It is estimated that there are over 2 billion internet users worldwide. And in order to use the internet, they must have a web browser. The most popular browsers worldwide include Google Chrome, at 46% (desktop only) and Internet Explorer, at 24% (desktop only). The same trend carries through on mobile devices including mobile phones and tablets.
Today web browsers are taken for granted. They get us to and from many websites constantly as we scour and search our way through the web. Because we so readily embark on this journey in our daily lives, we fail to think about what’s going on behind the scenes and how the information we provide gets used and sometimes stolen.
As you may have already heard in the news, the latest ‘bug’ in the web is the Heartbleed Bug – a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. The SSL certificate is used on sites where a user’s personal information is gathered in a form for submitting an online order, or some other type of inquiry.
These days people are not only using their desktop web browser for surfing or online purchases, but also their phones and tablets. And these other mobile devices have their own web browsers.
So how do you know if you are safely browsing? The key to online security isn’t ‘knowing’, it is a mixture of routine preventative measures that keep you safe.
Below are some top tips to keep you up-to-date on secure web browsing:
1. Keep your web browser up-to-date.
Download and install the latest version. This will make sure you have all of the latest security to protect you from phishing scams, malware, deceptive web addresses and malicious code.
2. Avoid clicking on links in emails that you don’t trust.
Simple, but very effective. This can go a long way. If you don’t recognize the sender, label the message as ‘spam’ and send it to the trash bin.
3. Always use SSL (https;//)
Always look when submitting information in a form or making a purchase. You should visibly see a lock icon in the address bar of the site.
4. Install Anti-Virus protection on your computer and mobile devices.
There are a multitude of free and low-cost options to protect your computer or device from malware and viruses. The best mobile security softwares include: Kaspersky, Webroot Secure Anywhere, Lookout Premium and BullGuard Mobile Security just to name a few.
5. Routinely Update Passwords.
This is probably the most important guideline when it comes to online security. Making your password too easy is a an easy way for online thieves to access your information and take control. For tips on secure passwords, read our previous blog post entitled “What’s in your password? Tips to keep your content safe.”