Tips for Browsing the Internet Safely

Written by: Kevin Gardner

The internet is a vast resource for many people. It contains an infinite wealth of information, websites, and stores. While the advancement of technology has improved the internet, unfortunately, it makes it easier for internet villains to attempt to hack unsuspecting users.

Today, it's imperative to take the steps to protect oneself while surfing the web, and it's not as difficult as it sounds.

Check the Websites You Visit

Modern browsers are able to distinguish between a site that is safe and encrypted and one that is not as safe. A simple way to find out is by looking at the search bar. HTTP is considered the backbone of the internet; it allows users to browse sites with ease. In modern times, many secure websites have HTTPS, which indicates that a website has an encrypted connection for safer browsing. A TLS handshake can also be performed. There's no need to stress over the question of "What is TLS?" Think of it as a negotiation between a client and the server to make sure the connection is encrypted.

Use a VPN

VPN, or virtual private networks, aren't just a fad of the moment. These programs are made to provide the user with an encrypted connection that protects their IP address and other identifiable digital information. The VPN will assign the user a random IP address from any corner of the globe for an extra layer of protection. It's also useful for streaming films and TV shows from other countries.

Make Use of a Password Manager

Passwords are a nuisance nobody wants to deal with, but they are valuable in keeping information hidden away from prying eyes. Even the task of coming up with a new password with symbols, numbers, and other characters can be daunting. By using a password manager program, one can have all their passwords under one virtual roof, and they'll only need to remember their master password. Bearing that in mind, don't forget to create strong passwords for any account you make. Do not use passwords anyone can guess in one try.

Clear Browser Caches and Cookies

Cookies in the internet realm aren't the delicious treats familiar to many people. Instead, they are little pieces of personal data, like a username and password, collected from websites one visits and saved within the browser. A web cache stores information on webpages one visits such as photos and links; this makes loading pages easier on repeat visits but can also make the loading process longer. Both cookies and caches can take up a lot of space on any computer or device, so clearing them every week can help.

Use Private Browsing

The beauty of the internet is that one is free to browse the websites they want to visit. But sometimes, one may not want anyone to know about their browsing history, such as during the holiday season when searching for gifts becomes the task of the hour every hour. Browsers today have a feature called private browsing that keeps the pages you visit out of your history. Private browsing is best used on a device that isn't shared with others or part of a private network, such as that of your employer.

Keep Your Antivirus Protection Updated

These days, antivirus protection is an essential program to have on any electronic device. Computer viruses are codes or programs that can wreak havoc on your computer if not caught early. The many things that viruses are capable of are nothing to play around with, so update your antivirus protection as often as possible. For even more protection around the clock, make sure your firewall is on to prevent unwanted connections.

When one takes precautions to protect themselves on the internet, browsing, working, and many other online tasks become less of a hassle. These precautions also bring back the fun in exploring the web. Consider trying any of these tips to keep yourself and your digital assets safe.

Related: 5 Tips for Going Digital in Your Business