There was a time when personal computers would ship with only antivirus software.
However, in recent years, more personal computer OEMs have banded up with third-party security solution providers to keep their customers safer. This is a fine time to re-examine the threats faced by the current, average user – and what to do about that.
The PC Security Landscape
Perhaps the biggest issue that we will keep solving for a long time to come is that of password security. The fact that this is a user-generated error during data breaches makes the influence that OEMs can wield to curb such issues even weaker.
That does not mean they will take the matter lying down, though.
A recent password breach report shows that users are still setting weak passwords. Most of these passwords will only take seconds to be hacked by sophisticated software. The worst part is that many users reuse the same passwords for multiple accounts. Thus, a breach to one account is like a breach to many.
To combat that, we have seen the inclusion of password managers like LastPass in some PCs. Besides helping to generate strong passwords that will take several years to hack, these password managers also support using one password for one account.
After all, users do not have to worry about password fatigue anymore.
Following that are the incessant cases of data breaches perpetrated via unencrypted networks. Considering the sheer amount of data that users send over their networks over time, it becomes important to secure these networks.
Many users opt for a VPN app for increased protection. A VPN ships with a ton of servers from all around the world. Internet data is sent through these servers , preventing anyone on the outside of the network from seeing what is going on. Tunneling is so effective, even the user’s ISP will have no idea what they are doing on the network.
That said, the place of antivirus software should not be ruled out either.
Depending on the antivirus or antimalware definitions, they help prevent a wide variety of threats that users might not even know existed at all. They are also important for people who have to connect a lot of external devices to their PC, download files from the internet, etc.
Antivirus software has been developed so well these days that they integrate well with browser apps, emailing programs, and other sensitive points of data entry. Before downloading any file onto your device, they automatically scan and inform you of the danger.
That can help beat a lot of malware attacks and phishing scams too.
Even with these tools in the mix, a lot of responsibility lies on the user to follow best practices. A password manager will not work if proper password habits are not followed. In the same way, a VPN is useless if it is not employed for the network.
When the user is aware of the dangers and how the tools can help them, though, hackers are given a better run for their money.