How to protect your browser

How to protect your browser

Your browser is the most used program on your computer and, at the same time, the part of the software that is most frequently attacked. In this article we will talk about how to better protect your browser, thus increasing the security of your online experience.

Although the most common problems of Internet browsers are pop-up ads or the change of the home page and redirects to any site, these are not the worst things that can happen to you. Vulnerabilities in dubious browser software, plug-ins, and extensions can allow intruders to gain remote access to your system, your passwords, and other personal data.

Update your browser

All modern browsers - Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Yandex Browser, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and the latest versions of Internet Explorer - have numerous built-in security features, which block questionable content, analyze downloaded data, and others designed to keep users safe. safe users.

At the same time, some types of vulnerabilities are regularly discovered in browsers, which in simple cases may have little effect on the browser, and in others may be used by someone to carry out attacks.

When the following vulnerabilities are discovered, developers quickly release updates to the browser, which in most cases are installed automatically. However, if you use a portable version of the browser or have disabled all browser updates to speed up your system, don't forget to check regularly for updates in the preferences section.

Of course, you should not use older browsers, especially older versions of Internet Explorer. I would also recommend installing only well-known popular products, rather than some of the homemade gadgets that I won't name here. For more information on your options, see Best Browser for Windows.

Beware of browser extensions and plugins

A significant number of problems, especially regarding the appearance of pop-ups with false ads or search results, are due to the work of the extensions in your browser. And at the same time these same extensions can track the characters you type, redirect to other sites, and more.

Use only the extensions you really need, and check the list of extensions. If after installing any program and starting your browser you are asked to enable an extension (Google Chrome), add-on (Mozilla Firefox) or add-on (Internet Explorer), do not rush to do it: think about whether you need it for the program installed works or if it is something questionable.

The same goes for plugins. Deactivate, or better yet, uninstall those plugins that you don't need in your work. For others, it might make sense to enable Click-to-play (run content playback with a plugin on demand). Don't forget about browser plugin updates.

Use anti-exploitation programs

While a few years ago the convenience of using this type of software seemed questionable to me, today I would continue to recommend anti-exploits (An exploit is a program or code that takes advantage of software vulnerabilities, in our case the browser and its plugins to perform attacks).

Exploiting the vulnerabilities of your browser, Flash, Java and other plugins, is possible even if you visit only the most trusted sites: attackers can simply pay to place seemingly harmless ads on it, whose code also exploits these vulnerabilities. And this is not a fantasy, but something that really happens and that has already been called Malvertising.

Of the products of this type available today, I can recommend the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, available on the official website

Check your computer with more than just an antivirus

A good antivirus is fine, but it would still be more reliable to also check the computer with special tools to detect malware and the results of its activity (such as an edited hosts file).

The fact is that most antiviruses do not consider as viruses some things on your computer that are in fact harmful to their use, most of the time they work on the Internet.

Among these tools, I would highlight AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which are discussed in the article The best malware removers.

Be careful and pay attention.

The most important thing to work safely on the computer and on the Internet is to try to analyze your actions and the possible consequences. When they ask you to enter passwords for third-party services, to deactivate the system's security functions to install a program, to download something or send SMS, to share your contacts… you don't have to.

Try to use official and trusted sites, and check for questionable information using search engines. I won't be able to put all the principles into two paragraphs, but the main message is to approach your actions sensibly, or at least to try.

Additional information that may be useful for the general development of this topic: How you can find out your passwords on the Internet, How to catch a virus in your browser.

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