Everyone tells you that you need it, but which one?
Classic cybersecurity advice always includes a plea to, “install anti-virus” or “use endpoint protection software”. Journalists, bloggers and even governments hand this information out, as if it helps. Most platforms, including Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS, include anti-virus so the question then becomes, “which anti-virus?”
Security planning can make your life easier to manage. It’s easy to become paralysed when you consider all of the threats that exist and all of the possible solutions. You can’t buy every security product available and you certainly shouldn’t even try.
There are risks that we all face (let’s call those ‘general risks’) and risks that are quite specific to you (‘individual risks’).
Security planning for anyone, whether you are the CEO of a large enterprise or a retired amateur gardener, should take into account what risks you (specifically) face and the consequences of something bad actually happening.
In this article we’re going to focus on cybersecurity, but the principles apply to any area of your life. In the computing world there are three major threats that we all face:
The reports below contain security testing results. You can compare the performance of a variety of products that claim to protect you against online threats. This, in theory, will help individuals and businesses choose the best security product.
AMTSO-Compliant Test ✔
Rules of engagement
But these are free reports. How can you trust that the high-scoring vendors didn’t just pay for their ranking? Do you suspect that some low-scoring vendors dropped out of the report? Or asked to be retested until they scored better?
What are the rules behind the scenes in security testing?
Transcriptions of the DE:CODED podcast are now available.
Sometimes you just want to scan a wall of text to find the details you need. That’s impossible with a podcast. You often find yourself listening to different episodes, trying to find the nugget of information you half-remember hearing.
Read our podcast
To help make our podcasts more accessible we have published full transcripts of each episode. Series One is complete and we’ll continue to transcribe Series Two when we start publishing its episodes.
Everyone needs to protect themselves online. There is a lot of advice out there but much of it is confusing and contradictory. We’ll show you simple but effective steps you can take to put yourself in the top ranks. And you can help your friends and loved ones stay safe too.
Welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Home Cyber Security!
This article is going to tell you everything you need to know to stay safe online. It won’t baffle you with too much detail. But rest assured, although the steps are simple they are backed up by our thorough and unbiased understanding of how computer security works. We don’t have anything to sell you. This is all good, free advice.
False positives are not all equal. Or always real false positives!
Security tests ought to test for ‘false positives’. It’s important to see if a security product stops something good on a customer’s system, as well as the bad stuff.
Measuring the balance in security
Almost nothing in this world can be reduced to ‘good’ or ‘bad’ accurately. There is too much subtlety: what’s good for one person is bad for another. Someone else might feel neutral about it, or slightly positive or negative. The same applies when testing security products. It’s rare to get a straightforward good/ bad result.
An anti-malware product might block all threats but also all useful programs. It might ask the user frequent and unhelpful questions like, “Do you want to run this ‘unknown’ file?” Alternatively, it might let everything run quietly. Or prevent some things from running without warning or explanation. Maybe you want to see alerts, but maybe you don’t.
We look at how to put the nuance back into security testing.
Archive of security product and service test results
SE Labs Ltd is a private, independently-owned and run testing company that assesses security products and services. The main laboratory is located in Wimbledon, South London. It has excellent local and international travel connections. The lab is open for prearranged client visits.