Security is one of the biggest concerns of Internet users, and there seems to be no bulletproof way to protect yourself in this online world. However, you can still take some security measures to tighten up online security. As the browser is the gateway to the Internet, it is best to ensure your browser is secure and the least vulnerable to attacks.
Below we have listed five browser security tips that should work on all types of browsers and keep you secure while browsing the web.
1. Check the Browser’s Privacy and Security Settings
There are some common Privacy and Security settings in all browsers that you should check out and configure according to your needs. These options are mostly located inside the main settings of the browser, but you will have to explore a bit as each browser has a different user interface. The following are some of the most common privacy and security options for browsers.
Click to play Plug-ins: You should set plug-in content to “Click to play.” This will not play any plug-in content (like audio and video) automatically until you allow it to play, thus protecting you from malicious plug-in content.
Disable Autofill: The autofill feature of your browser is great and lets you automatically fill forms, but this also means anyone can access your personal data if they get access to your PC. You should disable autofill if you think anyone else might access your PC (this includes remote access as well).
Disable Third-party Cookies: If you are concerned about your privacy, then you should disable third-party cookies. Disabling all types of cookies isn’t recommended as they are required for logins, etc., but you can disable third-party cookies to avoid usage tracking.
2. Keep Your Browser Updated
It is extremely important to use the latest version of your browser all the time. Browsers are frequently updated with security measures against the latest threats, and using an updated browser is the only way to ensure you benefit from the protection. Most popular browsers update themselves automatically, but make sure you keep the updater running all the time even if it uses some of your PC’s resources.
3. Keep a Tab on Extensions and Plugins
Sometimes malicious extensions sneak in while installing programs and harm your browsing experience and may even steal information. Check all the extensions/plugins installed in your browser, and delete the ones you don’t use or the ones you don’t remember installing. Repeat this process often, especially when your browser is acting up. If you are skeptical about any extension, just do a search on Google to check its reputation and see what it does.
4. Use a Good Anti-Virus Program
Having a good anti-virus is extremely important for a PC’s security as well as a browser’s security. Adware and PUP (potentially unwanted programs) can damage your browsing experience including tracking web sessions, show ads or clutter your browser. A good anti-virus program will keep most of these programs at bay – even the free anti-virus programs can do that. You can use Avast, Bitdefender or the new SecureAPlus anti-virus program.
5. Use Third-Party Security Extensions
There are many third-party extensions that will secure your browsing experience one way or another. Below are two popular ones.
Web of Trust: This is a community-based extension that rates websites to easily check their reputation. It marks trusted websites as “Green,” malicious websites as “Red,” and doubtful ones as “Yellow.” These ratings are based on millions of users of Web of trust who rate and comment. It also supports all the popular browsers.
HTTPS Everywhere: It replaces “http” access of the sites with “https.” HTTPS is an encrypted access to protect against hijacking and surveillance, and this extension will help encrypt the connection with unsupported websites. It doesn’t make all the websites “https” but still covers most of them. It supports Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
To surf the Internet securely, you need to make sure your browser is configured to offer optimum protection. The above-mentioned tips should tighten up your browser security and help you securely browse the Web. Apart from these tips, there are also many other ways to secure your browser. Do a little search and you may find the right solution for your needs. Maybe a good VPN service will give you all the protection you need – the options are there; you just need to explore.