Secure Online Browsing: Security and Privacy Tips
You’ve secured your passwords, but did you know that browsing online and visiting your favorite sites also leave you vulnerable? Here are a few tips for a more secure online browsing experience.
Always use HTTPS – If you’re at Starbucks or the library and checking email, Facebook or any site with a password on a public network, always use HTTPS. HTTPS encrypts the data sent and received. And regardless of where you are, use the protocol when accessing financial information or shopping online. Using the HTTPS protocol may slow down your browsing experience, but it’s well worth the trouble.
Log out of your accounts – Family members and friends may use your computer. Log out from all accounts. Instead of saving logins to your browser that auto-populates your credentials, use a password manager like 1Password or LassPass. Now, when you log out of your password manager, no one using your computer will be able to access password protected sites.
Use more than one browser – If you must stay logged into accounts for work or to monitor activity on a social network, for instance, use a different browser for those sites only. When logged in, Facebook and many other sties track your every move. Deleting cookies on a regular basis will also help to shut down prying eyes.
Private browsing – All the major browsers have a “Private Browsing” mode which allows you to browse the Internet without tracking any information about which sites you’ve visited. It prevents your history and cookies from being saved. This is especially useful when using shared computers.
Surf anonymously – Each computer has a unique IP address which can be used to identify you and track your activity. Activating the “Private Browser” mode doesn’t mask your IP address. To go all the way to truly anonymous surfing you’ll need a proxy server via third party applications like CyberGhost. Use sparingly.
Finally, you can install a bunch of security and privacy browser extensions and add-ons for an extra layer of protection. Be very selective as extensions can significantly slow down your browser’s performance.