How to choose the best internet security features for you

Man safely surfing internet with internet security protection

The internet is interwoven with our lives. We use it for entertainment, information, e-commerce and much more. It’s not uncommon for an entire household to be online at once, which requires a robust internet connection to provide the bandwidth and speed to handle multi-user demands.

Having an internet connection has become essential but having internet security features to ward off cyberattacks has become equally important. Cyberthreats include data and information breaches, spyware, viruses, ransomware, phishing, denial-of-service attacks and other threats. Such attacks affect not only Microsoft Windows PCs and Apple computers but also Android and iOS devices.

Depending on your use of the internet, you’ll need different security features. This article will discuss the importance of internet security and the ideal internet security features you need.

The importance of internet security

You probably use a computer and cloud-based services to store sensitive personal information, do banking, make financial transactions, share family photos and videos, and much more.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals and those on the dark web are highly motivated to commit crimes against consumers. The information they acquire can be used to hold people and companies at ransom, get access to bank accounts and credit cards and just generally cause chaos, damage and inconvenience.

In 2020, the United States experienced data breaches with the highest average cost: $8.64 million. The average cost per lost or stolen record was $150. And in a digital onslaught, one cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds, on average.

To stem these attacks requires both personal vigilance and having digital protections in place. At the very least, you should be careful about sharing personal information, not clicking unknown links and only buying or selling with reputable online businesses.

It’s also a good idea to set up your firewall and Wi-Fi router to protect connected devices by permitting or blocking access to your home network. Use a specific set of rules that prevent personal information from being hacked or malicious code from being introduced. And don’t forget to get the latest version of your web browser — a secure browser like Chrome, Safari or Edge — ensuring that all its security tools are up to date.

You should also consider investing in internet security software.

Internet security options

To ward off criminals from your paper data documents, there’s always a file shredder. But when looking for user-friendly cybersecurity software for online threats, you have lots of options at your disposal. You should ask yourself what your main concerns are. Do you need the best antivirus software? Are you looking for parental controls to manage your kids’ use of the internet? Are you searching for real-time anti-malware, anti-phishing protection, webcam protection or additional features like cloud storage? Most options can be configured simply and offer good ease of use.

Internet security suites

If you want comprehensive protection for all your connected devices from a wide range of threats, internet security suites might be your best bet. The multi-device protection can extend from connected computers with different operating systems — including Windows 10 and Mac Catalina — to iPhone and Android devices. Depending on the package, spyware, adware, phishing, keylogging and ransomware protection can also be included.

Essential file encryption, parental controls, webcam protection and anti-theft protection might also be included as premium security features. Security services that may have been sold as separate packages can now be bundled, such as identity theft protection, VPNs and cloud backup software.

From a home consumer’s point of view, some of these suites with extra features can be pricey since they’re often intended for businesses. However, many internet security companies offer free trials to see how the products suit your needs.

Antivirus protection

Antivirus protection is essential if you want to prevent your computer and networks from being corrupted by viruses and other malicious software threats. Internet security software works by running in the background, checking every file you open and comparing it to a catalog of known viruses and malware. The best antivirus products will also run regular scans of your system for dormant viruses, waiting to be activated and cause mayhem.

Virus protection software and antivirus suites work on the commendable principle that prevention is better than trying to find a cure for an infected computer.

Standalone antivirus solutions usually have better pricing than full internet security suites, although they have limited features. You can even find free antivirus programs, but these are often designed to lead you into buying paid versions.

Spyware protection

Spyware is malicious software designed to gather your personal information without your knowledge or consent. Spyware can steal your usernames, passwords and email accounts. This is scary because spyware can send impersonated messages to your contact list or get access to sensitive information, such as bank accounts and online payment services.

Anti-spyware software performs regular checks on your computer to ensure your system is safe from unwanted intrusions. Spyware is often installed on systems through seemingly innocuous downloads or surfing what seems like a safe website.

Malware protection

Malware is a broad term encompassing computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, botnet software and ransomware. Surfing the wrong websites, clicking the wrong links in scam emails or opening attachments and plugging an infected USB drive into your computer are some of the ways you can acquire malware.

Besides being personally vigilant about such threats, you can deploy internet security software with malware detection capabilities. This works to check any downloaded program to ensure it doesn’t have malware. It also scans your computer for any malware that may have slipped through or predates your protection. Most internet security packages will even provide updates to the software, helping it catch any new and emerging malware threats.

How to choose the best internet security features for you

The internet security software you choose will depend on your use of the internet. If you just do basic surfing, scroll through social media feeds and exchange emails, a solid antivirus protection program might be all that you need. If you do online banking and make purchases or run your own business through an e-commerce site, you might need the more robust protection of an internet security suite.

Keep in mind that if you only need a particular type of protection within a security suite, such as parental controls, these can usually be purchased as standalone services at a lower cost.

Internet security features to consider

Frontier Secure® offers security services that provide protection from malware and identity theft and support for digital family rules concerning the use of the internet.

For a small monthly fee, it will:

  • Protect up to 10 PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices from most malware and viruses
  • Help provide protection for financial and personal data when banking or shopping online
  • Offer family controls to help safeguard children while they surf the internet

You can also safely manage your various passwords with our Frontier Password Manager and use Content Anywhere to safely store files like pictures, videos, music and documents, in a secure cloud account.

Find fast internet service in your area

The best internet service providers offer the services and information you need to make your online experience secure and rewarding. Not only does Frontier offer a great range of security options, but we also provide outstanding internet services tailored to how you use the internet.

Whether you’re doing casual surfing or are a power user with high-speed, high-bandwidth needs, such as streaming high-resolution videos or engaging in online games where lags and speed slowdowns can mean untimely setbacks in gameplay, you’ll find an internet choice to support your needs.

Check availability of Frontier in your area. We’d love to get you up surfing quickly and safely.