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Browser Security - Internet Safe Surfing Tips

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Started ‎12-01-2011 by
Modified ‎12-01-2011 by
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Browser Security - Internet Safe Surfing Tips

Question

Since most malware seems to come from the net these days, I would be interested to know how the experts are configuring their browser of choice, and which security plug-ins and extensions they consider essential.

Answer

 

What to take note:

 

Capability to scan websites/URLs

Whatever your browser is, it will be best if your security software has the capability to scan the websites/URLs that you're trying to visit or connect to.  Those kind of security softwares will inform you if you're about to go to a malicious website -- and will prevent you to continue so that your machine will not get infected (or so that there's no data theft that will happen).

 

Scanning links from search engine results & social networking sites

Another good feature is the scanning of links from search results (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) and links from social networking sites like Facebook.  This way, the user will be aware if the link is good (there will be a check mark besides it) or malicious (an 'X' mark will be placed on the side).

 

Beware when doing online payments/banking

Make sure you check

  • site certificate
  • URL that the site can be trusted and secure (https). 

 

DO NOT:

  • Install any toolbars
  • Visit sites with bizaare domains
  • Click or install pop-ups for either codecs or extensions
 

Plug-ins recommendation:

Trend Micro's Browser Guard

This one is good for Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher

 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Most of us are familiar with Malwarebytes Free version. The paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has a website blocking component.

 

Web Of Trust 

The WOT add-on shows you which websites you can trust based on millions of users' experiences. Our friends at WOT do a good job not only rating links in searches, but those on Facebook as well.

 

It uses colored alerts to warn users about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware, or send spam. You can protect your computer against online threats by using WOT as your front-line layer of protection when browsing or searching in unfamiliar territory. WOT's color-coded icons show you ratings for well over 21 million websites, helping you avoid the dangerous sites:

  • Red for Warning = STOP
  • Yellow for Use Caution
  • Green for Safe
  • Grey for Unknown

 

Browser Settings:

 

Firefox

 

  • NoScript - I turn on Allow Scripts Globally. It still blocks click hi jackings.
  • Flashblock
  • adblock plus - I choose either the easylist or fanboys list. Then I go into the settings and add the other one of the 2 so that both are active and block about every ad. ( It's best to allow ads on known safe sites - as that is what's keeping them free for us to visit)
  • Not to be tracked - Firefox Version 5 added the option to not be tracked:
    1. Click the Firefox button
    2. On the Options dialog, click the "Privacy" button
    3. Under "Tracking", select the "Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked" option
    4. Then click "OK"

 

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)

 

  • Tracking Protection Lists
  • Active X Filtering
  • Smart Screen Filter, including:
    • Application Reputation and
    • Anti-Phishing and Malvertising Protection

If you are not familiar with those features, additional information with accompanying screen captures is available here at our forum member cum MVPs Corrine's blog: Internet Explorer 9, Privacy and Security Enhancements.