Everything is online these days. We bank online, pay our bills online, book restaurants, cinema tickets and days out online and even entertain ourselves by watching television, movies and playing games online. With such a vast amount of our lives online, shouldn’t we protect it more? After all, we protect our homes with locks, alarms and cameras, why don’t we do the same with our computers and online devices? Our data may not seem like a priority, but once it is compromised it can cause a lot of problems, including possible financial loss, and can take a lot of time to sort out. Cybercrime is big business that costs the UK billions of pounds.
And then there are the kids. How do you know that they are safe online? What are they spending all their waking time looking at one their laptops, tablets and phones? With things like cyberbullying, internet grooming and highly inappropriate websites just waiting to be viewed at the click of a button, wouldn’t you want to do everything that you can to minimise the risks?
Fortunately help is at hand with online protection software, and it isn’t very difficult to install, set up or use. The only difficulties lie in what do you get to protect you from online ID theft, block inappropriate websites, stay protected whilst you are online with your bank or even not being tracked everywhere you go on the internet? That’s where F-Secure TOTAL comes in, it is a complete package of online protection tools that will help with all these things.
F-Secure TOTAL is made up of three software packages:
- SAFE Internet Security – this offers protection against viruses and ransomware, safe online shopping and banking. SAFE protects your device not only from viruses but ransomware, spyware but even has protection for online banking (when you log your computer into your online bank with Banking Protection on, SAFE detects and shuts down all connections and programs it does not consider secure).
- FREEDOME VPN – this keeps your browsing private and helps you stay safe from hackers, trackers, and intrusive companies. FREEDOME is an easy to use VPN (Virtual Private Network). This helps to keep you anonymous online, encrypts your data so it´s impossible for anyone else to read, prevents third parties from tracking you and seeing what you do online and also hides your IP address for an extra layer of privacy. Plus, choosing an IP location in another country lets you bypass geo-restrictions you might otherwise encounter.
- ID PROTECTION Password Manager – is password management and online identity protection with real-time data breach alerts.
Between the three programs you have complete and TOTAL online protection, covering:
- Antivirus: Keep your devices safe from viruses, trojans, ransomware, adware, keyloggers, spyware, and other malware with our award-winning technology.
- Browsing protection: Explore the internet and stay safe from harmful and dangerous web pages to ensure your security and privacy.
- Ransomware protection: Stay ahead of online criminals and protect yourself from the increasing amount of ransomware.
- Banking protection: Banking protection lets you know when you enter a safe banking site and keeps your money safe by securing the connection to the site.
- Parental control: Protect your kids’ safety online with Family rules by setting limits for their screen time and blocking harmful content.
- Gaming mode: Enjoy protected gaming and streaming on Windows computers with uncompromised performance.
- Personal VPN: Protect your privacy by encrypting your connection, and hide your real IP address from the web pages you visit.
- Wi‑Fi protection: Your internet connection is secured so that no one can hack it when you use public Wi‑Fi.
- Virtual location: Change your virtual location and add an extra layer of privacy.
- Tracking protection: Stop advertisers from tracking you and making money at the expense of your privacy.
- Kill switch: Prevent accidental leakage of your data to the internet during momentary VPN outages. Available on Windows, Mac, and Android.
- Password manager: Store and access your passwords securely from any device. Be informed of weak and reused passwords and generate strong ones.
- Auto-fill credentials: Make signing into online services faster and easier by filling securely stored usernames and passwords automatically.
- Online identity monitoring: Combines human intelligence and 24/7 dark web monitoring to find your personal information within data breaches.
- Breach alerts: Breach alerts on Android and iOS notify you when a popular service has been hacked, resulting in a potential risk of your own account being compromised.
The three individual packages that make up the TOTAL package have to be installed separately and can be installed on 1 to 5 computers, depending on what package you buy, within your household, giving most households TOTAL protection. Installing is simple by logging in and using the F-Secure My Account that you will need to create. Here you can manage licences for the packages. Configuration is very simple, working fine from default settings but can be customised for better usage.
Once the packages are installed:
SAFE will scan and monitor for viruses and ransomware, and automatically block anything that it finds. You can also use SAFE to block websites that you come across that you don’t want accessed (you could always block YouTube if you think that the kids are spending far too much time on it). You can also add websites to the allowed list if they are inadvertently blocked for whatever reason. This will give you much more control over what the kids can view. Websites that try to steal personal information or trick you out of your money are automatically blocked.
SAFE also features online banking protection so when you visit your bank all other untrusted connections are severed so that there should be nothing running that can spy on your banking activities.
Whilst SAFE happily runs in the background, for gamers, when you enter game mode all scheduled scans and virus updates will automatically pause (unless you turn this feature off) to free up resources to give the best possible gaming experience.
ID PROTECTION runs in the background monitoring email addresses that you have added to the list for any security breaches. When I added a personal email address it did find some security breaches that I was aware of and tells you their severity and to change passwords etc. This is a good tool to help you with your online security should other websites be hacked and your information stolen. If information like usernames and passwords are stolen from one site, they will be tried on other sites to gain access to any accounts you may have on them (how many people actually have different usernames and passwords for everywhere they use? Although good practice is too have separate ones for each website, with passwords changed regularly). ID PROTECTION is also a password manager and credit card details manager, a place where you can securely store all those usernames, passwords and credit cards in a vault behind one secure master password allowing you to never forget these details again. It also features password analysis so that you can check a password to see if it is strong enough to be using.
FREEDOME VPN allows you to surf the internet anonymously, hiding and encrypting your IP address and even allowing you to change your IP location. This allows you to very safely and securely use the internet without being tracked across the internet. Should you need to, you can even change your IP location to be able to access geographically restricted content. You are also able to see you might be tracking you when you are using the internet. As an extra level of security, it will also block harmful websites and hacking attempts so that you are safe when using it.
Overall, using the F-Secure TOTAL online protection software makes surfing the web a much less stressful concept by minimising online data theft, although you still have to have some common sense and not give out usernames, passwords and other personal details.
The software is very simple to install, set up and use, an excellent fuss-free way of protecting yourself, your children, banking and all that all-important data whilst online. The cost isn’t even that expensive starting from £59.99 to protect 1 PC, £79.99 to protect 3 PCs and £99.99 to protect 5 PCs for 12 months – a small price to pay really for peace of mind when on the internet (buy now and save up to 40% with prices currently £39.99, £49.99 and £59.99).
If you want all-in-one protection to protect your data online and to block inappropriate websites being viewed, then the F-Secure TOTAL package is one that I can recommend.
Prices from £39.99 (12 months subscription for 1 PC)
For more information or to buy, visit www.f-secure.com.