Do you ever wonder about the security of your web browsing? In 2017, ransomware attacks increased significantly. You need access to the Internet, but how can you do it more securely?
Stop using Internet Explorer
Still using Internet Explorer? Microsoft has stopped supporting older versions of Internet Explorer as of January 12th, 2016. While version 11 remains supported on Windows 7, 8, and 10, I recommend using a more secure browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Why are they better? These browsers update automatically, and include advanced security features and pop-up blockers that are enabled by default.
Clear Cache Routinely
You should clear your cache, cookies, browser history weekly or monthly, depending on your browsing habits. Cookies and cached sites are designed to speed up browsing by caching your previously visited websites for faster loading. But having a long history of cookies, cache, and history can eventually slow your browser. If websites are having trouble loading, it’s good to clear these out. If you are using a public computer, like at the library, never have the browser save your credentials.
You should also use a good anti-virus program, such as (ESET, Norton, Sophos). Windows 7, 8, 10 come with Windows Defender, but that is often not sufficient protection, as it is scores average at best as an anti-virus product.
A new install of Windows will often include a trial version of an anti-virus product, but after it expires, many people go without anti-virus as they don’t actually purchase it, and then it sits there out of date. Going without quality, up to date anti-virus, and accessing the Internet is like driving your car with no seatbelt. Anti-virus software can protect your computer from downloading malware and accessing harmful sites.
Do not Store Passwords in your Browser
Do you store passwords in your browser? How does this work and how safe is it? Google Chrome and other browsers will prompt you to store your password to a site you’ve logged in to. Do you use the same passwords for multiple accounts? If your password gets compromised on one site, it is likely compromised for other sites, including your banking sites. It is a good idea to use different passwords for different accounts, but with all the accounts we have, this can be difficult. Also, browsers store passwords in their settings. Try this: Open Google Chrome, in the address bar, enter this: chrome://settings/passwords. Voila, here are your passwords listed for any site you’ve had Chrome conveniently save them for you. If you click the eyeball to display the password, Windows 10 will prompt for your Windows 10 password, but if you didn’t set that up or have shared it with someone, your Internet browser stored passwords are visible. A password management tool, such as Keypass or Lastpass, is a good alternative to storing passwords in your browser. These sites have a master password and let you store passwords to your myriad of accounts in them.
These 4 things are some basic tips to help you more securely browse the Internet.