. It has over 5400 servers spread over 59 countries worldwide. It provides dedicated P2P servers to better facilitate torrenting download safely with high speed, making it very usable for torrenting. NordVPN has RAM-based servers.
NordVPN provides a high-end encryption level (AES 256-bit military-grade encryption) and has “obfuscated” servers for geo-censorship countries like China to bypass The Great Firewall of China. Pricewise NordVPN is relatively lower than ExpressVPN, giving it an edge in this section.
ExpressVPN provides it all. It is based in the British Virgin Islands (not a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance member) with a strict no-logs policy. It has over 3000 servers spread over 160 locations in 94 countries. ExpressVPN has RAM-based servers.
ExpressVPN has a high encryption level (AES 256-bit military-grade encryption) and has a kill switch. Furthermore, some countries like China use a firewall (The Great Firewall of China) to prevent locals from using a VPN. ExpressVPN is one of the few that can bypass this geo-censorship.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, VPN out there. This makes it very suitable for torrenting and even streaming. Its price is on the higher end of the VPN price spectrum.
CyberGhost is based in Romania (not a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance member), provides a no-logs policy, has over 6000 servers spread over 90 countries, and provides 256-bit encryption. However, In the speed department, it falls short in comparison to the top two. CyberGhost has RAM-based servers.
In terms of obfuscation, CyberGhost doesn’t work as well, rendering it less useful in high geo-censorship regions. Pricewise CyberGhost is more cost-efficient.
To summarize, these are the best Antivirus Services in 2021…
- Advanced features
- Cloud storage available
- Parental control available
- Free Bitdefender VPN with every plan
- Anti-Phishing and anti-fraud protection
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Safe Online Banking and interactions
- Award-winning antivirus
- Password manager
- Cross-device protection
- Encrypted storage
- Identity Theft Protection
- Free VPN with every plan
- Mac optimization tools
- Cloud-based security
- Designed to block the latest Mac threats
- Excellent virus detection
- Ransomeware protection
- Includes VPN