No one wants to deal with the hassle of being hacked, but if you use the web in any regular capacity some of your sensitive information is at stake in some way. And if you work with someone else’s data, even more bits and bytes are at risk. Of course, barring unplugging from the internet completely, it’s impossible to be 100% secure. But with some precautions you can certainly better your protection. Check out these free, security conscious apps.
Chrome or Firefox — Always use an updated browser. If you’re too busy and/or lazy to worry about anything else, please at least take this step. It’s also important to keep plugins up-to-date. Here is a Chrome extension for that.
Gmail with 2-step verification — Gmail is a good choice for email. Phone verification makes it even better. This isn’t as annoying as it sounds, because you can set it to save the verified device for a month. One text message a month to better protect your identity? Yeah, it’s worth it.
KeePass — You’d be hard pressed to find a better way to manage passwords. If you’re one of those people that has passwords scattered around on paper or post-it notes, stop that right now and install this immediately
TrueCrypt — After some configuring, you can encrypt files and entire folders with ease. This is a little more complex to get running than the other apps listed here, but if you’ve got a bunch of sensitive files lying around it’s worth the effort.
Microsoft Security Essentials — If you’re in Windows, you should have this running. Many anti-virus solutions out there, including paid ones, are almost as bad as viruses themselves. MSE is lightweight, hassle-free, and won’t mess up your PC.