55 Ways to Save Money on Internet Safety: The DEFINITIVE Guide
Have you ever said to yourself: “Man, I wish I could afford all those pricey tools for Internet safety”?
I know I have.
Some may say that Web security is not something to save money on. I say, it absolutely is.
Do you want to know why? Then jump straight into my newest guide on how to save money on Internet safety!
But that’s not all! In the end, you’ll find a bonus chapter on how to save even more money by using your Net security tools!
Use the table of contents below for your convenience:
1. Use a free secure email address
You got to start with your privacy somewhere, so why not with your email security? Gmail is far from safe, so we’d better find another provider.
Luckily, there are alternatives that are secure and free, sometimes even at the same time. For example, ProtonMail offers reliable encryption and a free version (although with somewhat limited storage space).
2. Use an antivirus free version
Paying for antivirus soft can be a pain in the butt. But again, there are free versions out there. A free version usually misses some features the full one has, so you might want to check if it’s got everything you need in advance.
Popular antiviruses with a free version include Kaspersky, Avast, 360 Total Security, and Avira.
3. Windows Defender has a good word-of-the-mouth and is built-in
According to Redditors, Windows Defender is one of the best free antiviruses, up to the point where it can compete with paid ones. Best thing about it? You don’t have to download anything, it comes pre-installed with Windows 7, 8 and 10.
4. Bitdefender has a free Mac version
In case you are not on Windows, Bitdefender is a good alternative. There are Android and Mac free versions, as well as one for Windows if you don’t like Windows Defender.
Keep in mind that it’s a bit taxing on your CPU.
5. Get an antivirus free trial
Some antiviruses provide a free trial. It is similar to a free version, but better: you can check out the full version, only for free. So you get to see all the functions it has! But, obviously, only for a limited time.
6. Use a VPN free version
A VPN is an essential privacy tool for browsing the Net, and there’re some that offer a free version! Just like with antiviruses, though, these are not quite as good as full ones, and not every provider has one. But hey—it’s free and it’s definitely better than nothing!
7. Use a free trial of a VPN if available
Not to sound like a broken record, but a free trial VPN (of the full version) is better than a free version. Some VPN services like VyprVPN, ProtonVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and others provide those, some don’t.
8. Use a VPN to prolong your antivirus’ free trial
And now for something different! You can use your VPN to “pretend you’re another person” and get another free trial period for your antivirus. Two drawbacks, though: it is kind of scummy. And it doesn’t work the other way around.
9. Get a refund for your VPN
Some VPNs offer a guaranteed refund for a period of time (30 days, most often). It means you have to pay to use them, but then you can get your money back as if it never happened. But what did happen was you spent a month using a VPN. For free. Cool!
10. Rinse and repeat
Be it a different account or a different VPN, you can repeat the process above several times. Again, though, it does feel scummy and you’ll run out of VPNs once, so consider it no more than a temporary solution.
11. Use Tor for free
Alternatively, you may forego using a VPN at all. Use Tor instead—it’s free and very safe. However, it is slow as heck, so you’re more likely to use it to protect your communication than to stream videos in FullHD.
And I mean written communication, mostly.
12. Get the Tor browser for your Android
Recently, Tor released a stable version of its browser for Android. Just like the PC one, it’s completely free. So why not make your mobile Internet presence anonymous?
13. Proxies don’t cost anything
While not as good as a VPN, proxy addresses still provide some security and anonymity. If it is mostly speed that you’re after and not encryption, you can get a free proxy address with ease.
14. Use Opera with its built-in proxy
You can save a lot of time and money by simply using Opera. It’s 100% free and comes with a built-in proxy that can be set up in about three clicks. Opera itself insists that it is a VPN, but it’s better to remain skeptical about this and assume that there is no encryption.
Opera VPN is also available for Android.
15. Use Firefox known for its transparency
Mozilla Firefox has a great advantage compared to other browsers: it’s open-source. What it means is you can see its code for yourself. Even if you aren’t a programmer, it is still useful to you: since it’s open-source, other people who are independent programmers can inform the rest about any vulnerabilities.
16. Don’t trust Google
This should go without saying, but it’s so important I’ll say it again:
It collects too much info on you to know what to show you, ads included. It is sorta useful, but terrifying on the other hand: who wants a corporation to know so much about them? So don’t use Google.
17. Use DuckDuckGo instead
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that claims to respect your Internet privacy. It doesn’t track you, it doesn’t profile you. It substantially increases your security online, and—you guessed it—it’s completely free. It is available as a search engine and a browser.
