Secure Browsing Guidelines
Web browsers are platforms on which you can access the internet. For example, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are just a few of the most common web browsers. With web browsers essentially being the windows to the internet, it is essential to maintain secure practices when engaging with them.
· There are many measures you can take to keep yourself and your information safe when online. It is essential to consider all of the suggestions below. Although it may seem tedious, following these guidelines is relatively simple and can significantly strengthen your browsing security.
· Keep your browser software up-to-date: This is extremely important and should not be overlooked, as new fixes are often released to fix existing vulnerabilities in the software.
· Run Antivirus software: by installing Antivirus software, you are ensuring that your computer is more protected against viruses. The Antivirus protects by scanning for and removing malicious files on your computer. There are several excellent virus protection software programs available that have are suited for different needs, so do a little research and select a program that best fits your needs.
· Scan files before downloading: Do not download anything until you’re confident that it is legitimate and secure. If you have any doubts regarding the security of a file, scan it with Antivirus software before downloading.
· Beware of phishing: Phishing attacks use online communications (usually email) to trick users into giving out their sensitive information. Often these messages appear to be from banks, social media sites, shopping sites. Phishing messages often contain links that appear legitimate but lead to fraudulent versions of popular websites. To avoid falling victim to phishing schemes, beware of any unsolicited messages and do not click on any hyperlinks sent in an email - instead, you can copy and paste the URL into another tab or hover over the link to see where the link will really take you.
· Do not reuse passwords: Although it may be tempting to use the same password for multiple accounts, the reality is that if one of your accounts is compromised, the rest are increasingly susceptible to hacking and you could quickly lose several accounts. Therefore, it is important to use different passwords for each account. It may seem difficult to remember so many passwords, so you can use a reputable online password storing program, but it is extremely crucial that you find one that is legitimate and secure.
· Use HTTPS in URLs rather than HTTP: What's the difference? The “s” in “https” stands for secure, meaning that the website is employing SSL encryption and is verified as a secure website. Before entering any sensitive information into a website, check for an “https:” or a padlock icon in your browser’s URL bar to verify that a site is secure.
· Regularly monitor your bank statements: Any unusual activity on your banking accounts could indicate that your accounts have been compromised. Keeping an eye on your bank statements will allow you to identify any malicious behavior and resolve the problem quickly.
· If possible, try to avoid public or unknown free Wi-Fi: hackers often use wireless sniffers to steal users’ information as it is sent over unprotected networks. The best way to protect yourself from this is to try to avoid using these networks altogether unless you are certain the network is legitimate.
· Disable stored passwords: although it may be convenient to store passwords, doing so makes it easier for an attacker to discover multiple passwords and compromise multiple accounts in the event that the system is compromised. Nearly all browsers and many websites in general offer to remember your passwords for future use. If you have this feature enabled, disable it and clear your stored passwords.
· Turn on your browser’s popup blocker: Popup blocking is now a standard browser feature and should be enabled anytime you are surfing the web. If it must be disabled for a specific program, turn it back on as soon as that activity is complete.