How do we ensure that we are secure online, best practices for browsing internet?
Information Technology is all around us in many forms. This everyday connection can make us dependent and expose us to external threats.
We browse the internet at work, home, and connect our phones to our systems and synchronize them, so we are always up-to-date with the latest news.
However, our constant effort to keep up-to-date and stay connected from anywhere also makes us vulnerable.
How can you be sure that you are always best practices for browsing internet?
One way to go about this is to start buying and/or installing:
- Some well-known antivirus programs against online threats
- A good security product suite against spyware
- A reliable pop-up blocker tool
- A specialized security product suite to protect against online criminals
- A strong back-up product for disaster recovery.
- A useful utility program to clean unwanted files (temporary Internet files or Cookies) and the orphan Windows registry files.
But is this enough? Are you protected now? Are there other things you should be aware of?
While getting the right security tools will significantly increase your online security, it doesn’t mean that you as a user don’t need to be careful while browsing the internet.
We all use popular browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome to browse the internet. Online criminals are constantly trying to exploit web browsers and their vulnerabilities.
Securing our browser and educating ourselves about safe online browsing practices is a mandatory step we need to take to ensure our online protection.
Browser Features And The Risks They Pose.
Before we can set up our browser to increase our security online, we need to understand some default browser features since we will encounter them frequently as we try to protect our sensitive data.
Our browsers are used to access different web pages and places. To provide a complete online experience, browsers employ Java, ActiveX, and cookies to generate the content.
These features are often enabled by default in browsers to enhance our online sessions. However, they can pose a significant security risk to our operating systems or databases.
Online criminals often target vulnerabilities in browsers and their default features to access operating systems, retrieve private information, destroy important files, or install data-stealing programs.
However, before you go about disabling all these features, you need to understand that these features are essential for the operation of your browser. We must recognize their importance before we can determine if they should be disabled.
1) ActiveX is an add-on or software component of Windows operating systems. It comes preinstalled on computers that have Internet Explorer. Some websites require ActiveX to view or perform actions. If you visit an online site, you might be asked to install it. Online criminals could use ActiveX to create and add malicious ActiveX software on web pages to cause damage. ActiveX is not necessary for your computer activities. This is especially true if the publisher or website isn’t trusted.
2) Java is a programming language that allows us to create apps on our computers and dynamic content on websites. Java is made up of two components: the Java application, which runs on our computers, and the browser plug-in. We recommend that you disable the browser plug-in unless you are using it.
The Java browser plug-in opens up many security holes that allow hackers to access your personal data, such as your bank account credentials or credit card information.
4) Cookies are files that are saved on your browser. They contain some data about your browsing history. Many websites use them because they are too heavy for the server. Websites can access them to improve their browsing experience, but this behavior can lead to security and privacy concerns.
5) Extensions, also known as add-ons, are software pieces that modify or add to your web browser. Some allow you to block ads and watch online videos. Others integrate with social media sites, improving your online experience. Adobe Flash, for example, is an extension that allows you to play online games or watch movies through your web browser. Extensions can lead to malicious intent by tracking your browsing habits and injecting ads on sites visited.
Tips & Advice For A Secure Browsing Experience.
Always update your browser:
Make sure your browser is up-to-date with the most recent patches. The latest patches must be installed in your browser and any other software installed on your system. This is essential for your online security as they fix product vulnerabilities. This simple step is critical to protect your system security from online criminals.
Use a reputed antivirus program:
As your antivirus defense, use a high-quality antivirus program from a large company. A reliable security program should be installed on your computer. It should also include a real-time scanning engine. A real-time scanner engine allows files downloaded from the internet to be analyzed immediately after they arrive on your computer.
Do not reuse the same passwords:
Use different passwords for your online accounts. You should change your password immediately if you are using the same password for multiple accounts.
Imagine what would happen if hackers gained access to your online accounts. They will be able to access all your other accounts in a matter of minutes. By using a unique password, you can limit the possibility of losing your accounts even if they are hacked. One great suggestion here is to use a password manager.
Ensure the website has a valid SSL certificate:
Secure websites are best for sensitive online transactions. When you conduct financial transactions online, be careful. Ensure your web address begins with “https ://”.” to ensure you are visiting a secure site. It is a sign that you have been connected to a secure website.
Utilize online banking alerts:
Online Banking Alerts allow you to monitor your bank account. Set up alerts to be notified of any changes in your bank account. This includes when money is taken from your account or received. You will typically be notified when your salary has been received, or automatic payment has taken place. It is also helpful in the event that someone attempts to take unauthorized money out of your account.
Avoid using public WiFi:
When connecting to free and public wireless networks, be careful. Online criminals love to use wireless sniffers to gain access to data over unprotected networks. You can increase your security by using “private browsing,” which ensures that your credentials are not stored locally. However, it won’t stop an Internet Service Provider (or anyone else listening) from capturing your private communications.
Clear your web browser cache:
All websites track your browsing data. However, you can limit the impact by regularly clearing your browser cache and deleting any unwanted cookies. This will prevent ads from following your browsing habits and ensure that you are always downloading the most recent website version.
You can do this in all major browsers. However, you can also quickly delete all of your data. There are also software options to automate the process. It may be worthwhile to allowlist sites you frequent log in to save yourself from having to enter login information every time.
Use a VPN:
Virtual proxy networks (or VPNs) help you protect your privacy by encrypting data and requests to the internet. VPN technology works by sending encrypted data to the VPN server, which then decrypts the request before sending it forward to its final online destination. This ensures that advertisers, internet service providers, and sites cannot track your activities.
Pop-ups on your desktop from your operating system may be inevitable, but pop-ups in the web browser can often be turned off. Pop-ups in browsers open new windows that push advertisements. While most of them are annoying, some may contain inappropriate links or malicious links. Many browsers have filters that block pop-ups. Always make sure pop-ups are blocked, except on trusted sites where they may be advantageous.
Our web browser is the primary tool to access the internet, social media accounts, e-mail addresses, and online banking websites.
To ensure safe online browsing, it is crucial to keep your browser protected and secure at all times.
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