Check your Browser Security Settings
How can you tell how secure your web browser may be? Scanit’s Browser Security Test checks your browser security settings and provides a report explaining the vulnerabilities, the potential impacts, and how to correct them.
Use Security Software
Your security software should include an antivirus, anti-spyware, and a firewall.
Keep your browser and applications up to date. If you’re prompted for an update, accept it.
Use Strong Passwords
Use a strong complex password or passphrase. Consider using a password vault such as LastPass to generate and store your passwords.
Install Browser Tools/Add-ons
Current browsers all provide some protection against phishing. There are also browser tools that you’ll find helpful.
- The Netcraft Toolbar is a browser plug-in available for Firefox. The toolbar helps stop phishing attempts by blocking known phishing sites and providing hosting information about the sites you visit.
- The McAfee Site Advisor is a browser plug-in available for Internet Explorer and Firefox. The Site Advisor warns you of websites known to have malicious downloads or links by checking them against a database at McAfee.
- WoT (Web of Trust) provides color-coded ratings of the safety and reputation of websites.
Limited Account Privileges
Limiting account privileges (WindowsXP) provides simple but effective protection when working online. Limited accounts allow you to do most daily activities but do not allow you to install software (only accounts with administrative privileges can install software on the computer).
Many attacks take advantage of administrative privileges to install malware on your computer. If you’re using a limited account, attackers and malicious websites will not be able to install malware. (This is less of an issue with Windows 7 and Mac OS X because they ask you to confirm software changes.)
Threats have doubled since 2009 and the threat vectors have increased. Vigilance is even more important.
One thing hasn’t changed. The key to safe browsing is not which browser you choose. It’s following safe practices.
Please comment on the post and let us know some safe practices you recommend.
- McAfee announces Internet Security, Family Protection for Mac(macworld.com)
- Gadgetwise: A Tool to Help Secure Your Browser (gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Avoiding Phishing (benwoelk.wordpress.com)
- The weakest link in computer hacking? (deurainfosec.com)