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We’re spending more time than ever at home on our computers. It is now perfectly normal to work from home or binge on home-based entertainment — Netflix, Disney+ or Spotify, anyone?
But that also means that we’re accessing more and more sensitive information at home. For instance, those of us working from home might have to handle clients’ confidential personal and financial data. In addition, those of us who invest might have taken to trading stocks, crypto, FX and more at home.
Despite all that goes on in our computers (or mobile devices), some of us don’t even have antivirus software installed! This is not a very smart move, as cybercrime is becoming quite rampant these days. In fact, in 2020, cybercrime made up 43% of overall crime in Singapore!
One cost-effective way to make our trading, banking and other online transactions more secure is to download antivirus software such as the one offered by ESET. Here are 5 ways ESET antivirus software can boost our cybersecurity.
1. Banking and payment protection
A good antivirus software should offer banking and payment protection, especially for your web browser. This is because browsers are one key area of vulnerability, since they are where our online transactions take place.
It’s especially important to ensure we don’t mistakenly visit a fraudulent website posing as the real thing, since so much of our financial information can be accessed online via web browsers. The last thing you want is for someone to gain access to your credit card, bank account or trading account information.
Users of ESET’s antivirus software enjoy a special secured browser that makes it safe to pay online and access web-based crypto-wallets. This offers greater peace of mind that your money and investments are kept safe, even when you transact or enter sensitive data.
All communications between your keyboard and ESET’s antivirus software’s secured browser are encrypted, which enables you to enter sensitive information such as passwords safely. The browser also offers protection from keyloggers who try to steal your information through keystrokes as you use your keyboard.
Another feature of a good free antivirus software is anti-theft capabilities. Our computing devices are now more portable than ever, and travelling with our laptops and smartphones is now the norm. However, there’s always the danger of losing your devices, whether through theft or carelessness.
While such antivirus software cannot prevent you from accidentally leaving your laptop or smartphone on the MRT, it can raise your chances of recovering your missing device.
For instance, ESET’s antivirus software has a location tracking feature that lets you mark a device as missing on its Anti-Theft web interface. If your missing device connects to any wi-fi networks, its position will be tracked and displayed on a map.
There is also a feature that enables you to remotely turn on the built-in camera of a stolen laptop to watch the thieves in action, as well as collect snapshots of the stolen computer’s screen.
3. Ransomware protection
Another aspect that a free antivirus software should offer is protection against ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks are a particularly nefarious threat that involves a computer getting attacked by malware and its files taken hostage by the cybercriminals behind this malicious software. In exchange for getting the data back, victims are asked to pay a ransom, usually in Bitcoin, to the hackers. Ransoms can go up to thousands of dollars.
The number of ransomware cases reported to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore rose 154% in 2020, with most cases affecting SMEs. In fact, in August this year, an eye clinic in Singapore was hit by a ransomware attack in which the personal data and clinic information of almost 73,500 patients got locked up.
ESET’s antivirus software has tools to protect you, including a Ransomware Shield that is designed to block ransomware, as well as an Exploit Blocker that blocks a variety of attacks on web browsers, PDF readers and other applications.
Phishing is another area where you’ll need your free antivirus software to provide defense. Phishing scams trick you into thinking that a fraudulent website is legitimate. Any sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or banking details that you enter into the phony website is captured by the cybercriminals.
Homoglyph attacks are a common phishing technique and involve replacing certain letters or characters in a legit website’s name with similar-looking ones, such as Cyrillic equivalents which look almost identical to the Latin alphabets we use.
While banking-related phishing scams tend to be the most well-known in Singapore, non-banking related scams are also on the rise, with at least $140,000 lost since August 2021. Recent phishing attacks have involved fake emails or text messages made to look like they were from SingPost and DHL.
Such scams can be prevented with the help of ESET’s antivirus software, which has an anti-phishing feature that can detect homoglyph attacks.
5. Webcam protection
Preventing unauthorised use of your computer’s webcam is something a good free antivirus software should offer, especially now with the all-too-familiar endless hours of Zoom meetings. Did you know that there are hackers attempting to access people’s webcams?
Camfecting happens when the webcam of a laptop that has been placed in hibernation or sleep mode is activated by hackers in an attempt to access information that can be exploited for financial gain. And let’s be honest, the thought of strangers sneaking a peek into your home via your webcam is plain creepy.
With ESET’s antivirus software, any processes and applications trying to use your webcam are closely monitored. You will be alerted each time there are unexpected attempts to access your webcam and can immediately block them.
Free antivirus software for the whole family
Nowadays, computer use starts from an early age, especially due to Home-Based Learning and the demands of schoolwork. ESET antivirus software’s Parental Control function protects children from exposure to offensive online content so they can surf the internet safely.
Gamers who wish to play without interruptions can benefit from ESET antivirus software’s Gamer Mode, which activates the internet security software’s silent mode whenever a programme is run on full-screen mode.
Social media users as well as online video streamers looking for fuss-free protection from an install-and-forget solution can benefit from the free antivirus software’s unobtrusive privacy protection features, including Internet of Things (IoT) and webcam protection.
The privacy features that ESET’s antivirus software offer are beneficial to anyone who transacts online. This includes online shoppers who want to make purchases securely, as well as those in charge of controlling their families’ finances who need secure online banking and payments, or simply anyone who wishes to keep their investment transactions private.
ESET Internet Security also protects your IoT smart home with its Connected Home feature. It is light on computer resources, so you won’t have to worry about your devices slowing down.
Already have ESET NOD32 Antivirus or ESET Internet Security software and loving it? Consider upgrading to ESET’s top-tier antivirus software, ESET Smart Security Premium. It has all the features mentioned above, PLUS a premium feature that is highly relevant to personal finance — a password manager that helps you securely keep track of your numerous logins to banks, insurance companies and brokers. On top of that, you’ll be able to encrypt and protect all the data you cherish, with the help of its Secure Data feature.
It’s time to enjoy technology more safely with a cost-effective solution such as ESET antivirus software. Boost your cyber protection ASAP by downloading a free full-featured trial now.