3 Apps Every Internet User Must Have in 2020
This is to keep you safe on the Internet *shoosh*
Everybody is using the Internet. Everybody is nagging you about how dangerous the Internet is and how privacy is no longer a thing. Everybody is nagging you about how having the same password on every one of your social media accounts is not a wise choice. But most people either don’t do anything about it or have no idea what to do about it.
So here I am to help you keep yourself safe on the Internet. Here are the three apps you need. A password manager, a 2FA (two-factor authentication) app, and a VPN.
The following suggestions are all able to sync across iOS devices and macOS devices. I am the owner of a Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad, so this cross-device support is essential to me.
Password Manager — LastPass
Price: Free (with a subscription option, although the free one is enough for me)
A password manager is an app that could save your passwords. A good password manager would be able to help you autofill your account credentials at login pages and also generate strong, secure passwords for you every time you are about to create a new account or change an existing password on one of your accounts.
My choice is LastPass. LastPass is free for the first 150 entries. I have been using it for a year, and I still have yet to pass the 150 mark, so I am still currently on the free version. You can install the LastPass app on all your devices (iOS and Mac) to access your library of passwords. You can install a LastPass plugin if you are using a browser on your Mac. The plugin autofill passwords for you when you are browsing.
Alternatives: 1Password, Remembear
2-Factor Authentication — Step Two
Price: Free (with cheap one-time payment option. I am still using the free version)
2-factor authentication is the new (although it really has been here for a while now, just not widely adapted) golden standard of secure login method. You can enable 2-factor authentication in the security settings of your Internet account if the service supports it. All major social media giants including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Discord support 2-factor authentication. If this function is enabled, you will be required to enter a 6 digit code generated by the authentication app after you attempt to login (unless you choose to keep your account always logged in). The 6 digit code refreshes after fixed intervals. Only you, who has the authentication app in your hands, can be able to access those digits in order to log in.
My choice for a 2FA app is Step Two. Step Two can be synced across all your Apple devices and is free for the first 10 Internet accounts. Currently, I am still using the free version, but it is only $5 to upgrade to the full version with unlimited accounts enabled, so I don’t see a huge reason to reject this app. I mainly chose Step Two because it looks way better than the other authentication apps out there.
Alternatives: Twilio Authy, Google Authenticator
Trust-worthy VPN — NordVPN
If you really want to be anonymous on the Internet and be 100% sure that nobody could track your Internet whereabouts, incognito or private browsing is not enough. Your Internet service provider could still see what you are doing. The way to go about it is to get a VPN. I am not going to dive too deep into how a VPN works. In short, a VPN makes it seem like you are browsing from a different location. You can choose to look like you are browsing from other countries as well to browse blocked content. A very common use case is to access other countries’ Netflix because they might have content you that don’t have access to in your country. However, that’s not the ‘’safety’ point I’m trying to make here. Having a VPN can prevent people from spying on your Internet activity. When you are accessing the web from a public WiFi and just happened to be making an online purchase with your credit card, your VPN would save your information from being stolen.
The two best VPNs are NordVPN and ExpressVPN. I use NordVPN because it is cheaper. Both of these choices are great, and there really isn’t a clear ‘one is better than the other’. Both of these VPNs are subscription-based. You might be thinking, “Aren’t there free VPNs?” Yes, there are, but there is no guarantee that they do their job to keep you safe.
If the product is free, you are the product.
Most, if not all, free VPNs track your internet data and sell it to make money. That pretty much defeats the purpose of getting a VPN in the first place if you are concerned about security. Having a trustworthy VPN is important. NordVPN and ExpressVPN definitely check that box.
It’s 2020. Everybody uses the Internet. Probably a huge chunk of your life is on it. Please keep yourself safe. Get a password manager, an authenticator, and a VPN — make sure it’s a good one.