How To Stay Safe When You Browse The Web? Most people spend hours a day online, and frustrations and complaints about their browsing only seem to increase. There are several recurring themes:
- Virus and malware threats
- A lack of website compatibility
- Issues with intrusive popups and advertising
- Lack of data privacy
You can protect yourself and make your browsing safer and more secure, whether you are using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Here are the best tips.
Update Your Browser And Plugins | Browse The Web Safely
Your browser is usually the first point of contact regardless of your device. Platforms are increasingly taking advantage of developers’ new and improved offers, such as advanced styling, better speeds, and HTML5 video and audio-enabled features. Due to security and compatibility problems, many sites no longer support older versions of browsers.
Developers release updates to avoid vulnerability because that’s what cybercriminals usually target. Your device will be safe if you take the time to install the latest versions. The most popular browsers include options to update automatically as part of the OS tools or in the browser itself.
Send “Do Not Track” Requests To Sites
These requests ask websites to neither track nor collect the data of the user. Not all will respond as you want them to. While it’s always a good start to make it clear you don’t want to be tracked, your request could be ignored.
Clear Cache And Cookies
You can minimize the impact of websites tracking your browsing data by regularly clearing the cache and deleting unwanted web browser cookies. This lets you download the latest versions of web pages and keeps ads from following you around the internet.
You can do this manually with any major browser. While it’s not hard to clear your data, you can use software to make the process automatic.
The only problem with this is constantly reentering login data in sites you use regularly. You can whitelist these to avoid this inconvenience.
Block Popups And Ads
You can switch popups off in your web browser. Typically, they open ads in new windows. Most of them are merely annoying, but some can contain inappropriate content or links to malware. Most browsers are equipped with tools to block popups automatically.
Ad blockers prevent websites from showing ads, but you’ll be denied some or all functionality if the website in question runs on ad revenue. In fact, ads pay for most websites on a pay per impression principle. If you use a website that’s funded through ad revenue, whitelist it by all means.
Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs encrypt user data before it reaches the internet. The VPN server decrypts user requests sent online before transferring them to the platform. Then, the platform sends the information back in the same way. This means advertisers and websites can’t track your activity.
Also known as the “incognito mode,” this type of internet use blocks some sites from tracking your browsing and search data and protects personal information. It also reduces the number of cookies saved to your computer. It can be helpful if you’re on a shared computer and don’t want other users to know what websites you’ve been opening. Keep in mind your internet service provider will still be able to track your activity.
Update Your Firewall And Antivirus Program
Even the most careful browsing won’t help without antivirus and firewall protection on your device. Files from trusted sources and reputable websites can hide threats too. Setting up reliable antivirus protection is worth the time and money. The best antivirus programs use AI and big data to identify the risk of an attack and monitor running applications.
Use A Password Manager
Using the same or similar passwords on all the sites you visit makes you vulnerable to hacking. On the other hand, it’s impossible to remember long alphanumeric text strings. This is why you would benefit from a password manager. It will encrypt and save your login details for each website you visit and allow you to log in automatically.