Cybersecurity professionals are working around the clock to fight the ever-evolving safety and security threats that come with the adoption of new technologies. Every year, the Department of Homeland Security sponsors a nationwide campaign to engage the public in creating a safer and more secure cyber environment. Over recent years, virtual private networks (VPNs) have become critical tools for online safety and security. As security breaches become rampant, every individual should consider a VPN for added security and privacy.
Mobile Safety and Security
According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans search the internet for various services, and mobile devices are quickly taking over from the traditional desktop computer. Additionally, the number of tablet computer users increased from just 3% of the population in 2010 to 52% in 2019. Desktop and laptop ownership has also increased to about 74% in 2019.
People are rapidly adopting mobile solutions to facilitate everyday transactions, including banking and online shopping wherever they go. Consequently, cybercriminals are constantly seeking ways to capitalize on this mobile trend by using unsecured wireless networks, text messages, and third-party applications to acquire personal information.
Fortunately, there are multiple steps you could take to protect yourself and your personal information from cyberattacks. Here are a few of them:
- Restrict access to your home or office wireless network – only allow access to a few authorized users.
- Create a strong password that would be difficult for cybercriminals to guess
- Keep your anti-virus software up to date to protect against viruses, malware, and spyware.
- Be cautious when downloading or clicking on unknown links.
Personal Safety and Security
As people continuously rely on technology, they become more vulnerable to cybercrime. Cybercriminals use tactics like hacking and phishing to trick you into revealing sensitive personal information. Today, email scams have become prevalent among internet users. Moreover, cybercriminals can use cyberstalking or cyberbullying to monitor your online activity and trouble your life.
Here are a few ways to safeguard yourself from cyber threats that target your personal safety:
- Keep personal information secure to protect yourself from identity theft. Only share personal information with trusted sites.
- Use caution when chatting or sharing information with other social media users.
- Keep children safe by monitoring their internet usage and remind them of the importance of online safety.
HP and ExpressVPN Partnership
As cybercrime continues to soar in this digital age, the need for VPNs has drastically increased. Fortunately, ExpressVPN has partnered with HP to help computer users stay secure and private online. For the start, HP’s Spectre x360 13 laptop comes with integrated ExpressVPN protection. When you purchase the laptop, you’ll get a 30-day ExpressVPN free trial, allowing you to access all ExpressVPN apps for a myriad of devices, including Android, Amazon Fire TV Stick, iOS, and macOS. And if this particular laptop does not suit your specific preference, HP plans to launch more innovative models in the next couple of months.
ExpressVPN was established in 2009 and has been on the upward growth trajectory since then. It currently serves its users from more than 3,000 VPN servers located in 94 countries across the globe. The VPN effectively encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address through its foolproof ‘shatterproof’ cipher AES-256. As a result, cybercriminals cannot spy on your personal information whenever you browse the internet. Moreover, a single subscription provides protection for a myriad of devices, including Windows, Android, etc.
ExpressVPN TrustedServer Technology
ExpressVPN utilizes the IT industry’s most advanced VPN server technology that effectively wipes out all data with every server reboot. The ExpressVPN TrustedServer technology operates on RAM only, meaning that your data is never written on hard drives. Every time the server is restarted, the entire software stack is reinstalled afresh. ExpressVPN can tell exactly what’s running on each server with no inconsistencies. This is a whole new standard of security which is independently audited to guarantee essential privacy protections.
The Hewlett Packard Company (HP) was established in 1939 by two tech graduates David Packard and William R. Hewlett. It is a giant IT company that specializes in selling a range of software, hardware, and other related IT services. HP’s product line comprises of printers, PCs and other computing gadgets, storage tools, networking devices, plotters, scanners, and enterprise and industry-standard servers. In 2014, HP decided to split into two: HP, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
HP Spectre x360 13 Features
The new HP Spectre x360 13 is an extremely powerful machine that is built for today’s on-the-go computer users. With an impressive 22.5 hours of solid battery life, you can work through the day without worrying about running out of power. This is the longest battery life ever achieved in a quad-core convertible. Additionally, the laptop comes with a maximum of 512GB of SSD storage, 16GB RAM, and additional LTE support.
