The Internet is a wonderful place. Aside from all the annoying ads, popping up every few minutes making it difficult for you to read a blog post or watch a video it’s a great and powerful invention.
Talking of those annoying ads, promising you will lose 20lbs in one week if you try their funky trip, don’t you ever click on them. Every time you load one of those ads, a small army of spyware loads in the process. Likewise, be very careful when you download a file from an untrustworthy site, otherwise you will end up with malware that hitched a ride along with it.
No browser is bulletproof so, the best thing you can do is harden it’s security against malware by following these tips.
Be careful when you install plug-ins you’re not familiar with
Used with moderation, plug-ins and extensions are usually good for you and your software. Used in excess, they can put your computer at risk. Too many unnecessary plug-ins can slow down your computer while others can have a malicious software attached.
Turn on pop-up blockers
Pop-ups are extremely annoying and, most of the time, they host malware. Once you click on them, your computer gets infected. Luckily, nowadays you harden your browser against malicious pop-ups by installing a pop-up blocker. A pop-up blocker won’t let any site create a window without your authorization, thus making your searching easier and more secure.
Install security plug-ins
Another way you can harden you browser against malware is by installing a security plug-in. So, if a virus tries to sneak in, a security plug-in will immediately block it, enhance your system’s security and prevent your computer from getting infected. Some of the security plug-ins we recommend are: HTTPS Everywhere – for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, Web of Trust – for Internet Explorer and LongURL.org for Twitter and Facebook.
Delete spam messages without opening them
Ever gotten an email from a Nigerian prince urging you send a specific amount of money which would supposedly allow him to access his savings account and reward you, the benefactor, with more money than you ever imagined? As you know, this spam message is a spam, officially known as The Nigerian 419 scam. Other spam messages, on the other hand can load your computer with malware.
Don’t open email attachments unless you know the sender
It’s pretty simple: if you don’t know the sender, don’t open any email attachments and immediately send the message to spam. And even if you know the sender think twice before opening the attachment. Malicious emails are designed to collect personal date and infect your computer. Some viruses don’t even require users to forward the email; they scan the computer and automatically send the infected message to all of the addresses they find.
Be careful with email attachments even when they appear to be from someone in authority, like your bank. It’s usually a phishing scam, tricking you into revealing your password or other personal information.
Install a strong antivirus program
Last, but not least, don’t forget to install a strong antivirus program to protect your computer and your devices.