Monday, April 23, 2012

Guard Your Browser Against Internet Threats

When you are online, the entire worldwide web seems to be watching you. Visit a website and you will start receiving newsletters, promotional emails from a stream of different websites that you never even visited. Other than the website you visited, a number of websites are told about your browsing history and personal details like name, email address etc. without your knowledge and consent. Why does this happen? It happens because of your web browser for which you do not think enough. Since web browser is a medium to connect to the online world, you must secure it. Viruses, Trojans, malware, hackers use your internet browser to peep into your computer. The free internet browser support guide mentioned below will tell you ways to tighten your browser's security.
Download and install the latest security updates and patches for your web browser. To avoid manually doing the updates, turn on the automatic update feature in your web browser and relax. Your browser will automatically install updates without your intervention. Updates help keep your browser and the computer secured and protected from online and network threats. For Firefox, click Tools and select Options. Click the Advanced tab and then click Update, the sub-tab. click to select the button beside Automatically download and install the update. Click the OK button and then OK again to exit both the windows. Restart Firefox.
For Internet Explorer, click the Start button and go to Control Panel. Double-click Windows Update and then set it to Daily Updates. Save the changes and exit Control Panel. When you make this change, make sure Internet Explorer is closed. For Safari, click the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Select Software Update and set it to download and install updates automatically. Save the changes and close the window.
Block banners, pop-ups, plug-ins, and phishing websites. Also, block third-party cookies. Cookies are small files that a website places on your computer to track your origin and browsing preferences. A genuine website will use cookies to help you serve better, while a malicious one will use them to track your information and deceive you. Other than a few trusted websites, you can never be sure what will happen with your personal information. I have described the procedure of blocking cookies in Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Apple Safari. Check the information below.
If you are using Mozilla Firefox, click the Tools tab and go to Options. In the Options tab, click the Privacy tab. Below Accept cookies from sites, you will see the Accept third-party cookies box will be checked. Click the drop-down menu and select ask me every time next to Keep Until. Click the OK button to exit the Options window. Close and reopen Firefox to make the changes effective. From now onwards, every website will seek for your permission before placing a cookie on your computer. If you think the website is genuine, hit Allow. Otherwise, click the Block button.
For Internet Explorer, click the Tools tab and select Internet Options. When in Internet Options, click the Privacy tab and then click Advanced. You will see two headings First-party Cookies and Third-party Cookies. Click the Prompt button below both the headings. Click the OK button to exit the Advanced Privacy Settings window. Click OK again to exit Internet Options. Close and restart Internet Explorer.
If you are using Mac Safari, click the Safari tab and then select Preferences. Click the Security tab and check the box next to Block pop-up windows. Under Accept Cookies, either click the Never button or the Only from sites you navigate to button. The latter option will let only the websites you visit to place cookies on your computer. Rest of them will not be able to place the cookies.
Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX in your browser. In Mozilla Firefox, click Tools and select Options. Click the Content tab and remove the check mark from the Enable JavaScript box. Hit the OK button and restart Firefox by closing and reopening the window. For Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Internet Options. Click the Security tab and then click the Custom Level button. Look for ActiveX Controls and Plus-ins and click the Disable button. Click the OK button to exit the window. Click OK again to exit Internet Options. Restart Internet Explorer.
For Safari, click the Safari tab and select Preferences. Click the Security tab and remove check mark from the Enable JavaScript box. Save the changes and exit the window. Close and reopen Safari to make the changes effective.
Always sign out properly from a website. Do not stay signed in when you are not using your computer. Do not open emails with attachments or links from unknown senders. Do not open emails that say "congratulations, you won $80 million" (or a similar message). Such emails always demand your name, address, data of birth, identity proof, email address, and phone number etc. You should not share your personal information with unknown senders because they spam you with such messages.
Run a full virus scan after every 14-15 days to make sure that no virus intrudes into your computer. Always scan the downloaded files before opening them. Free utilities and software like free online virus removal software, tray clock, weather forecast, music, and video etc. often come bundled with virus, spyware, and Trojan among other malware. If you want to download a free utility, always trust a trusted, secured website. Do not visit the websites that don't use HTTPS, a secure and anti-phishing technique. You can download and HTTPS Everywhere, a plug-in. It forces several popular websites to use the HTTPs encryption and thus prevents intrusion and maintains your privacy.

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