There is no denying that the internet has changed our lives for the better. Almost everything is at our fingertips thanks to the internet and we are really thankful. However, it is also a fact that it has opened us up to a whole world of new threats and we need to be proactive in ensuring we don’t become victims. Do you want your financial information to fall into the wrong hands or your personal information be shared with hackers? Of course not and the only way for you to ensure it doesn’t happen is to learn the art of secure browsing. You have to learn how to protect yourself when you are browsing the web.
There are a number of habits that you can develop for improving the security of your online activities. Some of the top tips for practicing secure browsing are outlined below:
1. Keep all software updated
First and foremost, you need to keep your browser software up-to-date as the latest patches are usually rolled out for fixing any existing vulnerabilities in your software. Apart from your browser software, you also need to ensure that your operating system as well as other anti-virus software or any other that you use stay updated at all times so there are no loopholes that can be exploited by cyber-criminals.
2. Scan before downloading
It is recommended by experts that you don’t download any file from the web unless you are sure it is secure. If you have even a sliver of a doubt or suspicion that the file is not legitimate or may be infected in some way, you should scan it with your anti-virus software before downloading it on your PC or device to avoid installation of any malware.
3. Be on the lookout for phishing
Online communications, primarily email, are used by phishing attacks for tricking users into giving out their sensitive and private information. Often times, these emails appear from seemingly legitimate and reliable sources such as social media sites, banks, payment processors or shopping sites. These phishing messages often contain links that lead you to fake versions of popular websites where you are required to enter your information from where it is eventually compromised. Therefore, you should not click on hyperlinks or attachments in emails from unknown senders and even known ones before scanning.
4. Avoid re-using passwords
When you use the same password for different sites, it becomes even easier for attackers to gain access to sensitive information. Instead, you should use different passwords for multiple websites and maintain a handwritten list in a safe place or come up with your own technique for creating unique websites that only you would be aware of. Moreover, it is also recommended that you change your passwords after every 90 days.
5. Disable stored passwords
Almost all browsers and a variety of websites offer you the option of letting them remember your passwords for future use. When you enable this feature, all your passwords are stored in one location on your computer and this makes it easy for any hacker to uncover them if the system is compromised in any way. If this feature is enabled, you need to disable it immediately and clear all the stored passwords.
6. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks
Wireless sniffers are often used by hackers for stealing user information when it is sent over unprotected and public networks. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks and keep yourself safe from this problem completely. You can use services, such as Whats My IP to know if you are using a secure internet connection.
You can follow these steps and tips for secure browsing so you don’t have to worry unnecessarily about being victimized when you are reaping the benefits of the internet.