How To Ensure A Safe And Virus-free Internet Experience

Visiting websites like Facebook, Ebay, or Youtube at work may keep you busy while there’s “nothing to do.” However, if your computer system isn’t properly protected, you run the risk of a virus or malware infection.

We’ve put together some of our best tips in this “safe browsing habits” article. Following these general guidelines can help protect you against Internet based threats.

One of the dangers faced by users when they browse the Internet is a hacker or infected computer accessing the browser’s cookies. Cookies are small text files saved on the computer by the server of the page the user is visiting.

The information cookies contain is usually related to the page being visited, which can include user names and passwords, browsing preferences, etc.

Java Applets and JavaScripts can also put users at risk. Although the majority of these programs that are run on the user’s computer at the request of the server are harmless, they can be designed to steal system information and send it to a malicious user.

Another threat that is becoming one of the most dangerous threats on the Internet is phishing. This technique involves tricking users into thinking that are visiting a legitimate web page, when they are actually visiting a malicious page.

This technique is particularly dangerous when the malicious page simulates an online banking page. Web pages that perfectly imitate the appearance and functions of well-known banking entities are becoming increasingly common-place on the Internet and entice users into entering personal data that will fall directly in the hands of unscrupulous cyber criminals.

But that’s not all. There are also viruses that are capable of getting into computers when users browse the Internet. To do this, they usually exploit vulnerabilities that allow them to install themselves on computers without the user realizing.

The malicious code that have the capacity to do this include many Trojans designed to steal confidential information from affected computers.

Online banking
When making transactions on the Internet, check that the process is carried out through a secure server. Several characteristics identify these types of servers. One of these is the address that appears in the address bar in the browser, which starts with https://.

What’s more, a padlock or key icon will appear in the browser window. If the padlock is closed or the key is complete (not broken), the server is secure.

Disable cookies
Another recommendation is to disable the cookies from the toolbar in the browser you are using. Although they must be enabled in order to access some web pages, they can be enabled temporarily.

Even though it may be tiresome enabling and disabling the cookies, it can prevent a lot of serious problems.

Double check the URL
To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, make sure that the page you are visiting is legitimate. To do this, copy the URL of the website you want to visit and paste it in the address bar of the browser. It is also advisable to identify and monitor the Java Applets and JavaScripts on the system to avoid any nasty surprises.

Raise your security level
Raise the security zone in the browser to ‘medium’ or ‘high.’ This can be done from the toolbar in the browser you are using.

Anti-virus is key
Finally, make sure that you have a reliable antivirus installed, which is updated at least daily. This will prevent malicious code from slipping into your computer while you are browsing the Internet.