18. Clear cookies automatically after each session
You can cut down the amount of annoying targeted ads you’re shown if you set up your browser to clear cookies after you finish browsing. It is a must to protect your privacy and is helpful to do one money-saving trick I’ll show you in the upcoming bonus section.
19. Check how many connections a VPN allows
Most people browse the Web on more than one device these days. Thus, if you get a VPN, you should pay attention to how many devices you can use per single subscription simultaneously. Guru hint incoming: the more, the better!
20. Look at Surfshark for unlimited connections
Surfshark VPN allows for an unlimited number of device connections, which is really useful if you use A LOT of devices. However, Surfshark is not without some problems, so as always, I encourage you to do your own research to decide what is the best fit for you.
21. Find a VPN that works on a router to protect your Wi-Fi traffic
If you mainly surf from the safety of your own home, you may want to get a VPN that works on your router and thus protects all of your Wi-Fi traffic. Among other VPNs that have this feature, NordVPN comes to mind.
22. Share your expenses with your roommates
If you live in a dorm or rent a flat with your pals, you can use the above tip and further save money on your VPN by sharing the price of it! After all, everybody needs Internet safety. And a bit of a discount.
23. Turn off your antivirus’ autorenewal and look for a discount instead
If you have bought your antivirus, chances are, it is set up to automatically renew the subscription. And if it is, you may find yourself wondering one day where your money went.
To avoid this, turn auto-renewal off. Not only will it not (unpleasantly) surprise you by pulling money off your account, but also you’ll be open to getting a better offer, which there almost certainly will be.
24. Ditto with your VPN
The same goes for your VPN if you have a paid version: turn autorenewal off and search for a more beneficial offer.
25. Look out for coupons
Related to the previous two tips, you should always be on the lookout for coupons when the term of your subscription is nearly over. Sometimes, it can save you 50% and more of the initial price.
26. Always compare prices and functions before buying
It may be tempting to grab the cheapest antivirus you see, but it doesn’t do to rush. It may be cheap, but it also might be crap. You will save more money by making sure the soft you’re getting suits all your needs than by falling for a super-low price tag.
27. Always do some research about recent happenings in cybersecurity
Today a certain antivirus is great, but tomorrow it is outsmarted by new malware. Today a certain VPN allows you to watch Netflix, but tomorrow it’s patched out. Keep your eyes open for such news, and you’ll never fall to malicious software.
28. Cap your mobile traffic
You can save a lot by simply capping your mobile Internet traffic. It’s exactly what it says on the box: it won’t allow you to go overboard with mobile traffic and, therefore, waste more money on it.
You can do it in your device’s security settings.
29. Get a VPN on your portable devices to negate the risk of public hotspots
Alternatively, don’t use mobile traffic at all! Today, there’re plenty of free public Wi-Fi hotspots. However, it comes with a risk, as they are not very secure.
Luckily, if you bought a VPN that allows several simultaneous connections as we recommended in the previous section, you can negate that risk (somewhat) by using the VPN on your portable devices. See, it all just adds up!
30. Disable syncing to keep your data private
Syncing can be dangerous, especially if you log into your account on a public computer. Disabling it isn’t going to end all your privacy concerns, but it surely helps.
31. If you still use syncing, encrypt the passwords
If you really have to sync across your devices, at least encrypt the passwords. Setting up a passphrase to do it is very simple and can be done in your browser settings.
32. Use a free password manager
Do you groan and curse every time you need to make up or remember a password for one of your accounts? If you do, use a password manager! It will do all the work for you, and you’ll only need one master password to access the manager.
And what’s even better, there’re free ones like LastPass out there!
33. Be your own password manager
Using LastPass can be not very secure, though. Moreover, if your master password gets stolen, the perpetrator will have access to all your accounts.
There’s a better (and healthier) alternative: make up great passwords and memorize them with this simple trick!
- Generate 4 random words;
- Choose 1 single-digit number;
- Make up a short story with them!
Four words and a digit, all separated by spaces, make for a very strong password. Besides, you’ll be training your memory with this technique!
34. Use two-step authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires you not only to enter your password to log in but also to prove that you’re legit some other way (like sending a code for you to enter). You should use it whenever possible to protect your data.
35. Keep your software updated
Yes, I know, updating your soft is annoying. But without updates, it’s vulnerable to malware, and getting some malware can cost you a lot of your hard-earned dollars.
