Home Cyber Tools
The following are software and/or hardware products/tools that better secure your home cyber environment. This list will be updated as new products and tools become available, which we believe would be beneficial to the home user. We will look to provide as many useful free tools that are available, but obviously tools with more capabilities will usually come at a cost.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. Also, please understand that as your homecybersifu, I have either experienced personally or have researched these software/hardware products and tools thoroughly, and recommend them because I feel that they are helpful and/or useful cybersecurity products. I do not recommend them based on the small commissions that homecybersifu.com brings in should you choose to purchase them through our site. All that stated, I importune you earnestly to not spend your hard-earned money on any product unless it meets two criteria: 1) you feel strongly that it will help you on your mission of securing your home environment and, 2) it is within your price point. Christina and I have hearts and we want you to be safe. I work in the cyber field and have for many years and, while I make a pretty good living, I would still like to pay my blogger/webmaster, Christina in more than just pancakes and syrup for her effort in making this blog real, relevant, interesting, and beneficial to our readers:-)
So here are the tools that I believe good tools for the home users to consider:
FREE TOOLS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE
The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.
The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a free computer security solution that identifies vulnerabilities in non-Microsoft (third-party) programs on your PC. Vulnerable programs can leave your PC open to attacks. Simply put, it scans software on your system and identifies programs in need of security updates to safeguard your PC against cybercriminals. It then supplies your computer with the necessary software security updates to keep it safe. Using a scanner like Secunia PSI is complementary to antivirus software, and as a free computer security program, is essential for every home computer
The Secunia Personal Software Inspector for Android is a free smartphone security solution that identifies vulnerabilities in non-Android (third-party) programs which can leave your phone open to attacks. Simply put, it scans software on your phone and identifies programs in need of security updates to safeguard your device and everything on it from cybercriminals. Secunia PSI for Android scans apps downloaded from Google Play as well as apps from external sources. It alerts the user to apps with known vulnerabilities and whether there are updates which should be implemented for security reasons. The beauty of the Secunia PSI for Android solution is that is serves as a validation mechanism and assurance stamp because it checks that security updates are performed quickly.
SPECIFIC PRODUCTS/TOOLS TO ADDRESS VARIOUS HOME CYBERSECURITY CONCERNS
Spybot provides a free version for home users who want spyware protection for their own or their families Windows based personal computers and do not need additional antivirus protection. Users manually run their own updates as required. If all you require is to be able to scan and remove malware and rootkits from your system, Spybot Free edition does the job. Or if you want to protect your PC by immunizing your browser and hosts file, the ‘Free Edition’ is the choice for you. If you are a more experienced user you can also check various ‘autostart’ locations using the ‘Startup Tools’. Spybot can scan single files or specific folders and unlike other software it doesn’t matter if the file is located on your local drives or on a network share. Spybot comes with its own whitelist which helps to identify if files are legitimate or not. This useful addition helps to speed up the scan. Even though this fully functioning product is free of charge you can still get free support by emailing our support team. Spybot does offer a paid version which includes antivirus software if you current don’t have one for your computer.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware’s industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a scan. It’s that simple. Or if you want even better protection, consider Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium and its instant real-time scanner that automatically prevents malware and websites from infecting your PC. Either way you’re crushing malware and foiling hackers.
File Schredder is a free desktop application for shredding (destroying) unwanted files beyond recovery. With File Schredder you can remove files from your hard drive without fear they could be recovered. There are quite a few software tools today for retrieval of deleted files under Windows OS. Those tools, often referred to as “file recovery” software, are taking advantage of shortcoming of Windows “delete” command that we all use regularly to delete files. Actually, the “delete” operation in Windows only removes bits of information from files so they appear deleted in OS. It is easy to retrieve those files using aforementioned specialized file recovery software. In order to remove, or shred files permanently from your system you have to use a program that is capable of rewriting the files with random series of binary data multiple times. This process is often called shredding. That way, the actual content of the file has been overwritten and the possibilities to recover such a shredded file are mostly theoretical.
VirusTotal is a free service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware. To upload a file to VirusTotal, you can visit the home site and use the main file scan form. You can make this process even easier with the free VirusTotal Uploader utility. After installing it, you can simply right-click any file under 32MB and choose VirusTotal from the Send To Windows menu. The scan results will be displayed in your browser as usual.
AdwCleaner is a free removal tool for Adware (ads softwares), PUP/LPI (Potentially Undesirable Program), Toolbars, and Hijacker (Hijack of the browser’s homepage). It works with a Search and Delete mode. AdwCleaner frees your computer of unwanted programs and malware, including adware, toolbars, and more. Regardless of how these programs ended up on your computer, this app can remove them quickly and smoothly.
Is your computer running slow? As it gets older it collects unused files and settings which take up hard drive space making it slower and slower. CCleaner cleans up these files and makes it faster instantly. Advertisers and websites track your behavior online with cookies that stay on your computer. CCleaner erases your browser search history and cookies so any internet browsing you do stays confidential and your identity remains anonymous. Over time your registry can become cluttered with errors and broken settings which lead to crashes. CCleaner’s patented registry cleaner clears out this clutter to make your PC more stable. Many programs run silently in the background when you start up your computer. CCleaner helps you get to work, or play faster by letting you disable unneeded programs.