Hackers are always devising new ways of cyber-attacks to get hold of your data. There is a myriad of techniques used by attackers to steal from you, and one of them is via your browsing sessions. Yes, even huge browsers like Mozilla, Chrome, Safari & the likes are a target of cybercriminals. Now, it is almost inevitable to stop using these browsers, but you ought to secure your browsing from security and privacy issues. How do you do this? Let us give you a few simple tips.
What is increasing browsing security vulnerabilities?
There are many reasons why browsers are now a cause of concern in terms of security:
- Hackers can target you via phishing attacks that try and clone a legitimate website you love using.
- Most third-party add-ons are not vetted in terms of security
- Most third-party browser software takes a lot of time to develop updates
- Most web users are not savvy enough to spot techniques used by attackers.
Let us now take a look at protecting yourself as you browse on your device.
How can you secure your browser from theft?
Beware of Browser Plugins
According to research conducted by WordPress, plugins are one of the top ways that hackers use to execute attacks. It is pretty much the same concept with the most popular browsers that allow third-party developers to create plugins. Well, you can reduce the risks of attack from browser plugin by installing a few plugins-pretty much only what you need. Every plugin that you install increases the chances of security threats. So, the fewer you have, the better for you. In fact, only install plugins that are reputable and from a trustworthy developer.
You can try checking the reputation of a plugin by taking a look at the ratings. The higher the ratings, the more likely that it is from a reputable developer.
- Ensure that you use updated plugins as they are more secure compared to the outdated ones.
- As soon as you stop using any browser plugin, then ensure you delete it to reduce security risks.
Configure your browser security
Browser’s settings optimization is very crucial in protecting your safety and privacy. Most of the top browsers will come with their security features. Ensure you pick the right security and preference settings on installation and afterward. For example, you can pick the right search options and adjust your privacy configurations. You can also configure control security to block and warn you of any malicious content or sites.
Only browse secure sites
It is the responsibility of every website owner to ensure that their site is secure for use by the visitors. However, this does not always happen, and hackers take advantage of it. You ought to take the initiative to ensure that you only use secure sites on the Internet. How do you know that a site is secure?
For starters, before using any site, ensure that the URL has an‘s’, as in https instead of http. It signifies that the site is secured through an SSL certificate, and thus, the communication between you and the site is encrypted. There are many types of SSL certificates installed on the server to protect users. A good example is a cheap wildcard SSL certificate that secures the main domains and subdomains under them. Some business websites will even have a green padlock and HTTPS to signify extra security and trust levels.
Look at Phishing Domain:
You should also look at the domain of a website before using the site. Hackers can mimic reputable websites by modifying just a letter in the domain name and designing the rogue site to look legit. They will target unsuspecting users to use the site in what is known as phishing attacks. Most of the cybercriminals will use this method to harvest personal details or send you phishing emails that they use for theft.
It is good to learn how to identify a phishing email or attack as you browse. For example, if you receive a suspicious link into your email inbox, do not click on it. Moreover, be cautious about how much personal information you share. If a website asks you for so much information like password or security numbers, it should raise a red flag.
Delete cookies in your browser
Browsers install cookies to improve the experience of the user. Cookies track the number of times you visit your browser and detailed activities on the site. However, these cookies can also be a security threat to you. For example, in 2015, hackers managed to breach the security of Yahoo using cookies. They stole codes that were used to access Yahoo account of over 32 million users without passwords.
Therefore, you should ensure that you occasionally clear cookies from your browser. You should beware that they store your personal information, and hackers could use them to develop your personal profile. If you are using a public computer to access to browse the Internet and you fail to delete the cookies generated, then the next person can also use it can be able to see your browser history. They can log into your sensitive accounts and steal your personal data!
Install anti-malware tools
An anti-malware tool will help enhance the security of your browsing sessions. A good tool will scan your browser and device frequently and pick out any suspicious files. In other words, with proper anti-malware software, you are better off at enhancing your security. That said, hackers will work to bypass anti-malware tools to make their code and files undetectable. The best way around this is to ensure you always have the latest version of anti-malware. It will help protect your browser from downloading files with malware.
Tip: Ensure you do a regular scan of your device for any malware threat.
In a nutshell, you should beware of your security as you use the Internet. You should start with some of the simple steps we have covered to ensure you stay safe from theft!