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It is very important to enable the firewalls on your device. These firewalls control the information that connects to the Internet, and they work like bouncers at the entrance of a bar. Each firewall decides whether each ‘guest’ is allowed to enter or to send details to your network. Each unlocked door would allow malware to enter your device and easily do harm. On most computers, you can enable the firewalls on the system yourself, and it is recommended to use external protection software, like McAfee, BitDefender or Kaspersky.

Watch how to enable a system’s firewall on your Windows computer or on your Mac. It is also possible to enable firewalls on your mobile phone with external software like ‘NoRoot Firewall’ or ‘NetGuard’ (Android) and ‘Norton’ (iOS).

After having regulated data exchange with Internet sources, it is essential to protect your device from malware that can monitor your activities or to gain access to important information, like your passwords. Antivirus software looks for these malware, blocks and erases them. These programs are not only essential for your computer, but also for your mobile device. Recommended software products for the computer are ‘ESET’, ‘Kaspersky’ and ‘BitDefender’ (Windows and Linux) or ‘Microwold’, ‘BitDefender’ and ‘AVG’ (Mac). Tools for the smartphone are Avast Mobile Security (Android) or Norton and Lookout (Mac).

Most people have heard about the first two applications and have installed at least one antivirus program. However, to guarantee the full protection of data in use, it is also important to apply host intrusion prevention (HIP). This additional preventative measure monitors the system and the network to ensure all processes are legitimate and notifies the user if there are any policy violations. To discover malware, the HIP compares your current user patterns with your regular usage habits of the programmes. One provider offering this security software is ‘McAfee’.

At first glance, the task of installing all these recommended security programmes may seem daunting, but there are software programmes that provide all three tools in one. These multiproducts are recommended because a worst case scenario could be installing three single programmes that enable each other. Examples for combined tools for every system are ‘McAfee’, ‘BitDefender’ or ‘Kaspersky’. Keep in mind that each year various organisations and magazines test different providers ranking their security and effectiveness. Before buying a package, research the current best malware protection provider. A useful website to help you get started is AV Test.