Six Quick Tips for Safe Web Browsing

Internet use is a part of our daily lives at work, home, and all points in between. In a landscape rife with potential threats – viruses, spyware, and malware – being vigilant is the key to staying secure.

#1. Update Your Browser and Windows

Google Chrome and Windows Internet Explorer (IE) are the most common browsers in a crowded field. Businesses should limit the number of supported browser applications to a select few. These browsers and Windows should be kept up-to-date and patched to manage security risks.

#2. Strong Passwords Only

A strong password is an important defense against malicious attacks. The strongest passwords are a combination of symbols, numbers, and letters. Keep them complicated and change them often.

#3. Check Before You Click

You should be suspicious of any ad, link, pop-up, or redirect you did not initiate. When it comes to downloading software from a site, only download from trusted sources. Files downloaded from suspicious sources likely contain malware which puts your private and sensitive information at risk.

#4. Secure Sites

Use secure sites for financial transactions. The web address should start with “https://”. The “s” is for “Secure Socket Layer” or SSL and it indicates you are connected to a site where data, which is sent and received, is encrypted. Check for the padlock symbol in the window frame of your web browser; double-click the icon to check for the site’s security certificate.

The red arrow below points to the padlock in Internet Explorer:

ssl_padlock

This is what I get when I click on it.  The red arrow below points to where it is confirmed that the connection is encrypted.

ssl_verification

#5. Security Solutions

Every browser has security features to protect against malware and fraudulent sites. But these only offer a basic level of protection. To ensure privacy and maintain a safe browsing environment, multilayered IT applications of firewalls, content filtering, and anti-spam and malware solutions are required.

#6. Don’t Forget Mobile Devices

Internet usage on mobile devices began outpacing desktop internet usage in 2014. Mobile devices are just as vulnerable to malware and phishing attacks as your desktop. Make sure to keep these safe web browsing tips in mind and be wary of free Wi-Fi. Do not use password protected sites, like banking, over a shared Wi-Fi connection. Also, stay vigilant on social media where you’re likely to share private information.

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