Safe Browsing On The Internet
BackgroundWhen Nasir is browsing the internet, he sometimes gets alerts that a virus just tried to get into his computer. Viruses can easily destroy all of the work on his computer and make it useless, but he does not worry because he practices safe browsing.
While you are innocently surfing the Web, you may not realize that you could be picking up spyware, downloading malware, or even visiting fraudulent sites. Of course, you do not have to be afraid of every click you make, but there are some simple precautions you should take to stay safe while you’re browsing.
Protecting your computer against malicious sites
Every browser has security features that protect you against visiting malicious sites that contain malware or phishing scams. When you visit a malicious site, your browser will display a red warning message.
Keeping your browser updated
New malware and phishing threats are constantly being introduced, so it is important to keep your browser updated. How do you do this?
- Make sure you have the latest version of your browser.
- Make sure you have installed all recent updates.
Malicious sites often use deceptive domains to trick users into believing they are on a legitimate site. For example CBN site should be www.cbn.com.ng and not www.cbnn.com.ng with an extra n.
Internet Explorer has a feature called Domain Highlighting for checking domains.
Verifying secure sites
One of the easiest ways malware, spyware, and adware can access your computer is through downloads; The following tips will help you download content safely.
Download only from trusted sites
You should only download from well-established sites you trust. CNET is one reputable site where you can download files that have been checked for malware, spyware, or adware.
Save downloads vs. running them
Be cautious of freeware
Common types of freeware (free software) include desktop backgrounds, free images, emoticons, computer games, etc.
Avoid illegal downloads
When you illegally download copyrighted material like music, books, software, games, and videos, you are violating federal laws, which can lead to fines and even jail time.
Be cautious of P2P file sharing
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs like BitTorrent and LimeWire have been known to contain malware, adware, and illegal downloads; therefore, it is best to practice caution when downloading and sharing from P2P sites.
Understanding how your browsing activity is tracked
Did you know that your actions and what you click on may be tracked when you browse the Internet? Here are a few examples of how that can be done:
- Websites like Amazon, eBay, and Netflix collect data about your preferences so they can make suggestions to you for products or movies they think you might like.
- Google tracks and analyzes activity to provide statistical data to companies. These companies may use this data for marketing or advertising purposes, or to analyze the effectiveness of a website.
- Some governments may collect data about your online activity in case it is needed for criminal investigations or national security purposes.
It is important to have an awareness of this tracking to practice safe browsing habits based on your desired level of privacy.
Pop-ups are small browser windows that automatically pop up when you visit certain sites. They may sometimes be part of the legitimate functioning of a site, or they may contain advertisements that can be annoying or objectionable. However, some pop-ups may contain malware; therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure your browser’s pop-up blocker is turned on.
Turn on Pop-up blocker in Chrome
Turn on Pop-up blocker in Internet Explorer
Important: If you encounter a pop-up that seems suspicious, do not click OK, Cancel, or Agree to try and close the window because this may access malware. Close the window by clicking the X in the upper-right corner or by pressing ALT+F4on your keyboard (if you use Windows).
How to clear your cache
Web browsers store pages, images, and downloaded content to the cache when you visit websites. The browser can speed up access to sites by loading pages from the cache rather than re-downloading content when you return to a site. However, with a high-speed Internet connection you may not notice the difference. In addition, the cache can take up space over time, causing your browser to slow down. Therefore, it’s a good idea to clear the cache on a regular basis to help free up space on your computer.
Clearing the Cache in Google Chrome
Clearing the Cache in Internet Explorer
Continue the conversation.
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