The Internet is a dangerous place. From hackers attempting to install malicious code on your computer to criminals trying to lock down your data for ransom, web surfers have to be extremely careful about what and where they click online.
One bad click is all it can take to compromise your personal data.
There are a host of tools available to help keep you safe online. Here’s a look at four of them.
Brought to you by antivirus giant McAfee, SiteAdvisor is a free software download that adds safety ratings to your browser and search results. Any search results from Google, Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox will come with an icon that shows the safety level of that result.
The ratings are color coded, green means you can surf nearly risk free while a red icon means you should steer clear of that result. McAfee claims it visits thousands of websites each day and tests them for security threats to come up with the ratings. McAfee also has a free mobile version available.
2. AVG Secure Search
This tool identifies which websites are collecting information about your online activities and give users the option to block them. With the Do Not Track feature, you can find and block ad networks, social buttons and web analytics that can track what you do online.
Just like SiteAdvisor, the Secure Search tool gives users an additional security layer that checks every web page before you click on it to make sure your information is protected.
If you accidently click on a website that AVG rated “Dangerous” the software warns you and prevents the page from opening. The free software also protects you when you enter a web address in a browser, click on links on social networking sites and when a program opens your browser.
A surefire way to protect yourself on the internet is to browse through a virtual private network (VPN). SurfEasy’s VPN will encrypt all the Internet traffic on your smartphone, tablet and computer to protect your online privacy and provides bank-grade encryption when you are surfing on a public Wi-Fi hot spot or on an unsecured network.
SurfEasy works on every device and network, even ones that block software installations. The service is free for 500MB of data a month, $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year for the Mobile VPN and $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year for protection on any five devices.
4. Web of Trust
Just like millions of people rely on websites like Yelp to get reviews from actual customers, we can also rely on the masses to make sure they are surfing safely thanks to WOT.
This free browser add-on rates websites’ based on a community of users who weigh in based on their own experiences. With the free tool, users will know based on a color-code rating whether or not it’s a safe site. Green means good; red is bad and yellow is a warning to be careful. The colored icons can be found in search engine results, on social media, in online email and shortened URLs.