Whether you realize it or not, the internet browser you use is your personal gateway to the internet. Without the proper security features and updates, it can also become a hacker’s gateway to your computer or connected device. Here are several browser security tips from networX IT Solutions, your friendly and local Philadelphia Business IT service company.
The first step we recommend in securing any browser is keeping-up with the latest updates offered by the parent company or manufacturer. While it might be tempting to keep clicking that ‘update later’ button, it is imperative to maintain the latest version of your browser. Hacker’s will target a specific version of the platform you are using, many times these updates change fundamental code and security features to help protect you from malicious attacks.
Google Chrome Security Tips
Google takes many steps to help you keep your technology safe. The first recommendation we make is to utilize Google’s Security Checkup. This is provided by Google to help visualize the security of your account. This will show you the devices logging on to your chrome & Google account, recent security events, 3rd party application access, and your account recovery information. We highly recommend paying close attention to the 3rd party applications that are permitted to make changes on your device as well as the accounts accessing your Google account.
Chrome uses a special process to ‘sandbox’ tabs. Sandboxing is a security feature that keeps live programs separated, effectively keeping software vulnerabilities from spreading to your machine. Chrome updates their blacklists regularly; these include one for phishing and one for malware protection. Google’s Phishing and Malware protection features receive critical updates every 6 weeks and within 24 hours of confirmed threats. If you notice anything suspicious we recommend blocking and denying access to those 3rd party accounts and contacting Google’s Security Center Immediately!
Safari Browsing Tips
Safari has many great features to keep your computer safe from malicious harm. Safari’s latest version was released September 16, 2020 as part of MacOS Big Sur. Known as version 14.0, Safari is a very safe and secure browsing tool. Safari has one of the most intuitive and accurate pop-up blockers as well as a robust anti-phishing tool. Safari’s proprietary anti-phishing tool is also regarded as one of the most precise, and one of the best in its class across all browsers.
One of the key security features is Safari’s prompting for download files. Many browser’s will automatically download files to your computer if configured incorrectly, sometimes without the permission of the user. This is a recipe for malware infiltrations and security breaches.
While Safari is one of the safest browsing platforms available, we recommend that you access your privacy settings and check the box to disable cross-site tracking. That prevents other sites from following your internet activity and tracking your digital movements and actions. If you find yourself needing to delve deeper into the security features of Safari, we recommend taking a look at Safari’s security support page.
Microsoft Edge Security Tips:
Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s latest internet browser and comes standard on most Windows devices. One of the main advantages to Edge’s platform is that because it is Window’s native browser, it should seamlessly integrate with Windows operating system with regards to data security and power use. Edge utilizes built-in security assets, these are called the Code Integrity Guard (CIG) and the Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG), these will prevent malicious malware being loaded onto a computer’s memory.
While Microsoft Edge’s security is incredibly robust, we still recommend that you look closely at your browser settings and be sure to monitor the software’s ability to access your computer files and hard drive. These security features can be controlled through your browser settings and you can find out more about Edge’s security features here.
Firefox is a free web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It’s an ‘open-source’ browser and is available on many platforms including Unix Systems like FreeBSD, Illuminos, and Solaris Unix. Firefox has been crowned one of the safest web browsers by The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).
Firefox utilizes some great tools for protecting yourself while browsing the web. The ‘Do Not Track’ feature is a security tool that allows private browsing of the web and keeps sites from tracking you. Firefox also utilizes other intuitive ways to protect users which include:
- Anti-Phishing Tools
- Malware Blocking Tools
- No-script Anti-Clickjacking – An alert will reveal hidden links and buttons on malicious links
- Renowned Pop-Up Ad Blocking
If those tools aren’t enough to convince you, Mozilla offers a ‘Bounty Program’ to protect its users. This program was created with hopes that the user community will find and report any gaps or errors in Firefox’s source code. Mozilla offers monetary compensation for any identified issues or loopholes that users detect. Overall Firefox is a safe browsing tool that fits most individual users and businesses alike.
No matter how much we try and protect ourselves, we are often vulnerable to hackers with malicious intent. From phishing schemes to harmful malware, networX IT is here to keep your business protected. We highly recommend a comprehensive audit of your business’s network security. We work with Philadelphia area businesses large and small. For more information contact us today and your business will look forward to a safer & more secure 2021!