The digital space is evolving every minute, every day, and with those changes come a spree of online threats. These cyber-threats have always been moving quickly, making simple online browsing a much more delicate target to achieve.
But, simple browsing? Here’s what you’re thinking, “I only Google recipes of Asian cuisines” or, “I was only looking up the synonym of political.”
Here is the situation: an average American adult spends almost 4 to 5 hours online every day.
They are connected to the internet by some means or the other, regardless if it is just for checking work emails, looking up the best deals on travel tickets, or, again, simply just doing a little light browsing.
Now, imagine, if an adult can easily fall victim of a cyberattack, what situation can a child or teenager get themselves into? At the very least, around 5 of the 10 adults understand that cybercrimes are at an all-time high today, and that the internet isn’t as safe as it used to be.
On the other hand, children don’t really see the issue. Most apps and websites nowadays are filled with malicious content that might not be seen as threats at first or second glance.
Why you should consider taking precautions while browsing
It is a fact that regardless of you spending 4 hours or 4 minutes online, each second is one step away from you being a victim of a cyberattack.
In fact, there have been major complaints from users across the globe concerning browser threats like malware attacks, viruses, malicious pop-up ads, or websites that log user data.
With that said, the wisest thing for you to do is to look up effective security measures to practice every day or invest.
It will help curb the rise in mass cyberattacks today, even if it is through just simple web browsing. Luckily for you, I’ve highlighted a few, but necessary measures you can consider to help create a safer space online.
Active measures to take for safe browsing
The good news is that even though are quite a bit of setbacks concerning safe browsing, there are still ways for you to maintain online security.
It will help make your overall browsing experience much safer! Take a look below for a few tips and precautionary measures that are easily attainable:
Use a Virtual Private Network!
A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is one of the more reliable forms of security software today. It operates using the best military-grade encryption standards, if you choose a top VPN service.
The technology works to encrypt all your online traffic, passing all data you enter through the VPN, and then to the internet after encrypting it.
Whichever website you enter, it won’t be able to detect your physical location, nor store/steal all of the sensitive information it can get its hands on.
This is either through the data you enter on to a website or when malicious websites spread viruses to your device and steal your data. Plus, there are other perks that come with VPNs other than their security suite. You will be able to bypass online restrictions and access blocked websites, or bypass ISP throttling.
Update your browser and its plugins often
Regardless of what device you use, everyone at some point hits the web browsers sooner or later.
This is how we often find ourselves on the wrong side of the internet by entering a malicious website. Regular update check-ins from a browser developer can have good effects.
For starters, you need to update your browser and plugins regularly since older versions are more susceptible to cyberattacks.
However, at the same time, browsers are benefiting from these regular updates and changes, like the newer HTML5 features, by being able to gain access to media and audio files through access initiated by you.
As mentioned above, these updates are required, which is why browsers and developers recommend it.
In fact, it’s not quite common that most websites don’t support older website versions, which automatically pushes you for an update. Cyber-hackers most target browsers that haven’t been updated or ones that leave small vulnerable ports open for attack.
Enable the “do not track” on your browser
As mentioned above, most websites often log user data, and other times have the ability to track all data entered or carried out by you.
Other than using a VPN to avoid that, you could simply just go into your browser settings and enable the “Do not track” option.
It sends a request to the website you are on, asking them to dismiss the tracking of your data.
However, this is 50-50% reliable, as despite having enable the option, most websites don’t comply with the command. This is where using a VPN would be a better option, even though you’re paying a little extra.
Avoid malicious website ads with an Ad-blocker!
Most VPNs offer an Ad-Blocking feature already in-built within the app. However, if you are not too keen on going for a VPN, you could just invest in an ad-blocker that will help lower the invasive spree of ads whenever your browse on a website.
Plus, the browser you’re using also allows you to disable the kind of ads or pop-ups from appearing time to time.
This step is crucial if kids or teens have access to a laptop or phone. Most pop-ups often contain adult content or malicious links that could be accidentally clicked on.
· Use browser bookmarks to lower risks of landing on the wrong page
Most of us are connected to more than one device. With that said, there are sometimes reliable websites or pages that we find that might be of high importance to use later on. What happens if you don’t have that particular device on hand?
Yes, you could go through the history, but instead of using your search engine, why not just bookmark the page, and access it on every device, wherever you go. Of course you’ll need to sign in to your Google account to access them. Spending too much time on search engines aren’t reliable, which is why bookmarks make the process a whole lot easier and safer.
· Incognito mode
Sometimes browsing the internet with incognito mode works the best if you’re not willing to be tracked by a website. Sure, your internet service provider can still see what you get up to, but it’s still safer than using a regular browser.
· Clear all cookies and cache
Cookies leave little crumbs of data around the internet. Regardless of you using a software, or enabling the “Do not track” option, you need to clear out your cookies and cache regularly. What happens is, through your search history or the websites you enter, pop-up ads can still reach you by tracking any bits of information you enter. Sometimes you could accidentally click on a link that could cause viruses to spread through your device.
These are just a few tips and security measures to consider to make sure your browsing is safer than it was before. These tips are helpful in the long run, even though nothing nor any software is a 100% reliable. It’s still better to take action using small steps than nothing at all! Safe browsing!