Online Safety & Productivity Tools

I’m no security expert – in fact probably the opposite – but there’s a few different tools I use to keep my systems safe and my accounts secure online. I’ll keep this updated with new tools as I discover and use them.

VirusTotal is a company ran by Google (Alphabet) that allows one to upload a document or submit an URL (link) to check a document or website for malware/viruses. I love to use VT if I receive an email that I’m not too sure about, or a document that came from someone I’m not familiar with but want to open. While the VT website relies on past known and submitted malware, it is a good site that I use rather often to confirm links are relatively safe before visiting.

Ever get a link or something similar and wonder if it’s going to go where you expect it to go? Yeah, I do. Also, just please stop using shortened links (unless specific to your company). This URL Redirect Checker runs shortened (and regular links) to see where they end up at the end – I use it for every shortened link I get. There are other options/websites for this, but this is the one I have saved.

I love to use a random, complicated password on every site to ensure that if one account is compromised, the rest of my accounts are safe. Because of this, I have to use a password manager to keep track of all the options. Just one master password (and levels of multi-factor authentication) away to access my passwords! I use LastPass, but other options include NordPass, OnePassword, and other open source, cheaper options. Depends on what you want, and how technical you are.

Pocket is essentially a cross-platform bookmarking site, and it’s fantastic. Operated (and owned) by Mozilla – the creators behind the Firefox browser and other tools – Pocket allows me to save links on my phone to read and access on my tablet or laptop later for better reading.