We buy alarms and smart cameras to protect our homes from intruders – but what do we do to protect our computers?
Unfortunately, cybersecurity is less of a priority for many Aussie device users. But with the rates of cybercrime and hacking attacks on the rise across the globe, investing in your digital security is becoming non-negotiable
That makes today the perfect time for Aussie households to think critically about their digital security. How safe are you? What tools do you have at your disposal? What tools could you secure for yourself today? And most importantly, what can you expect to spend on your cybersecurity?
To help, we’ll be taking a closer look into the top digital security tools your household can use to protect all its devices, and examine how much Aussie device users can expect to spend on their cybersecurity strategies.
What can you expect to spend on cybersecurity for your household?
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the cost of different cybersecurity measures to determine what you can expect to spend. That way, you can add your VPN price and antivirus protection software cost as baseline expenses and build up from there.
Regarding VPNs, you can expect to spend around $5-$15 monthly. Premium VPN services may charge a higher monthly rate but could provide discounts for annual plans or as an introductory offer. As for your antivirus software, you can pick up a package at your local computer store for a good deal during retail sales. The cost of your antivirus software will also depend on the package size you’re looking to take out. For example, you can expect to pay more for a 2 or 3 year package or a package that lets you add up to 5 devices.
Once you’ve calculated the cost of your VPN and antivirus protection, it’s time to consider what other expenses you’re looking to make. This can include cybersecurity tools like password managers or network security tools like firewalls. You can even factor in the costs of security hardware like backup hard drives or a router that allows you to set up a NAS (‘network attached storage’).
Cost-effective cybersecurity solutions for Aussie households
Granted, you don’t need security hardware for an effective cybersecurity strategy. However, if you have an IT fanatic in the family, they’ll likely be able to speak about the benefits of optimising your home wireless network to boost its security. This can be done with just a high-speed router and a little bit of administrative tinkering. You could easily set up a NAS for your household network if you wanted to. You could even establish VLANs (or ‘virtual local area networks’) to segment your network traffic. VLANs can help isolate viruses or malware that find their way onto your network by ensuring they can only access one section of your network traffic.
That being said, most Aussie households can maintain a strong security strategy without a networking whiz kid. In fact, you could develop a decent cybersecurity strategy by using the 4 following low-cost security measures:
- VPNsVPNs (or ‘virtual private networks’) are security tools that allow you to access the web via an encrypted network connection. You can reroute your network connection through servers worldwide when using a VPN. This allows VPN users to conceal their geographic location and other information about their network connection.VPNs are considered to be one of the best tools to use for privacy online. This is because these nifty, low-cost security measures allow you to obscure your IP address from hackers, prompting them to move on to more vulnerable or transparent targets.
- Antivirus softwareAntivirus software can provide effective protection if malware or ransomware is detected on your device. Antivirus software packages can also scan websites while they’re loading in your web browser. This can help you avoid entering sites with security vulnerabilities or even traces of malware already.Antivirus software packages also allow users to add various different devices, including tablets and mobile phones, alongside laptops and desktop PCs. Be sure to shop around when looking
for antivirus software to get the right package to suit your computing needs.
- Password managersIt’s recommended that all passwords contain lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You also want to avoid using simple phrases or personal information in your passwords. Simply put, the more random your passwords are in their phrasing, the more secure they’re likely to be.But the problem with strong passphrases is that they’re impossible to remember. That’s why password managers have become a vital security investment for millions of Australians. These nifty security tools allow users to access dozens of passwords by just inputting a single master password. With a password manager, you can make sure that all your digital accounts are protected by strong passwords that are less likely to be deciphered by hackers.
- Free cybersecurity toolsFinally, it’s important to note that there are also many free cybersecurity tools out there for tech-savvy users to take advantage of. This includes free VPNs, security browser plug-ins, and even some website scanning tools. These no-cost tools can help bolster your digital security even further without spending a cent.We will add a note of caution to this tip. You should always do a little independent research before signing up for free security services. Be sure to read up on user reviews and look into the companies that are offering these services to make sure everything’s above board.
Remember that it’s cheaper to be proactive than reactive
We’ll leave you with this one final tip: cybersecurity is an ongoing investment. It’s not a one-time purchase, and you will need to reinvest in your digital security monthly or annually. Tech-savvy households should also revisit their cybersecurity strategy periodically to make sure that their security measures still cater to their user needs. For example, if your family expands and you have to add more devices to your home network, securing extra antivirus protection and VPNs for these devices is a must.
And if you are concerned about adding to your cybersecurity budget, remember that it costs a lot less to have a proactive cybersecurity strategy than a reactive one. The last thing anybody wants is to fall victim to cybercrime and experience large-scale financial losses. In this regard, maintaining a strong cybersecurity strategy with an adaptable budget can help you spend less in the long term.