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10 tips for safe & more secure web browsing

10 tips for safe & more secure web browsing

08 September 2020

Adults spend more than 4 hours almost every day connected to the internet, but the number of complaints and frustrations about web browsing experiences is increasing. There are a few common mistakes that happen all the time such as the lack of website compatibility, malware, viruses, aggressive pop-up ads, and data privacy.

But, there are several ways to protect yourself and make your online experience more secure, no matter which device you are using.

We compiled a list of 10 tips on how to stay safe online:

  • Keep your browser and any plugins up to date

When you want to connect to the internet, the first point of that contact is with your web browsers. Developers are always releasing new updates to make sure you can experience the latest stuff the web can offer.

More and more websites have features enabled by HTML5 video and audio, advanced styling and improved speed. Because of security concerts and compatibility, many websites stopped using older browsers. The main reason why web browsers receive constant updates is to stop hackers from targeting the browser’s vulnerabilities.

Hackers often target vulnerabilities in web browsers which is why the companies that make them release regular updates to patch any vulnerabilities. Installing the latest version will definitely protect your device. Usually browsers offer automatic updates either in the browser themselves or in the operating system update tools.

  • Block pop-up ads

Desktop pop-ups from your operating system can’t be avoided, but on the other hand those annoying pop-up ads in your web browser can be easily turned off. Browser pop-up ads usually open a new browser window in order to push advertisements. The majority of these pop-ups are very annoying, and many of them even contain malicious links or inappropriate content.

Even though most browsers come with filters that can automatically block pop-up ads, you can also install an ad blocker, but keep in mind that some websites continue their businesses with their ad revenue.

  • Enable “do not track” in your browser

Many browsers have a feature to send a “do not track” request to websites. If you enable this feature, websites will not be able to collect or track your browsing data. Despite the fact that some websites and web servers may ignore your request, making it clear you don’t want to be tracked online is a good start.

  • Clear your web browser cache and cookies

If websites decide to track your browsing data, you can limit the impact by regularly clearing your browser cache and deleting unwanted cookies. This will prevent ads from following you when you are searching the web and will make sure that you will always have the latest version of a web page available.

All major browsers allow you to do this manually, and you can easily clear all your data, but there are also software options that automate the process to make your life easier. Whichever route you choose to go it may be worth considering whitelisting those sites that you regularly log in to avoid having to re-enter login details constantly.

  • Use a VPN

Virtual private networks or VPNs help you maintain your privacy by encrypting your data and internet requests before they ever hit the internet. The technology works the same no matter how you have connected to the internet – the encrypted data is sent to the VPN server which decrypts the requests before sending them on to the online destination.

The information is then sent back through the same process meaning that third partiescan’t track what you are doing. When using a VPN, you make sure that you are the only person that can see your data.

  • Use a password manager

When websites are hacked, all of the passwords can be leaked. It’s dangerous and not safe at all to use one password in more than one place. In order to prevent password leaks from being too damaging, you need to use strong and unique passwords for every website. These passwords should be long, unpredictable and contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

It’s hard to remember strong and unique passwords for every different website. That’s why it’s handy to use a password manager. With this program, all your login details will be encrypted and securely stored. It will also help you log in automatically and you will have to remember only one password.

  • Always update your antivirus program and firewall protection

Nowadays it’s essential to have an antivirus and firewall protection software installed on your device when you are searching the web. No matter how careful you are when you are online, you can never be 100% sure that you are protected without an antivirus.

Cyber threats can be hidden even in the most reliable websites or files from trusted sources. Investing in an antivirus program is a huge step towards your protection.

Many reputable antivirus software programs use big data and AI to monitor every running application and can detect cyber attacks even before they happen.

If you follow these tips, your online experience will be safe and secured.

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