With the online lifestyle so prevalent in today’s culture, browsing security is crucial. Between online shopping, online banking, and even online doctor visits, securing your browser is as vital as having a solid lock on your front door.
Many products offer a more secure browsing experience; however, you can secure your browser with some simple steps right now. Check out these four easy ways for better browser security.
Four Ways To Fortify Your Browser
Securing your online experience against the latest threats is always a cat and mouse game. For every new security update, clever hackers are trying to circumvent the protection. However, the struggle for security is not hopeless, and it doesn’t require a significant financial investment either.
The four easy suggestions below will ensure you are better protected when you browse online.
1. Use an Up-to-Date Secure Browser
The most obvious way to improve your security is ironically one of the most neglected. Statistics show that even though modern browsers update automatically, a surprising number of users manage to run older, less-secure versions.
While there can be compelling reasons to opt for prior releases of a browser, the security trade-offs are usually not worth the risk. Today there are highly compatible, speedy, and secure browsers for every platform. If security is a top concern, then a modern fully-updated browser is a must.
An up-to-date browser means not only the browser itself but any plugins, extensions, or core components in use. Even if the browser is on the latest version, old plugins and older technology could introduce vulnerabilities. It’s critical to ensure that every piece of software is current.
2. Use Encryption
All modern browsers and operating systems support the latest security standards and protocols, such as HTTPS with TLS encryption. These encryption standards prevent sensitive information from being transmitted openly. Information such as credit card numbers, bank details, and account login data is can be easily intercepted online as plain text.
The Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) ensures that all information sent over the connection is encrypted using Transport Secure Layer (TLS). The data is only viewable by the host and client; any interceptors will only see the encrypted strings.
Before submitting any personal or sensitive information to a website, always check the location bar or status panel to ensure that the connection is secure. Remember, once data is transmitted online, it is there forever; discretion is always wise.
3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Public wireless hotspots are abundant, and more arise each day. While these public hotspots are undoubtedly convenient, you should take care of their use.
Public hotspots are typically less secure, running little or no encryption or hardening methods of any kind. One common tactic among hackers is setting up a public Wi-Fi access point and waiting for unsuspecting users to connect. Once users connect to the rogue Wi-Fi, the hacker can see every bit of data traveling through the connections.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, avoid super-sensitive tasks such as banking. It would be safer to use your phone’s cellular connection, even if it’s slower.
4. Use Common Sense
Just as you wouldn’t post private information on a highway billboard, you should exercise caution choosing when, where, and how to post information online. Despite our instant gratification culture, sometimes it is simply safer to wait. It might be better to pass the time with real money online casinos than to shop on an insecure connection.
While it might be convenient to answer that e-mail, or shop online wherever you are, remember that not everything is secure. Hackers are finding new ways every day to steal users’ private data.
A Few Simple Steps Can Make a World of Difference
The lesson of secure browsing comes down to awareness. Thieves often prey on distraction and lack of knowledge. By educating yourself on a few key elements, you can better protect yourself online.