Going online exposes your privacy and security through a variety of ways which you may not have considered as potentially risky. However, if you’re a regular internet user, you should know better. You need to understand what activities could put you at risk whenever you go online or surf the internet. In this post we share some of the basic things that you cannot miss if you are hoping to ensure a secure browsing experience. Here is a shortlist of the tips which we are going to explain in the article.
- Install ad blockers to screen out ads and other ad-related
- Use HTTPS to encrypt your data and to boost your browsing security.
- Employ a VPN service.
Simple Ways on How to Secure your Browsing Activities
Among the many ways information and data breach can be executed, browser security often ends up last in the list of user priorities. This is quite problematic as browsers are often the first to be targeted by hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats online. This makes complete sense, since browsers are your first point of contact when transmitting data online, whether it be through Googling information, visiting blog sites, shopping online, paying your bills, or interacting through your social media channels. If a hacker breaks into your web browser, all your details can be easily accessed for whatever purpose they may have of them.
Why look into your Browser Security
Browser security is an important aspect in maintaining data security and information privacy. The browser, in essence, is your doorway/entry point to the internet and to everything that has access to it, including hackers, viruses, and other malicious entities. If you believe in the idea of keeping your properties safe and secure from thieves, then the same should be thought of for your devices, private information and online privacy. Browsers require a variety of tools for different tasks. These tools include software such as Java, ActiveX, Flash, and many more. However, these software features pose issues to your browsing security. Hackers and cyber criminals can take advantage of all the security flaws that come with your browser software to access your desktop and all your private data in it. A basic understanding of these tools is necessary in order for you to weigh value of their needs to your browser and activities.
ActiveX is a built-in add-on for Internet Explorer (IE)/ Microsoft Edge. It enables your PC for Java-based commands on some websites. This also allows harmful websites to have access to your computer. Fortunately, many websites no longer use ActiveX these days, so if a website prompts or requires you to download it, be extra careful (and suspicious about it).
Clear out the Cookies
Cookies are small data files stored on your device. These are stored and utilized by many websites for a variety of reasons ranging from remembering your account details to tracking your activities on their website, and such. Cookies are basically deposited on your system to profile your user activities. As such, cookies are basic targets for hackers and cyber thieves. By clearing out and disabling your browser’s cookies, you can remove personal data on your device that can be targeted by hackers and cyber criminals. Take note: only first-party cookies are stored by the site/s you visit. Third-party cookies are those dropped by advertisers, marketers and other third-party websites that monitor your online activities.
When Using Browser Extensions
You may have seen extensions promoted or marketed by certain browsers. These tools offer additional functionality such as blocking ads or using search bars. Moreover, some extensions can offer additional support to secure your browser. However, these could also pose a major problem as they pull up windows that can be infused with malware. Therefore, you need to be very careful when you download extensions for your browser.
Use HTTPS for Secure Browsing
HTTPS is a more secure version of the HTTP site. You can easily remember this by associating the ‘S’ with the word secure, which is what it really stands for. An HTTPS website encrypts the data that you transmit from your device to the website you are using. You will know this when you see a small lock icon on the address bar next to the word ‘secure’, and then followed by the website address you are visiting.
Additional Security Tips
- Always update your Browser
As browser flaws and vulnerabilities are continuously being discovered on a regular basis, it’s important that you keep a watchful eye on browser updates which may have the solution to common issues being experienced by users when they go online.
- Use a reliable Antivirus
There are a wide variety of antivirus software tools currently available on the market, but it’s important that you get a tool that you fully trust and understand. Some popular names that can assist you in picking out the best antivirus tools in the security industry include AV Comparatives, AV-Test, PC Magazine, and Virus Bulletin.
- Use Secure Passwords
One user vulnerability that you can easily fix is the use and choice of how you pick a password for your online accounts. Remember, if you pick a weak password and use it for several accounts, if one is compromised then there’s a very high chance that the others would easily be compromised as well. To prevent this, be sure to create a password that is long and unique enough that it could not be easily guessed by other users or even family members, and be sure to use different passwords for each of your individual accounts.
- Keep Work E-mails Private
Remember to keep your personal e-mails segregated from your work e-mail. Do not simply sign up for a new account using your work e-mail. When your account information e-mail is distinguished from your work e-mail, cyber-criminals cannot lock you out of a project even if they are able to get hold of your e-mail account information.
- Use Private Browsing
When you’re accessing the internet from a public Wi-Fi hotspot, be sure to go on private browsing mode. That way, your device won’t store your credentials locally, which might be accessed by hackers lurking within unprotected networks.
- Monitor Your Bank Activities
Ensure that your bank account has been set up properly to notify you of every transaction that takes place within or beyond your knowledge. That way, it would be easy for you to track illegal and unauthorized activities happening on your account/s.
- Use a VPN
Connecting to a reliable VPN which is very important in todays world. Doing so gives you an added layer of security and protection against hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats that are lurking when you go online. A VPN encrypts all data transmitted from your device to any website you interact. As your original IP becomes masked when you go online, this makes all your activities and transactions secure and private to the very core. A word of caution though: do not use free VPNs for your online security, as nothing reliable comes for free anymore, at least in terms of data security and information privacy.
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.