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Speed Verses Online Security

Brian Austin
Brian Austin Apple Mac

For anyone who seeks to build a useful, helpful, profitable online business or successful website, two arguably equally important concerns can often fight each other. Worse, if the wrong one ends up winning, we could have more problems than we can ever ever envisage.

This article explores:

  • How to keep secure online, verses ...
  • How to speed up what we do, so that we can accomplish what we want to achieve in the time we have available.
Here in my Tip 43 today, given all about the new threats that are emerging for everyone who works and communicates online, I suggest to you that your security online should always take precedence over speeding up what you do.

For example, if you're ever tempted to respond to software advertisements for products that suggest you can dramatically reduce the start-up time of your PC, be careful: can you be sure that every testimonial is genuine? Certainly, do your own research online.

For Microsoft Windows-Based PCs

If you're using a Microsoft Windows-based PC, you're a prime target. My recommended approach is to choose a powerful, provider mix of antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-phishing solutions.

One remarkable recent discover includes Avira. During install, when asked what security setting you want to apply, choose the highest setting available. With maximum security settings, you may get some "false positives" and your PC processing speed may slow down a little, but that is surely better than missing detection of the latest threats online.

Although fast start-up of a PC is nice to have, if that means crucial security checks are missed, then I suggest the approach is almost guaranteeing sooner rather than later, that your PC and Internet activities are almost certainly set to give you some nasty surprises, at best. Worst outcome: your business fails.

Using An Apple Mac Computer?

If your choice of primary work tool is an Apple Mac computer, consider the following guidelines:

  • Keep your Mac operating system software up to date. Apple downloads updates to your device. Do not ignore prompts to update, and don't turn off updates.
  • Keep your apps up to date too.
  • Resist the urge to install antivirus software in the latest Apple Macs. Why: usually, this is simply not required, and could actually weaken your Apple Mac security.
  • Don't plug in any unknown memory stick type devices into your Mac. If you're 100% sure a memory stick is "clean", then you may opt to take a risk. However, do remember, memory sticks can offer one of the best ways to trash a Mac. Family, friends, and colleagues can often unknowingly open up a channel into virus hell for you. Even a recently reformatted memory stick may still not be clean of viruses or malware. That's why, if possible, and for best security, don't use them ever! 
  • Choose and use a sufficiently powerful log on password.
  • Ideally, turn on Apple Mac encryption.
  • Make sure your Apple Mac is regularly backed up. You can use Apple's own AirPort Time Capsule, or consider online backup solutions provided from services like Dropbox or Box.com.
  • Turn on security and location tracking services, to help essentially make your Mac useless to anyone who may decide steal it.
  • Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or Two-Step Authentication, to help protect your Mac accounts and other accounts you may use.
  • Consider investing in a great password manager like 1Password from AgileBits - that too is also encrypted.

For Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Especially: 10 Tips to Help Ensure a Trouble-Free Online Experience

Consider the guidelines below:

  • Put PC, Mac, or tablet computer security before speed - every time!
  • Avoid going to "bad neighborhoods" on the web. Why: you're increasing the risk of possible problems and depending on which websites you visit, they may be out to get you in ways that are highly deceptive.
  • No-one will care as much as you do about your own online security: accept that you are the driver of your online condition.
  • Understand that your website host is like a partner. First and foremost, use a web host that you can trust and whom continuously explores ways to stay ahead and keep getting better; one who actively monitors what is happening on your web hosting. A good web host can watch your back, while you focus on your web business. If your site uses the wonderful Joomla web content management system, check out SiteGround Hosting. If you receive any warning messages from your web host, act fast and follow instructions.
  • Consider trying out the steps above. Download the latest version of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac or Avira AntiVirus Personal - free for personal use, or download an evaluation version. Set the security detection settings to maximum. Then compare your current favorite antivirus solution against Avira AntiVir Personal.
  • If you discover that Avira AntiVir Personal detects objects or threats installed on your PC that may be suspect, that none of your other antivirus programs have detected to-date, then you know that Avira AntiVir Personal is doing some good work on your behalf. Also, even though your existing protection software may not have detected what Avira AntiVir may have discovered, that may be as a result of your existing protection software not being configured to its highest settings.
  • Understand that free software from sources that cannot easily be verified by independent third parties may be safe to use - or not. Likewise, the same risks apply to any bought software. Whether software is free or paid is not an assurance of trustworthiness. Whether that software is safe to use is the question we need to answer. Well known brand names are trusted more than unknowns. Reputable, independent third-party software applications like Avira AntiVir can help keep you safe online both for business and non-commercial users.
  • For business users, if you decide to use Avira AntiVir, you should upgrade to one of the Premium versions. At the time of writing, a license to cover one PC using Avira AntiVir Premium costs only 29.95 Euros - surely a small price to pay for such effective security improvement. At the time of writing, with arguably matching brilliance, 5 Euros from your payment is automatically donated to the Auerbach Foundation, supporting a range of offline "real world" protection- and security-based "charitable and social projects, as well as art, culture and science, to alleviate financial, spiritual, mental and physical hardship in the world". You can get secure online and help make our world just a little better - all in the same transaction!
  • Even if some of the suspect items that Avira AntiVir discovers are innocent, arguably, I ask the question: would any responsible software developer create software that has questionable security holes? Here's what I would do: as a minimum, choose to quarantine every suspect item immediately. Why: should any software be that lax today?
  • Re-evaluate your security software "mix" regularly -  at least once every 6 months.

Stay safe online.