How do you know if you’re safe when browsing?
Whether you use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari, your browser is key for accessing the internet. This means that a lot of sensitive information passes through each day, which opens you up to vulnerabilities.
If not secure, connections can be snooped in on, revealing your private information, such as credit card details, name and address and anything you share with that particular site.
Today, we’re looking at ways in which you can stay secure whilst surfing the web.
The main weaknesses of your browser.
Browser history, auto-fill information and saved login details all offer a way in for potential hackers wanting to harvest information about you or your business. But did you know that your cookies, plug-ins and cache could also leave you at risk?
These terms often get thrown around without a proper explanation of what they are, so before we get into how to protect your business from common threats, it may be a good idea to delve into what these are. Having a basic understanding of the browser you are using should help us to appreciate the importance of securing it.
Whenever you visit a website, cookies are created. These are little chunks of information that a website uses to remember your preferences for the next time you return. Along with your browser history, they track your movements online and this information could be used against you.
This shady practice is where someone tries to get you to unknowingly reveal sensitive information. With a little common sense, you can see through these kinds of attacks. We’ve actually covered how to spot a phishing attack in a previous blog post, so be sure to check it out after you’ve read this blog.
Cache – pronounced ‘cash’ – stores data from the websites you visit to ensure they load faster when you visit again. Like cookies, they track your online movements. If this information gets into the wrong hands, it can be used against you by hackers. It is best practice to do a purge every now and then. Although, this does have the downside of taking away the convenience they provide – a small price to pay for security.
How to boost your browser security.
Browser plugins and extensions enable the user to access a growing range of useful tools. There are many popular plugins, from trusted providers, such as password managers, productivity apps and Flash Player, which all enhance your experience when using the web.
However, some are not safe and can actually compromise your browser.
There are different levels of potential danger. For example, broken software that slows down your programmes and malicious apps that are designed to harvest your information.
It is best to ensure that you only have a few essential plugins from trusted providers.
Larger businesses can be vulnerable by not having centralised controls and systems. Having certain set browser extensions and limits on what employees can install is part of having a centralised system for your office.
You can also set parameters on the cookies and browsing history that is stored to ensure a cookie crumb trail is not left behind. Sounds a lot tastier than what it is, right?
All your computers should run the same browser and share the same information and data. Make sure the whole team is on the same page when it comes to browser security.
Having insufficient security software can also be a major threat to your business. A lot of popular security software is based on scanning your files and processes for malware. So this means that isn’t necessarily equipped to scan your browser.
Make sure browser-based threats don’t go undetected by installing the best software. This will help prevent the dangers that are presented by things like pop-up ads, which can be a sure-fire way of getting a virus or leaking sensitive information.