Adults in the US spend about 4 hours a day connecting to the Internet, but complaints and frustrations about surfing the Internet are increasing. There are a few common themes that occur over and over again, including a lack of website compatibility, the threats caused by malicious software and viruses, and concerns about intrusive advertisements, disruptive pop-ups, and data privacy.
Fortunately, there are several ways to protect yourself and make your internet experience safer and more enjoyable, whether you're surfing on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Here are some of our top tips:
10 tips for browsing safely
Keep your browser and any plug-ins updated
Web browsers are often your first point of contact with the Internet, regardless of which device you use. Developers regularly release updates to ensure that you can experience the latest news from the web – more than ever, websites are taking advantage of all the new features made possible by HTML5 video and audio, advanced styling and improved speeds. Many sites have stopped supporting older versions of browsers due to compatibility and security issues.
Hackers often focus on vulnerabilities in web browsers. Hence the companies that ensure that they regularly publish updates to patch any vulnerabilities. If you install the latest versions, your device remains safe. Fortunately, most browsers contain options to automatically update them in the browser itself or as part of the operating system update tools.
Use a browser that allows you to take your bookmarks between the devices
In most modern browsers you can create an account, so that you are less dependent on search engines and synchronize your bookmarks between your laptop, tablet and smartphone. Many even show you the pages that you have opened on other devices and open them on the device that you are currently using.
Although desktop pop-ups from your operating system are inevitable, pop-ups in your web browser can often be disabled. Browser pop-ups usually open new browser windows to push advertisements, and while most are just annoying, some may contain malicious links or inappropriate content. Most browsers come with filters that automatically block pop-ups and allow you to allow them for those trusted sites where they may be of benefit.
Use an ad block
Pop-up advertisements and the feeling of advertisements that you follow on the internet have led to an increase in the popularity of the adblocker. Ad blockers stop web pages & # 39; s with ads, which sounds great until you realize how controversial this topic is and what major impact it could have on the websites you visit.
Most websites are paid for by advertisements based on pay per impression. So if you run an adblock ad unit, you deny the publisher the income that is paid to keep the site running.
Protect yourself by all means by using an ad block, but consider putting your favorite sites on the white list, because the advertising revenue is what keeps them running!
Enable "do not track" in your browser
Many browsers include the option to send a "do not track" request to websites that ask them not to collect or track your browsing data. However, what happens depends on how the sites respond to the request, but most websites and web servers do not change their behavior and seem to ignore the request. But it's a good start to make it clear that you don't want to be followed.
Delete the cache and cookies from your internet browser
Even if websites decide to track your browsing data, you can limit the consequences by regularly clearing your browser's cache and deleting unwanted cookies. This prevents advertisements from following you on the internet and you can also ensure that the latest version of a webpage is downloaded.
In all major browsers you can do this manually, and you can easily erase all your data, but there are also software options that automate the process to make your life easier. Whichever route you choose to go, it may be worthwhile to put those sites that you regularly log on to the white list to avoid having to re-enter the login details.
Enable private browsing
Private browsing protects your private information and blocks some websites from following your search and browsing data. It will not hide your activity from your internet provider, but it does reduce the accumulation of cookies and can be useful if you buy gifts online for a considerably different person.
Use a VPN
Virtual proxy networks or VPNs help you protect your privacy by encrypting your data and internet requests before they ever reach the internet. The technology works the same regardless of how you connect to the Internet: the encrypted data is sent to the VPN server that decodes the requests before they are sent to the online destination. The information is then sent back through the same process, which means that sites, advertisers and internet service providers cannot keep track of what you are doing.
VPNs such as those used in Panda Dome use the safest encryption protocols on the market to ensure that the only person who can see your data is you.
Use a password manager
The number of password leaks that occur when websites are hacked makes it very dangerous to reuse the same password for a series of different sites. To prevent password leaks from being too damaging, you must use unique passwords on every website. These must also be strong passwords – long, unpredictable passwords that contain numbers and symbols.
However, it is almost impossible to remember strong passwords for all those different passwords – that is where a password manager enters. They securely encrypt and store your login details for all the websites you use and help you log in automatically – so you only remember that person Master password.
Ensure up-to-date antivirus and firewall protection
You need antivirus and firewall protection software on your computer, no matter how carefully you browse the web or how smart you think you are about the links you click and the files you open.
Threats can be hidden even in the most reliable websites or files from the most trusted sources and ensuring that you are protected with a smart antivirus platform is definitely worth a small investment in time to ensure that you are protected. The most reputable antivirus software solutions currently available use big data and AI to monitor every active application and detect attacks before they occur.