While the design hasn’t changed much from last year’s model, the new Spectre x360 13 has its bezels a little bit shrunken in all directions. Users have the option to go for an FHD panel or 4K display.
How the Spectre x360 13 Can Guard Against Cybercrime
Other than the impressive power, portability, and extended battery life, the Spectre x360 13 comes preinstalled with ExpressVPN protection. This provides instant protection against any kind of cybercrime. Moreover, users get a free 30 day trial period. The ExpressVPN protection encrypts your data before sending it over the internet, helping you maintain security and privacy even when browsing from an unsecured public Wi-Fi network at the airport, coffee shop, or shopping mall.
Here are some other benefits of ExpressVPN protection:
- Security: The VPN encrypts your entire web session, making every website just as secure as a bank platform or other financial site.
- Bandwidth Compress: The VPN compresses the traffic on the server before channelling it to you, which allows you to have more efficient access to your data.
- Access: There are several online restrictions imposed by various websites about where and when you can access their services. ExpressVPN allows you to circumvent many oppressive government restrictions and access information from across the globe. The VPN typically allows you to have secure, uncensored access to anything on the internet.
- Privacy: ExpressVPN masks your addresses and protects your identity from tracking.
Other Ways to Prevent Cybercrime
Over the past three years, the world has witnessed several large-scale and high profile cyberattacks, and cyber criminals show no signs of slowing down. However, that doesn’t mean you should stay off the internet. Other than using a secure VPN, there are multiple measures you can take to secure yourself from cyberattacks, such as:
Create Strong Passwords
Always secure your online accounts with strong, unique passwords to prevent online attacks. A lot of users still neglect passwords, which can expose them to hacking, especially when browsing from unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks. Create a strong and unique password for every account by utilizing a combination of letters ( both lowercase and uppercase), numbers, and special characters like @#%&!. It’s also a good idea to make your password long enough (at least 16 characters) to make it difficult for hackers to crack it using a brute force attack.
Update your Devices
Keep your computer, tablet, or smartphone up to date with the latest security patches. Updating a computing device may seem annoying and time-consuming, but it helps to prevent cybercriminals from exploiting bugs and security flaws that may have penetrated your device prior to the update. Updating your devices may not completely protect you from cybercrime but it’s a great way to keep your information safe.
Use Reliable Security Software
A VPN is extremely helpful in ensuring privacy and security, but only reliable ones that fully respect your data. Numerous free VPNs are data thieves and spyware that snoop on your activities to sell to advertisers. There are also known cases where a free VPN turned its users into a botnet in a malicious DDoS attack. Not all free VPNs are evil, but to play on the safe side, you’re strongly advised to go for a paid VPN that you know you can trust. If you’re paying them enough, you can be confident that the app is working for you and not social media giants, the government or advertisers.
You will need software such as antivirus programs, firewalls, and ad blockers. Always go for software made by trusted names in the cybersecurity space, such as Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky, etc. You may need to spend extra money on these products, but it’s a small price to pay for better online security.
Keep Certain Information Private
Although the internet has become useful for almost any kind of service, you need to keep certain information to yourself, especially on social media platforms. Desist from sharing personal information like your address, place of work, phone number, or current whereabouts on websites like Twitter, Facebook, or Whatsapp. Sharing such information can expose you to cybercriminals. Also, change your privacy settings on all social media accounts. For example, you can prevent the public from viewing your personal information and only allow your friends/contacts to do so.
So, that wraps it up on the measures you can take to safeguard yourself from cybercrime. Since most people often browse the internet on the go, it’s common to see people carelessly connecting to unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks to save on data costs. These networks can expose to serious security risks, with hackers, ISPs, and network administrators all prying on your sensitive information. Always connect through a VPN whenever you connect to such networks.
About the writer:
Jack is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies. A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools.