5 Ways to Keep Secure Whilst Browsing
Staying safe on the Internet is getting harder and harder, even though logic indicates that the opposite should be the case. Indeed, one has to pay a lot of attention on the Web nowadays, and browsing random sites is often the biggest source of threats for the average user. If you want to minimize the risk, you’ll want to keep some safety tips in mind when browsing.
1) Use an ad-blocking extension
This is something that should be done by default by every Internet user nowadays. Running your browser “bare” is a very bad idea, especially if you tend to visit sites like torrent trackers and similar ones that attract a large volume of malware. There are various good tools for the job today, like uBlock Origin, so you really have no excuse for keeping your computer unprotected. The sooner you get this done, the better you’ll feel in the long run.
2) Keep an eye on the site identity indicator
That little green icon next to the address bar is there for a reason, even though most people have learned to ignore it. When it’s green, things are fine – but if you visit a popular site that normally has a green icon and it’s showing something else, beware. You could be victim to a phishing attack attempting to steal your login data. Click on the icon to find out more about your current connection, and always make sure you’re on the site you think you are.
3) Keep your browser up to date
Don’t skip those browser updates! Sure, they’re annoying, especially when they come in more often. But they also bring various security fixes with them, and there’s a reason browser developers work so hard on keeping their products up to date. Make sure you don’t skip any updates, and if you have to postpone something, get back to it as soon as convenient!
4) Use different passwords for everything
A common problem nowadays is that a site gets compromised, leaking its entire database of users. What happens next is that hackers copy down your password and e-mail, and will try to login to all kinds of other services with the same credentials. That way, using the same password in multiple places puts all of those accounts at risk if just one gets compromised. Don’t fall for this trap and make sure you have a unique password for every online account you’re using.
5) Private Mode is not a solution
Every modern browser features a “private mode” which lets you conceal your tracks and browse without leaving any traces in your history. However, this is not a solution for staying safe or anonymous online, despite many people thinking it is and using it for this exact purpose. Private Mode is okay when you need to shop for gifts or something along those lines, but it does absolutely nothing to keep you safe online. Make sure you use the actual appropriate tools for this purpose, and understand exactly what Private Mode does and doesn’t do.