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For most of us, online browsing has become essential to everyday life. But the internet is rife with dangerous threats, ranging from your computer becoming infected by malware to cyber thieves stealing your personal information. Taking action to secure your internet browser will enable safer web surfing and can help ensure your hard drive and personal information aren t at risk. Here are a few ways to secure your internet browser for safer surfing.

 

Update Your Browser Regularly
As internet browser technology evolves, so do the unsavory individuals looking to exploit new online vulnerabilities. Subsequently, it is imperative to keep your web browser regularly updated. Internet browsers periodically release important updates that fix security bugs and loopholes. In fact, many of the top browsers, including Google Chrome, have automatic updates and will prompt you to download an important update. Security updates can typically be downloaded directly from the browser s website as well. In a similar vein, also update your operating system regularly, especially if you are using the OS s default browser (e.g., Internet Explorer on Windows).

Use the Pop-up Blocker
Most internet browsers have a built-in pop-up blocker that prevents pop-up windows from opening and cluttering your screen. The blocker can help prevent harmful malware from installing on your computer. If you re using an application that requires you to temporarily disable the pop-up blocker, be sure to enable it when you are finished.

Enable Fraud Protection
A phishing website is a fraudulent website that is masked as a trustworthy one in order to acquire personal information such as passwords and credit card information. Often these websites can steal cached data on your computer without you even knowing it. To prevent this, enable your browser s fraud protection, which typically  blacklists  known phishing sites and blocks access to them. This blanket protection ensures you don t inadvertently visit a known phishing site.

Install Only Trusted Programs
It may seem obvious but only download software or programs from known, trusted sources. A surprising number of internet users download free programs from unknown sources and inadvertently install damaging spyware or viruses onto their computers. If you are unsure about a particular program, do some research online; chances are if it isn t a legitimate program or application, you won t be able to verify it online.

Look for Private-Browsing Features
Most internet browsers have privacy features that allow you to easily clear your browsing history and personal data. This is important if you use a shared computer, whether in your office, at the library or in a computer lab. Many browsers also have private browsing or private tabs, which allow you to surf the web without leaving any trace of the sites you visit.

Seek Robust Encryption Support
Only use internet browsers that support the latest encryption standards of SSL and TSL. These types of encryption establish an encrypted link between your browser and the website you are using in which sensitive data can pass through securely.

Internet security can be a complicated and tricky thing. But a little know-how and some easy preventive techniques can go a long way towards providing you with a safer browsing environment in an online world rampant with security threats.

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