Most people couldn’t comprehend life without the internet, but how many of us really know just how dangerous surfing the web can be and the best ways we can improve our online security?
With every click you make when surfing the web, your online security is potentially at risk from fraudulent sites, dangerous downloads, and sinister spyware — all of which will compromise your internet security in the blink of an eye. Luckily for you,we’ve compiled a handy and easy-to-use guide on how to stay safe and secure while surfing the worldwide web.
Know Your Browser
No matter if you use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, your browser should incorporate security features tailored to safeguard you against malware and phishing scams. All good browsers will flash up warnings of some kind if your internet security is in danger of being breached.
For online banking security purposes, browsers are also able to verify secure sites to check they are safe for financial transactions. Although you may find constantly updating your browser a nuisance, you need to do it so your computer can keep up with the ever-evolving new malware and phishing threats which are introduced daily by the growing army of scammers hiding in the cyber bushes.
Dealing With Downloads
What do Malware, Spyware, and Adware all have in common? They all love downloads, because they are the most accessible way of infiltrating our online security. From cool songs to groovy games, treat every single download with precaution by keeping the firewall switched on, ensuring your security programs are up-to-date, and using your common sense. Illegal downloads are dangerous, and even more so when not from trusted sites. Be on guard against freeware, remain cautious of P2P file sharing, and always check the license agreements and privacy statements.
Remember You Are Being Tracked
Whenever you go online your actions are being monitored in some shape or form, so stay aware. Most of the time your internet movements are only monitored for innocent purposes, such as websites that place cookies on your computer, which will enable their site to remember you and run more smoothly upon your return. However, cookies can also be used to track and obtain sensitive information like credit card numbers and online banking passwords, which in turn can lead to crimes of identity theft.
You can control, block, and delete cookies from your computer by using the tools which are already in your browser. So it’s a good idea, if you haven’t done so already, to familiarize yourself with these tools. You can also opt to use the private browsing option. This function does not record the pages you visit in your history or address bar and automatically deletes cookies and clears the cache after each session. If you share your computer and desire to keep your browsing habits private, always remember to either use private browsing or clear your history whenever you leave the computer.
Who doesn’t loathe those small boxes which pop-up automatically when you visit certain sites. However, pop-ups are not just an objectionable nuisance, they’re a very real threat which can contain malware. To save yourself unnecessary trouble, always turn your pop-up blocker on in your browser’s toolbar and if you do encounter a pop-up, never click on “OK,” “Cancel,” or “Agree,” just close the window by clicking on the X.
Keep The Viruses At Bay
To keep yourself extra safe while online, it is always wise to invest in some online security software. A comprehensive package should consist of Antivirus, Anti-spyware, and Firewall. These three cyber musketeers are the best defense you and your computer can have, and should safely guard you while you cruise your merry way through cyberspace.
[Featured Image by Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers]