Browser Security

  • Published: Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021

The interface we use to connect with websites on the Internet is called a browser. All consumer devices have a built in browser, usually specific to the particular manufacturer. For instance, Google has Chrome, Microsoft has Edge and Apple has Safari. But there are other browsers available as well; Opera, Mozilla's Firefox and others are available to download and install. Most of the popular browsers will work in various operating systems.

Each browser has common features, and it's more of a preference of the user as to which one fulfills the need. More security features have been built in, but there are other enhancements that are more for the user's experience that might leave some cracks where security is concerned.

While users want a browser to be quick loading, there are other considerations that should not be overlooked.

There are anonymous browsers and privacy tools that can assist with protecting your personal data while cruising the Internet. This can assist with shielding against various malware.

Remember there is software that makes these browsers function. ActiveX, Java, JavaScript or Flash may be part of the design.  Fortunately, due to it's inherent problems, Adobe Flash is technically gone. None of the major browsers support it any more. Running a scripting language allows additional features and interactivity to a webpage. Unfortunately, some of these enhancements can also be abused by attackers. 

Keeping up with the latest version of the browser software can help to defend against possible security-related issues. Most of the browsers will automatically check and install updates upon restart. You can check the availability of a version update by going to the menu in the browser and clicking on the About section.

You can go further to ensure that you have your web browser settings as secure as possible. Each web browser will have the ability to set security options and configurations. You will usually find these options in the menu under Security or Privacy. Restricting some features may prevent your browser from functioning properly, so only adjust the settings one at a time and test how websites perform. 

Take the time to surf safely. Check yourself with these best practices:

  • Double check the web address. Mistyped URLs are a common hijacking source for cyber criminals. When attempting to visit you could accidentally mistype one of the letters. This domain may have been adopted by crooks and dressed to look like the actual webpage.
  • Ensure that the website you visit has a secure connection, https://. Also look for the closed padlock symbol to the left of the the address bar.
  • Be cautious when clicking on links. These can lead to redirected malicious sites or malware.

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