The browser is one of the most important programs you have on your computer, whether at home or at work. Although this software is crucial to connecting to the internet, few users give it the attention it demands. Browse more securely by using our tips!
- Always keep your browser updated.
Enable automatic updates for your software. Sometimes, however, you do not even need to worry about it. For example, Chrome updates itself whenever there is a new version. Microsoft Edge is updated when Windows updates. In Firefox, you can find the option in Options > General.
- Enable your filter functions.
The great number of victims of phishing attempts or malware also represents an opportunity, because browser developers are quick to find out which websites could be dangerous. This is why you should enable appropriate protective functions. In Edge, enable the SmartScreen Filter of Windows Defender in Settings. In Chrome, you will need to go to Settings > Advanced to turn on “Protect you and your device from dangerous sites”. In Firefox, you will find the Privacy & Security page under Options. There you can enable “Block dangerous and deceptive content”.
- Prevent automatic downloads.
Most malware attacks are caused by file downloads. A link is clicked and in no time a file has been downloaded. For this reason, turn off automatic downloads. If you do, you will then have to manually indicate where a file should be saved. But this has the advantage of making you aware of the download. In Chrome, go to Settings > Advanced and turn on “Ask where to save each file before downloading”. In Edge, enable the “Ask me what to do with each download” option under Settings > Advanced Settings. In Firefox, you will find “Always ask you where to save files” directly in Options.
- Enable tracking protection functions.
All browsers offer options for keeping your own online movements from being followed. Use these options to protect yourself from tracking.
- Do without Java.
The programming language Java allows developers to program apps that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux devices and look the same on each. Regrettably, however, in the past, components that need to be installed on user systems to allow a Java program to run have had big security gaps. If it is not absolutely necessary for you to have such an application on your computer (for example, for your finances), it is best to forgo installing Java.
- Do not save any passwords or data in your browser.
As practical as it may seem to save passwords or form data right in your browser, it is risky as well. Security gaps in the programming code allow these central databases to be copied from your computer without your knowing about it. If you want to manage your passwords centrally, use a password manager. It is better to turn off this convenience function in your browser. In Chrome, you will find the option by going to Settings > Advanced. Choose Autofill settings or Manage passwords there. Each will take you to the switches for disabling the mechanism. In Firefox, the options are in Options > Privacy & Security. In Edge, autofill settings can be found in Settings > Advanced Settings.
- Install additional privacy programs.
Your computer should always have updated antivirus software that detects malware and scripts and combats them.