Five reasons to use security software

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Keep your security software up to date

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  • It may cost £20-40 a year to keep software up to date but it could save you thousands.
  • Check with the company who supplies your broadband to see what they recommend.
  • Find out more about all kinds of security software on GetSafeOnline.org

To keep ourselves and our families safe it's important to make sure we protect the devices that we use to connect to the internet.

This could be desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smartphone.

In the UK we spend more and more money online each year.

With all that cash being transferred over the internet it's no surprise that criminals are out to steal our data and personal information.

But you can protect yourself by installing really good security software on your devices.

Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to rip people off so you need to stay ahead of the game.

Keeping your security software up to date will the best chance of preventing these five common security perils.

1. Viruses and trojans

Viruses and trojans programs are purposely created to damage your machine or for criminal activity.

Very simply, a virus or trojan is a piece of code that's installed onto your device.

Once inside, this can alter the data that's held on your computer, multiply, and even raid your online address book sending spam emails to your contacts.

Trojans hide behind what looks like a legitimate piece of software, but it's there to cause havoc and allow criminals to access your data. These are commonly used for webcam hacking.

2. Spyware and ransomware

Spyware can sit on your computer and monitor your activities without you having a clue that it's there. This information can then be collected from your device and passed on to people who want to know about your lifestyle and that could include criminals.

Ransomware is something that is becoming more common.

This software locks down your computer or encrypts your data so you can't access it. Then the program will demand money to have your set up returned to normal.

With good security software this kind of extortion can be prevented.

3. Hackers

Hackers attempt to access your computer to alter the data and steal information. Once in there, they can take control of your device.

A good security package will install a 'firewall' - this is a barrier which will stop criminal programs from attacking your computer.

4. Spam emails

Spam emails are the unwanted and unsolicited messages most people receive at some point. Be cautious when checking your inbox as these messages can include trojans and viruses which can be activated by downloading an attachment or clicking on a link in the email.

Security software can install a 'spam filter'. This works by reducing the number of nuisance emails that make it into your inbox.

See our guide to spam emails.

5. Inappropriate material

Good security software will include parental controls - tools that allow you to limit what your children can access online. This filters out age inappropriate content and safeguards your children from harmful material on the internet.

See our guide to parental controls.

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