Protecting Your Kids Online

One of the most common reasons for purchasing PC security products is concern for children's online safety, and it's easy to see why. There are numerous risks associated with children using the internet, owing to their inexperience and lack of knowledge of the online world. Although it is not a good idea to completely prevent the child from using a computer to browse the internet, it can be a useful tool for them to use. For example, they may use the internet to look up homework assignments or to communicate with their peers, not to mention the wealth of information available on the internet.

What online dangers do children face? Stories of children falling for predatory criminals posing as children their age are common; you've probably heard them on the news several times. In addition to the criminal risks, parents are frequently concerned about their child viewing images and websites intended for adults, or even simply using social media, because these sites do not screen content for younger audiences.

How can you keep these issues from affecting your child? Fortunately, you have many options. The first and most obvious option is to prohibit them from using a computer, but as previously stated, this is not a good idea because the world now revolves around computer usage, to the point where it is part of a child's compulsory school curriculum. Another option is to supervise your child whenever they use a computer, which is a good idea for young children because their internet usage is likely to be limited to times when you are present. Unfortunately, thanks to smartphones, the case for older children is not as simple. According to a 2013 survey, 56% of children aged 10 to 13 own a smartphone (the number is likely to have increased significantly in the years since). In this case, you should take a more 'blanket' approach, such as using parental controls provided by internet service providers. Using these tools, you can restrict access to specific websites to only those that are connected to Wi-Fi. Parental controls frequently include their own whitelist of safe websites for children; the simplest option is to use this to limit your child's browsing access.

Because Wi-Fi isn't the only way to connect to the internet, you'll need to think about protecting your children while using cellular internet; otherwise, your child could simply turn off their wifi and access any site they want. Although mobile providers provide parental controls, they are rarely as accurate as ISP parental controls. You will discover that you can only block access to 18+ websites, leaving the majority of websites that aren't safe for children under the age of 13 accessible. There isn't much you can do to prevent your child from accessing these sites while they are not under your supervision, so the best way to protect them from online dangers is through good old-fashioned education.

Is it necessary to install virus protection software on my brand-new computer?

A common misconception is that antivirus software is only useful for computers that have been heavily used and have a high risk of containing a virus. While this is a good reason to use an antivirus, do you really need to invest in antivirus software if you just bought a computer? Yes, any new computer should have virus protection software installed because nasty viruses can easily infect your computer without your knowledge, regardless of how careful you think you are with your computer. Virus protection software embeds itself in your computer and detects any malicious software attempting to infect it. Your protection software will intercept a wide range of unwanted nasties such as adware, spyware, and trojan horses. Virus protection software is essential whether you have a new or old computer and should be installed on all of your personal devices. The cost of good virus protection software is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing your machine after it has been infected by one of the countless viruses that exist today. With the rising cost of computer hardware and software, you can't afford to be without good virus protection software. There are many companies that offer a wide range of solutions with added extras ranging from parental controls to VPN services. So invest now, whether your computer is new or old, and don't wait until it's too late.

Free antivirus vs paid-for antivirus software

In our tests, we discovered that free and paid-for versions of the same antivirus software provide the same underlying protection against viruses and phishing attacks.

In other words, free antivirus software will always be as effective as a last line of defense as paid antivirus software. This means that when you pay for antivirus software, you're really just paying for extra features that may or may not improve your security but may still be useful. The table above summarizes some of the more popular extras available if you pay for antivirus rather than using a free version.

Paid features may also help to prevent malware and phishing attacks. For example, if you pay for email protection, your antivirus may detect a virus-infected email before it reaches your inbox. Without it, you may end up downloading the malicious file only to have the antivirus block it before it can run. This is effective in either case, but if extra peace of mind is something you believe is worth paying for, it is.

Another thing to keep in mind is that paid antivirus software will frequently grant you multiple licences, allowing you to install the software on multiple devices. Some subscriptions will include a variety of devices, including Macs, Android devices, and iPhones. This also allows for the use of the previously mentioned family controls, which can be useful.

If the ability to install the software on multiple devices is the only reason you're paying, use the free software on each separate device with a different email address.

The best VPN service 2022

How to choose the best VPN

Finding the right VPN starts by focusing on your main needs. Having a provider with a large number of locations and apps for each platform is a good start, but what really matters is that it covers the locations and platforms you'll be using.

If streaming is your top priority, look for a VPN that unblocks your preferred services such as Netflix or iPlayer. Torrent users will want P2P support on as many servers as possible, as well as an effective kill switch to conceal their identity and an audited no-log policy to ensure their activities remain private.

Many VPNs limit the number of devices that can be connected at the same time. If you need to protect multiple mobile devices, laptops, smart TVs, or other hardware, choose a provider that allows for more simultaneous connections or has no limits at all.

Checking the support site of a VPN is one of the best ways to determine whether it is good (or bad). Look for a lot of detailed and well-written content that you believe will assist you in difficult situations. Live chat support is also appreciated, but not required: email support can be surprisingly fast, with some providers responding in minutes.

Of course, there's price to consider, but we'd recommend focusing on functionality first - in short, look for a VPN that has everything you want. That doesn't have to be expensive; there are some excellent deals on this list, and you can always use price to narrow down your shortlist to a final choice later.

With rapid server speeds, extra privacy perks like 'Double VPN' encryption, and independently audited no-log policy, NordVPN is a very close runner-up. It's jam-packed with features, and, despite the quality on offer, the pricing gets really reasonable if you sign up for a multi-year plan.

Atlas VPN is one of the fastest-growing VPNs

Atlas VPN is a fantastic premium VPN that is simple to use and packed with extra features. The free version is one of the best free VPNs we’ve tested. It is safe and secure, and it is compatible with all torrent clients. The premium version is faster and even allows you to watch US Netflix. Overall, Atlas VPN is perfect for beginners that want to bypass internet geo-blocks.

One of the top 10 things to bring on a vacation or business trip is a VPN. Whether you're a student studying or an employee working abroad, don't lose access to your favourite websites and entertainment content. Enjoy the freedom from censorship and data limits.