top of page
  • Writer's pictureDoug Ennis

Navigating the Digital Wilderness: A Guide to Safe Web Browsing


“For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.”– Eleanor Everet


In the digital age, web browsers are the gateways to the vast expanse of the internet. They allow us to access information, communicate, shop, and entertain ourselves. However, with great power comes great responsibility. As users, we must be vigilant about our browsing habits to ensure our safety and privacy. Here are some best practices to avoid danger zones and ensure safe web browsing.


Danger Zones in the Digital Wilderness

These are the dark places in the forest, dangerous if you stray too far from the path:

  • Phishing Scams: Phishing scams are prevalent and often succeed by mimicking legitimate websites to steal personal data. Always verify the authenticity of websites, especially when entering sensitive information.

  • Weak Defenses: Weak antivirus defenses, unblocked popups, and unsafe use of saved passwords and form data are common security weaknesses in web browsers.

  • Malicious Redirects and Extensions: Be wary of malicious redirects and browser extensions that can compromise your security. Ensure that any plugins or extensions you use are from reputable sources and are kept up to date.

  • DNS Attacks: DNS attacks can redirect you to fraudulent websites without your knowledge. Use DNS security solutions to protect against such threats.

  • Unsecured Webpages: The modern web widely uses TLS for encryption. This is denoted in a site’s URL by the prefix (https://). If you get a warning that the website’s certificate is expired, or the site uses the deprecated http://, your information may be at risk if you continue to access, browse, authenticate to, or interact with the site.

 

Best Practices for Secure Browsing

Scared now? Don’t worry, these preventative measures will aid in securing your journey in the digital wilderness. Consider the following:

  • Keep Your Browser Updated: One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect yourself online is to keep your web browser updated. Developers regularly release updates that patch security vulnerabilities. Enabling automatic updates ensures that you benefit from the latest security measures.

  • Use a Secure Internet Connection: Always ensure that your internet connection is secure. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions and consider using a VPN for an added layer of security.

  • Install Antivirus Software: A robust antivirus software can act as a line of defense against malware that might slip through your browser’s security measures.

  • Manage Cookies and Cache: Regularly clean your web browser cookies and cache to prevent tracking and to maintain privacy.

  • Block Pop-Ups: Pop-ups can be more than just annoying; they can also be a source of malware. You can use your browser’s built-in pop-up blocker to keep them at bay or install a trusted third-party pop-up/adblocker like uBlock Origin.

  • Be Cautious with Extensions: Browser extensions can enhance your browsing experience, but they can also pose security risks. Only install extensions from trusted sources and regularly review the permissions you’ve granted them.

  • Consider a Password Manager: While it may be convenient to store your logins and passwords within your web browser, you should be aware that it is possible for bad actors to gain access to these passwords via scraping methods. It is best practice to adopt the use of a password manager such as Dashlane or 1Password for storage of login information.


Conclusion

Web browsers are powerful tools that require careful handling. By following best practices and being aware of potential threats, users can significantly reduce their risk of encountering security issues. Stay informed, stay secure, and enjoy the wealth of resources the internet has to offer. I hope you find this article informative and helpful in understanding the importance of safe web browsing practices and the potential risks involved. Stay safe online!


If you need assistance evaluating the risk to your organization, hardening the environment, or training of staff on safe browsing tactics, One Bridge Consulting can help! Please reach out to us at sales@obc.tech, or call us directly at 207-352-1743 between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. 


7 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page