Being tricked into visiting malicious websites and getting your computer infected with malware is not the only way your business data can get compromised. By browsing without using security measures, your computers and data could get into trouble. This could then trickle down to affect your entire home or business network. FYI: your web browser knows a lot about the sites you visit, including the credentials you use to access financial and business accounts. Secure your browsers and your data by following these steps.
Install ad blocking software
Online ads may seem harmless, other than the inconvenience of having to close them so often, but they can contain scripts and widgets that send your data to a third party. A decent ad blocking program will stop banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and prevent you from inadvertently visiting a site that may contain malware. These pop-up adds are so inviting sometimes, making it hard to determine what is a legitimate add and what will take you to a harmful third party site.
Not only will they stop banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, but many blockers also come with additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on sites, the option to block specific items, and options to “clean up” Facebook and hide YouTube comments.
Prevent browser tracking
If you are not to keen on the idea of a third party (reputable or otherwise) tracking your browsing habits, you can enable private browsing using built-in tools in your internet browser such as Chrome’s Incognito mode or Safari’s Private Browsing windows. In my experience, it is extremely easy to locate and enable a private browsing window. I use Microsoft Edge, and and simply click the ellipses (aka "three little dots") at the top right of my page, and choose "New InPrivate Window". This will launch a new, separate window that is in private browsing mode. Additionally, any new tabs that are opened in this window will automatically be in private browsing mode. This offers protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some browser extensions even boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization, and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Set up a virtual private network (VPN)
Unfortunately, browser tracking and adware are not the only internet nasties that you need to be concerned about. Hackers can intercept sensitive data between two parties, allowing them to steal and exploit valuable information such as bank details, login credentials, and other personal information. Installing a VPN can help solve this problem. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re browsing.
Install antivirus and anti-malware software
Finally, it goes without saying that having antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your PC, tablet, and smartphone is crucial if you want to ensure your online safety. These software programs are your first defense against malicious parties intent on stealing your data.
Is browsing at your workplace secure? Would you like a more comprehensive security system for your business? We can tell you all about it and help protect your business from online threats.