Despite constant warnings from governments and technology companies, millions of internet users still fail to take even the most basic security precautions when using the internet.

Apple is currently fighting the US government in the courts over the encryption of iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, but many people still use laptops with out-of-date security software and others without any protection at all.

The scale of the issue caused the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to warn people about the Bugat/Cridex malware that “has enabled criminals to steal millions of pounds from UK bank accounts”.

There have long been a number of good free antivirus options available to users such as Avira, Avast, and AVG, but even with the low price tag of zero, many people still avoided the “hassle” of installing security software. This has resulted in Microsoft bundling its own Security Essentials package with Windows 10, so rather than opting in to having antivirus and security software, users now need to specifically opt out.

Some UK high street banks have also started to offer free security software bundles with all bank accounts, meaning that many UK users now have access to a wealth of high quality security products to choose from for free.

Beyond installing security software, internet users are increasingly nudged to create and use stronger passwords for their accounts. The emergence of Password managers, such as LastPass and Kaspersky Password Manager, mean that it is now easier than ever to have secure unique passwords for each online service but without the hassle of needing an award-winning memory.

Strong passwords are not only needed to protect your money while online banking, buying items on Amazon, or playing for money on a bingo site, but also email and social media accounts – anywhere where a hacker could find personal information. It may seem harmless for someone to read your Facebook messages, but with all the information we share on social media it is trivial for attackers to use social engineering to guess your security questions and gain access to other aspects of your online life.

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