The Internet has increasingly become an especially important tool for you at home and at work. Most of the time it works out just as it is supposed to. You open it up, read emails, check a few social media accounts, and perform whatever work you need to. In a perfect world, you’d never have an issue with your Internet browser or visiting different websites.
However, it isn’t a perfect world and there are people out there who are always going to try and steal personal information, siphon off financial data, or just be a pain in the backside and push junk files onto your computer that effectively renders it useless. With so many threats out there what exactly are you supposed to do? By following a handful of these browser security best practices you will have the necessary knowledge to avoid the majority of malware, viruses, and cybercriminals out there.
Install Anti-Virus Security
Far too many people rely on their Internet browsers to block out malware and suspicious activity. While Internet browsers do play a role in your Internet security, it is a small role, and navigating past the thin firewall of your browser isn’t all too tricky. You need to have some kind of antivirus software installed on your computer.
And yes, this includes Macs. There is that common line of “Macs don’t get viruses,” but that simply is not true at all. When creating malware or a virus a cybercriminal needs to design it for either Windows or Mac because the file system runs differently. Because Windows computers are more prevalent a criminal is more likely to create one for a Windows computer, but that doesn’t mean Mac viruses and malware doesn’t exist. Your Mac computer can just as easily be infected, so protect yourself and your computer by installing anti-virus security and not completely relying on the browser to do all the dirty work.
Update Your Browser
You know that little pop-up that appears on your computer, informing you an update is ready? Well, stop clicking out of it or telling it to come back tomorrow. You need to update your software. Software updates will update the security of your browser. Without the update, your computer becomes more and more vulnerable. It will only take a few minutes to process the update, as one of the browser security best practices you need to make sure and install these updates.
Make Sure To Use HTTPS
Avoid using regular “HTTP” addresses. Instead, you want to head over to the “https” websites. That little “s” on the tail end is very important. It stands for secure and it means the website you’re visiting is protected and your browser is able to verify the protection. Most major websites have an https address (don’t worry, it isn’t any different than the regular one). It may take a fraction of a second longer to load as your Internet browser needs to authenticate it, but it is well worth the fraction of a second you need to wait. Regular HTTP websites can be infected with malware. There might be viruses attached to images or links embedded into the page. With an HTTPS you at least know what you’re clicking on is secure.
Scan All Downloads
After you download a file from your computer you will want to scan it for viruses. Even if the file comes from a known source you never know what kind of malware might leach onto it. This is especially true if someone is emailing you a file you need to download. If their computer is infected, and they email you something that email attachment might have a smaller rider that can infect your computer system. Due to this, even if you trust the sender you need to scan the download. You can set up your anti-virus software to scan the downloads automatically, this way you don’t need to manually do it. File downloads and opening material sent via email is one of the most common ways your computer will become infected. By scanning all the files you’ll avoid most of the issues sent your way.
Change Up Your Passwords
You know how you’ve been using the same passwords since high school? Those three variations of passwords that haven’t changed much over the years? Maybe you have one that ends with two numbers and another version with a capital letter tossed in there in order to meet the minimum password requirements. Well, it’s time for you to change your passwords.
One form of malware someone might have on your computer is a keystroke monitor. With this kind of malware a cybercriminal can actually monitor your keystrokes. Now, you probably type a million different keys over the course of a few weeks, so they won’t want to spend the time sifting through every keystroke. However, if it looks like what is being typed in is a password (such as after you type in a specific website address) it does become easier to steal off your password. Due to this, you need to regularly change up your password and do so with all of your accounts. This will help prevent outsiders from accessing your important data.
Take Back Your Computer
Have you been infected with malware? Has the blue screen of death popped up on your screen? Perhaps your system is running slowly and you’re not really sure why. Chances are, you have some kind of malware, bloatware, virus, or other files installed that you need to be removed right away. No matter the kind of computer you use or the operating system, now that you know some of these browser security best practices, you can begin incorporating them into your computer system. If, however, you’re still running into problems or your system is already infected you will want to contact the team at Charlotte IT Solutions. From helping single computers to entire networks, the team can help make sure every computer is properly safeguarded (and cleaned) from malware.