FemmeTek's Student Guide to Securing Your Stuff

I know as a student, we don't always have time to make sure our antivirus is up to snuff or that we even remember all the different passwords we're supposed to use and change them on a regular basis. This means that, combined with the high cost some antivirus software and Microsoft products have, securing your stuff online can be expensive and hard to use. I've spent some time throughout college working to find the best (and cheap) options for students and new grads to use. Check out the options I've found while in college and some of the products I've found work best for me: 

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Antivirus Protection: 

There are a lot of good options out there so definitely do your research what works for you. Some of the best AV Clients I have found out there (in order of price) are: 

  1.  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - the original download gives you a thirty day active protection premium trial and then once that is over, you have to manually preform scans but it does a good job of finding and collecting malware from both PCs and Apple devices. 
    1. They also make a pretty great android and apple malware app that is helpful if your concerned about malicious applications on your mobile devices. 
  2. Webroot Protection - Webroot is a fine software and relatively cheap (under $20), it provides real time scanning and decent protection. I recommend this if you don't want to pay for the premium version of Malwarebytes and want active scanning that the free version does not provide. 
  3. Kaspersky - depending on your threat model (and as a student it probably isn't that high), Kaspersky is a great option for students but it is the most expensive. It has gotten a lot of news lately 

Internet Browsing Tools: 

  1. The best internet browsers out there are: 
    1. Google Chrome
    2. Mozilla Firefox 
  2. The best secure (anonymous) browser out there is: 
    1. Tor Browser 
  3. Some really good add-ons for both Chrome and Firefox include: 
    1. Ghostery 
    2. Privacy Badger
    3. UBlock Origin
    4. Better History (Chrome) 
    5. SpeakIt (Chrome)
    6. Unshorten.link (Chrome)
    7. Honey
    8. HTTPS Everywhere
    9. Disconnect 
    10. The Great Suspender (Chrome) 
  4. Some of the best Virtual Private Network tools out there are not necessarily free to use, but most are about the same as a Netflix Subscription. Make sure when choosing a VPN, you 
    1. Private Internet Access VPN
    2. Tunnel Bear
    3. ProtonVPN 
    4. NordVPN

Password Managers:

  1. If nothing else, make sure that you have a decent password manager for all of your accounts. If  you use the same password for more than one thing - especially your email client or bank account - you could be liable to getting hacked and having a lot of your information stolen. I recommend two password managers: 
    1. LastPass 
    2. 1Password
    3. KeePass 
  2. Remember to periodically check to see if your email or password has been posted somewhere by using Troy Hunt's "Have I been Pwned" service. It's really simple to use and you can subscribe to see if your email address is ever posted as part of a hack. 

Mac/Apple Tools: 

  1. Some of the best free software security tools for Mac's are a suite from Patrick Wardle. He provides a series of really well designed and thought out tools for free (you can donate to his patreon if you can afford to) that work well. Check out objective-see and find the best tools for your computer. 
  2. Another great group of tools that's easy to use for Macs includes: 
    1. LibreOffice
    2. Microsoft Office Suite for Mac
    3. Unarchiver
    4. iBooks Author 
    5. Onyx
  3. To ensure you backup your files and computer: 
    1. CrashPlan 
    2. External Hard Drive
    3. Google Drive
  4. Check out these guides for security essentials and information for keeping your Mac and online self secure: 
    1. Motherboard's Guide to Not Getting Hacked
    2. EFF Security Series 

PC Tools/Resources: 

  1. For the PC student in university, some of my favorite apps for writing and drawing are: 
    1. LibreOffice
    2. WPS Office Free 
    3. GIMP
    4. Audacity 
    5. Paint.net
  2. To Improve your PC functions and to avoid bloatware, try these tools: 
    1. Revo Uninstaller 
    2. CCleaner 
    3. PC Decrapifier 
  3. To ensure you backup your files and computer: 
    1. CrashPlan 
    2. External Hard Drive
    3. Google Drive
  4. Check out these guides for security essentials and information for keeping your PC secure: 
    1. Motherboard's Guide to Not Getting Hacked
    2. Decent Security
    3. EFF Security Series

Additional Guides and Resources: 

Check out some of the really cool and interesting guides for the best extensions, a guide to not getting hacked and some resources for you as a student: 

  1. Lifehacker Pack for Chrome 
  2. Lifehacker Student Pack List
  3. Motherboards Guide to Not Getting Hacked
  4. Lifehacker Pack for Firefox
  5. Amazon AWS Educate
  6. Github Student Package

I'll be updating this guide regularly with new tools and ideas - Check back with this post every so often to see new updates!