In the modern world, we all love convenience. But are we always being as safe as possible when exploring our favorite websites? Some of you may think the Internet is safe because you’ve so far made purchases or processed digital banking transactions and never had a problem. But hackers aren’t always looking to make obvious trouble for you. Conversely, they seek to remain undetected for as long as possible, so they can steal as much sensitive information for as long as they can.
Things to Consider to Stay Safe Online
Web browsing is safer when you control pop-up windows. Configure your browser to block or at least alert you to pop-ups. Turn on auto-updates for your browser, browser plugins or any software that runs in your browser. This is an inexpensive way to secure your web browsing experience. Employ browser security add-ons that provide safety ratings for websites and search engine results.
Stay Clear of Browser Hijackers
A browser hijacker is a type of threat that appears when an unwanted software modifies web browser settings without the user’s permission or knowledge and redirects the user to websites the user had not intended to visit. Often referred to as “browser redirect virus” because it redirects the browser to dubious or malicious websites. A browser hijacker may change your default browser search engine or homepage, cause webpages to load very slowly, install unwanted toolbars on your browser without permission or generate unwanted pop-up alerts for advertisements.
Exercising Discretion on the Web
Always use secured websites when providing private information like passwords, emails and credit cards. In the web address bar, “http” means that a website isn’t secured with a secure sockets layer or SSL. Look for “https” in web addresses, as well as the lock symbol, as these are indications the website is secured with SSL.
Always look for search engine warnings. Blacklisting websites is how search engines protect browsers from malicious content. Google and other legitimate search engines send bots to scan websites and flag anything suspicious. If you visit a blacklisted website, the browser displays a warning as it blocks the page. Avoid websites that are questionable or suspicious. If something seems strange or too good to be true, it is.
Follow Best Web Surfing Practices to Browse the Internet Safely
Bookmark sites that you often visit lessen the chances of landing on a hacker’s lookalike site. Avoid browsing while signed into certain accounts that contain private information, and don’t store passwords in your browser or on websites. Any Internet-enabled device, even a smart home device like a TV or refrigerator, can be hacked. Therefore, you should address Internet-connected devices with security in mind.
The Internet can be a wonderful source of information as long as you are careful and remain vigilant against the multitude of online threats.