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• The Java browser plug-in opens up a great number of security holes allowing hackers to access your personal data, such as your credit card information or your banking account credentials. For more information about this threat, read this article.
• Cookies are files which are stored on your browser and hold some amount of data about your browsing history. They are used by many websites, since there would be a lot of information to burden the website’s server machine. They can be accessed by a website in order to improve your browsing session, though this behavior has given rise to privacy concerns and security issues.
• Extensions or add-ons are pieces of software that add or modify a feature or a functionality in your web browser. Some of them allow you to block ads, watch online videos or they are closely integrated in social media websites improving your online session. For example, Adobe Flash is an add-on which allows your web browser to watch movies or play online games. The possible issues which may appear from extensions is that some of them can be used to inject ads into the sites you visit or track your entire browsing activity, being therefore used for malicious purposes.
Tips & Advice For A Secure Browsing Experience
We covered the main steps we can take in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome to secure our browsing sessions. But, we also need to display some general recommendations we can follow to improve our online safety, no matter what type of browser we are using:
• Keep the browser up-to-date with the latest patches. Your browser, as well as other software you have installed on the system, even the operating system, must have the latest patches installed as soon as they become available. It is important for your online security, because they are released in order to fix product vulnerabilities. If you don’t do this simple step, you expose your system security to online criminals’ attacks.
• Use a good antivirus program from a big company, as your virus defense. It is important to have a reliable security software on your system, one which should include a real-time scanning engine. Having a real-time scanning engine means that files you download from online locations are analyzed as soon as they are on your computer. Find the best solution by checking the test results run by important names in the security industry, such as AV Comparatives, PC Magazine, AV-TEST or Virus Bulletin and select the best antivirus solution.
• Stay away from phishing attacks. This malicious attempt to retrieve personal information from a user is usually done using the e-mail. Typically, you receive an e-mail message which seems to be coming from a banking website or from an online shop. The problem is with the links from these e-mail messages. Though they seem to be authentic, if you click one of them, you will be directed to a fake version of the website.
• Don’t use the same password for all your online accounts. If you use the same password in multiple locations, you better change it as soon as possible. Just imagine what happens if a hacker gets access to one of your online accounts: in just a few moments, he will get access to all your accounts. Even if you are hacked, having different passwords for each account will help you limit a potential loss.
• Use secure websites for your sensitive online operations. You should be very careful when running financial transactions on any web location. To visit a secure website, make sure the web address starts with “https://”. The “s” comes from “secure socket layer” and it indicates you are connected to a website where data, which is sent and received, is encrypted.
• Monitor your bank account with Online Banking Alerts. You can set up alerts for any change in your banking account, such as when you receive money or when money are taken from your account. Normally, you will be informed when your salary is received or when an automatic payment has been done. But it is useful also in case someone tries to remove unauthorized money from the account.
• Be careful when connecting to public and free wireless networks. One of the favorite methods used by online criminals to retrieve your credentials is by using wireless sniffers to access data sent over unprotected networks. One way to increase your security is by using a “private browsing” session, this way you make sure your credentials won’t be stored locally. Nevertheless, this won’t stop the Internet Service Provider or anyone else “listening” out there to catch your private communication.Other Details
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