36. Convince your friends to get a secure email
Free secure email services like ProtonMail allow you to encrypt your messages to non-users, but you need to give them a password to decipher your messages. Not very convenient. But if your friends also use the same email provider, there’s no need for such spy games (and no potential dangers thereof).
37. Look out for free cybersecurity Internet courses
Maybe you won’t become an instant expert, but you’re sure to pick up a few useful hints in addition to these!
38. And the MAIN tip: you save time and money by investing in your Internet safety
You may be a little short on cash, but online security is where you definitely want to invest. Because if you don’t, you put so much more money at risk that it’s simply not worth it.
And now for the bonus level!
There are tips that help you save on Internet safety... and then there are tips that help you save with it.
Now, you will learn how to do just that.
Let’s get started!
1. Watching Netflix “from another country” has its benefits
Paid for Netflix but don’t live in the US? Too bad, you aren’t getting many shows and flicks.
But if you use a VPN, things change. Now your subscription is actually worth its price, and you don’t have to buy those movies elsewhere.
Please note that while some VPNs work with Netflix, some do not.
2. From Russia with love: use a VPN with Steam
You know how Russians pay less for games on Steam? Well, a VPN lets you try an ushanka on! Simply change your location to Russia before creating an account, and you’re good to go.
3. Being a pirate is alright to be, or unblock torrents with a VPN
Whether it’s ethical to use torrents or not, sometimes you have to, as there’s a lot of non-copyrighted materials there too. Some countries block access to more popular torrenting websites, but some VPNs allow you to bypass it as well.
4. Save on news websites subscriptions by using a VPN
Certain news websites only allow you to read several articles per day (or even month) for free. By using a VPN (a proxy is fine too in this case), you can change your IP and get another portion of articles!
5. Use a VPN to get Microsoft Office cheaper
Prices for Microsoft products vary from state to state. It’s based on local median income, and if it’s lower, the software costs less. Just connect to an Indian server to save money on it!
6. Get Apple Music cheaper by pretending you’re from another state
Similar to Microsoft, Apple charges more if you live in certain countries. Really unfair, if you ask me! So use a VPN to change your location and see how much it costs in various states.
7. Stop retailers from charging you extra by using a VPN
Online retailers use this practice when they up the cost of an item somewhat if you’ve looked at it before and return to it again. Using a VPN makes sure they don’t.
8. Clear your cache to drop the price
Sometimes, you can simply clear your cache to make it seem you haven’t been to the web store before.
9. Clearing cookies may help
Similarly to the last one, clearing cookies in your browser may throw the dishonest retailers off your trail.
10. Some websites won’t track you if you ask them
Almost all browsers, including Chrome and Firefox, can send a “do not track” message to websites you visit. If those comply, you won’t see prices go up because you return to a store. If not…
11. The incognito mode saves money
...then try the incognito mode! It’s nowhere near as private as a VPN or even a proxy, but it may be enough to fool a website that’s trying to fool you.
12. Use a different device to cut down the price
You also can access a web store with another device for it to assume you’re a different person. (Think of it as of wearing a fake mustache). However, if your IP is the same, it may not work. A VPN is the most reliable variant here as it hides your real IP.
13. VPNs help you fly cheaper
The same flight tickets cost differently depending on the location you’re in when you buy them. So, when filing your flight plan, use a VPN to change your location to a “cheaper” one and buy those tickets with no surcharges!
14. Rent cars cheaper with a VPN
The same goes for car rental. The very same service can offer vastly different prices for the same cars depending on the place you’re accessing them from. You can save a lot by comparing prices while connected to VPN servers in different countries and choosing the best.
15. Book a room for less money by using a VPN
This price conspiracy is everywhere, it seems! Hotels all over the world also make use of it. Luckily, a VPN of your choosing is always there to help you battle it! Play with locations to see which ones get you the best booking prices.
16. Use a VPN to get another go in limited tries services
You know those annoying pseudo-free online services that only let you use them like three times, and then you have to pay to use them again? Well, forget about those with a VPN! With the ability to change your IP, you’ll never run out of tries!
17. Use a VPN to get a regional discount
Online stores often make discounts for only a specific country or region. Not very fair of them—you didn’t choose where to be born, did you? Use a VPN to restore justice and make your first step to become a world citizen by reclaiming that pesky discount!
In conclusion, I have to say that a VPN is not only a great privacy tool but also a great way to save money online! I was amazed at how wildly certain prices differed depending on my location.
Besides, as I mentioned, this way you’re using your VPN to avoid being charged extra for no reason. I really like that VPNs also allow you to be treated a little more fair by the not-so-honest services.
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