A browser is in many ways the window to the internet. With it, you can gaze into the large expansive World Wide Web. Your browser, however, is also the first line of defense you have against any cyber-attacks that might come your way.
Browsers utilize a number of different tools, like Java or ActiveX, for performing various tasks. But while these tools bring several advantages, they can also create certain security flaws.
ActiveX, for instance, comes preinstalled on browsers such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. Since it acts as a middleman between your PC and Flash-based programs in websites, it also creates a window for malicious websites to infect your PC.
Installing alternative browsers help greatly in this regard, as some browsers utilize safer tools. Cyber attacks are not only increasing with each passing day, but they’re also becoming more sophisticated and innovative.
Having an online security program installed and updated on your machine helps a lot in averting such attacks, but there are also a few basic steps you need to take to cover all your bases.
Here are some of the ways you can secure your browser from hackers.
1) Using alternative browsers:
While Chrome, Firefox and Safari might be the first names to come to your mind when you think about browsers, the fact is that there are plenty of equally well-performing browsers out there.
Some of them offer very strong security and are muchfaster than the popular ones.
- Avant Browser – While using a normal browser, you might end up in situations where the webpage isn’t rendering properly. In Avant Browser, however, this feature allows you to switch the render engine whenever you want to. This browser also promises to be free of malware making, and it is one of the safest tools to use for browsing.
- Browzar – This one was designed for secure and private browsing. Browzar doesn’t save any cookies, history or cache, and it cleans up all data once it is closed. Moreover, you do not need to install it since it’s portable. All you need is a flash drive and you’re good to go.
- Citrio – This browser may look like Google Chrome, but it has some very cool features. Citro comes with malware and phishing protection so as to provide a safe and secure browsing experience.
2) Configuring the browser’s security and privacy settings:
Go through the browser security and privacy settings, and make sure everything is set to your needs. Blocking third-party cookies, for instance, helps prevent advertisers from tracking what you do online. You can also read through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s safe browsing guide, Securing your Web Browser, to read about the organization’s recommendations.
3) Updating your browser:
Keeping your browser updated from time to time is very important, as certain updates help in patching security vulnerabilities that may have existed before.
4) Exercise caution when installing plugins:
If you’re an avid internet browser, then you probably utilize a good number of plugins and extensions in your browser. While they do help in providing you with a convenient and more immersive experience, they can put your computer at risk too.
Always exercise caution when you install new plugins and extensions. It might help to read their reviews before choosing them, to see what other users’ experiences have been like with the programs.
5) Antivirus programs are your friend:
No antivirus program can help you completely negate the entry of malicious programs into your computer, but they do serve to minimize the chances greatly.
Read up on antivirus program reviews and select the one that works the best for you. There are several trustworthy websites out there that can greatly help you in this regard.
6) Installing security plugins and extensions:
Doing this can greatly help you to stop attacks from happening when you go online. Some remarkable security extensions are available for browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, etc., including HTTPS Everywhere and Web of Trust.
The former helps in encrypting communication with websites, whereas the latter helps in determining the safety of the website while you browse the internet.
The Web of Trust extension displays different colors for verdicts. Green indicates that the website is reliable, while yellow indicates users should proceed with caution, and red signifies danger.
7) Stay updated with security news:
From time to time, keep yourself updated with the latest news regarding online security. If news about a particular series of attacks broke out, you will be able to defend yourself far better knowing more about the attacks.
For instance: Recent ransomware attacks have been carried out using malvertising campaigns. Making yourself aware of these issues at the right time helps you to better prepare yourself.
If you’re planning on using alternative browsers, do remember to read up on them and install the one that not only provides great features, but ensures solid protection as well.