An unpatched web browser is an easy target for malware, and the web is crawling with it. Our SophosLabs experts see an average of 20,000-30,000 new malicious URLs each day. And 80% of them are compromised legitimate sites, so even the sites you think are safe one day might not be the next.
How can you make sure you’re secure when you surf the web? Here are five ways you can make your browser the most secure it can be.
5 ways to make your web browser more secure
1. Block third-party cookies. Cybercriminals can exploit cookies in some malicious ways, but they are an important component of Internet usability. Turning them off altogether is not a viable option, but you should change your browser settings to block third-party cookies.
2. Be wary of autocomplete. The autocomplete or autofill feature saves keystrokes by storing information you recently typed, such as search terms, recently visited websites and even your personal login information. Using autocomplete for login information poses a big risk if your laptop is lost or stolen.
3. Restrict add-ons to an absolute minimum. Add-ons can harbor malware and add more possibilities for attacking your browser. Configure your browsers to prevent them from installing add-ons without a prompt. However, if your security vendor supplies add-ons for your browser, make sure you don’t disable them.
4. Enable content filters. Most popular browsers employ a database of phishing and/or malware sites to protect against the most common threats. Make sure that you and your users enable content filters.
5. Turn on popup blockers. Popups are not only annoying, they also can host embedded malware directly or lure users into clicking on something using social engineering tricks. Be sure that your selected browser has popup blocking enabled.
Securing your browser is a must, but there are other ways you should protect yourself from web attacks. Most importantly, you need an antivirus to protect your computers and devices.
For more tips on securing your browser, download our free whitepaper Five Tips to Reduce Risk From Modern Web Threats (registration required).