Safe Browsing Habits

Tips for Safer Surfing the Internet

Helping You To Stay Safe Online

Updated: March 26, 2021
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff
Browsing Habits
Menu

We are all guilty at times of overlooking the need for online safety
How many times have you Clicked on “Agree” without reading the terms and unknowing installed malware. Or downloaded files from questionable websites. Doing online shopping with that free public WiFi. Using simple passwords
All because you think no one is watching?

Some of the most basic things like opening many tabs with your Browser without really checking whether they are safe or not. You will be surprised at how many times dangerous surfing habits are overlooked. Normally Cyber Security is not a major concern until our computers and devices are infected with viruses or malware

There are many ways you can put yourself in trouble online, but some of these habits are common mistakes we can change with very little effort. Are you guilty of any of the mentioned examples? If "Yes" try our solutions, they could just save you from some very big trouble

Common Unsafe Browsing Habits
Tips to Help Protect You

Turning off Automated Security Tools

Internet users are sometimes frustrated by slow Internet or by the permanent exclusion of certain types of files. They occasionally will turn off the firewall on their computers. Unfortunately forgetting to Turn on their Firewalls once they are done. This can lead to being vulnerable to all kinds of attacks, especially when they are online. These firewalls are not only meant to protect from viruses but also offer real time protection from Hackers

Anti-Malware - Anti-Virus

Ignoring Antivirus Updates is just bad. But not having any program that protects you from malicious threats is even worse. Do your research and find yourself reliable anti-virus and anti-malware programs. We have listed a few here

Microsoft Security Essentials Kaspersky Free Antivirus
Bitdefender Antivirus Free
Avast Free Antivirus
Malwarebytes Cybersecurity
SpyBot Search & Destroy
Watchdog Anti-malware
Xvirus Anti-Malware
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
Panda Free Antivirus for Windows and Android
Super Anti Spyware
AVG for Mac and Windows

Participating in Online ChatRooms

Social Sites have now embraced Chat-rooms for interactions with users. However, some Social Networking sites are malicious. Attackers can view and intercept your shared connections. This is dangerous, especially for business people and corporates, who can get their business networks corrupted and end up losing clients

Suspicious Websites

Watch out for suspicious websites. This is one of the most common ways of getting malware. Only do transactions on Secure Sites. The easiest way to find out if the website is secure is to look at the URL. You should be able to find a padlock next to the address and the beginning of the URL should start with HTTPS. This means that any activity in these secure sites are encrypted and that the domain ownership has been validated

Protect your Password

You need to make a new password every time you sign up for an account in most websites. When you do, make sure that your passwords are airtight (especially for more sensitive accounts like social media or banking). Do not be lazy here. Think of a strong, unique password, especially for banking or shopping sites. One of the best ways to create (and more importantly remember) your password is to use pass phrases. You can use a middle name of your spouse, zip code of your work, throw in a strange character, then maybe your Initials but in caps

This example might look like:
rose44109#HWH

Looks like garble text right? Exactly. But look how easy it would be for you to remember. And best thing is no more "Sticky Notes" all over your work station for anyone to see. You can also use a reliable password manager to help you remember all your unique passwords. Also see our article on Creating a Strong Password

Browser Extensions

There are thousands of extensions that supposedly help improve your surfing. Do you really need most of them? Remember that the more extensions and plugins you have in your browser, the riskier things get. You could download a plugin or extension that collects your data or worse can infect your computer or device with malware. Choose those extensions wisely. Only install the ones that can actually help and will protect your privacy

Users like to add plugins and extensions to enhance the functioning of their browsers. Harmful Browser Extension could end up collecting your private data or worse. Choose your extensions wisely and always download from safe sources

Mobile Device Protection

Unless you take your phone everywhere you go. Without ever leaving it unattended. You need some sort of Locking Screen Protection If you do not lock your device anyone can install malware or spy-ware without you even noticing. We also recommend enabling "Remote Location and Wiping" when possible. If someone steals your device you can quickly erase all your private information remotely. For more reading see our Security Apps and Tools for Smartphones

Links in Email

Infections to you computer or device is successful because you click on links in your email form a random sender. This is known as phishing, and it happens to more people than you would expect. These phishing emails try to lure you into visiting fake websites, opening attachments, fake bank notices. The hacker then installs malware on your device. Steal your passwords, credit card details and or other sensitive information. If you do not know who it came from why on earth would you click their link. See How to Spot a Fake Email

Uploading files to the Cloud

Think your data is safe when you upload to the cloud? No they are not. Cloud companies can access your files anytime they want. They are also vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches, which can give away your sensitive data. Avoid this by encrypting your files before uploading them to the cloud to keep your secrets private no matter what. We suggest Data encryption tools, such as

BitLocker
VeraCrypt for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux
FileVault 2 for macOS
AxCrypt
PeaZip
WinZip

Allowing Cookies for All Sites

Most surfers have no idea what "Cookies" actually do. But we have all accessed websites asking to enable cookies. Cookies are files created and stored on your computer whenever you visit a site. They are meant to store information that should be available from session to session, including login data. Most of the time it is ok to allow First Party Cookies, those which are from the actual site. Third Party Cookies are set by other domains and can be harmful, especially since some are used to track your online behavior

By default Firefox blocks all third-party cookies. Chrome and Apple Safari have recently begun doing so as well. Blocking third-party cookies will not create login issues. But may result in seeing fewer ads. However blocking all cookies can sometimes lead to problems, as some websites rely on first-party cookies to function properly

Phishing Scams and Websites

Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov. And to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email. You can also Forward phishing emails to reportphishing@apwg.org. An address used by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, which includes ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies. Let the company or person that was impersonated know about the phishing scheme. And report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint

Public WiFi

Public WiFi or wireless networks almost always lack proper protection, leaving users open to hacking and attacks. When on a Public WiFi, never check banking or any sensitive information, especially if it is work or money related

Is your Smartphone Secure?

Do you take your mobile device everywhere you go? Why do you keep it unprotected? With so much sensitive information on your smartphone, securing your mobile device should be the first thing you do after you buy a new phone. Start by managing your security settings, adding lock screen protection, Also see our blog on "Outsmarting your Smart Device"

Logging Out After Transaction

After you finish your business after making purchases or your online bank. Always log out of your account. Do not just close your Browser. Closing out the Browser will not automatically log out your account, which could make it more susceptible to hacking

Warning Pop Ups

When surfing you may come across certain websites that threaten you by claiming to have found malware, viruses or outdated software on your computer. Never click on these. They will try to install malware, ad-ware or worse a virus on your device

WiFi Passwords

Strong password on your home WiFi? If not you are susceptible to easy hacking. If your network is hacked they can collect all your sensitive data and private information. See our page on Creating a Strong Password

HTTP Websites

HTTP in the prefix of the website address indicates that your connection is not secure, meaning that hackers could see any sensitive data at that site. This is especially dangerous for online banking and cases when you need to provide private information. Only use Websites that use SSL Encrypted connection, indicated by "HTTPS". What is HTTP and HTTPS

Read "All terms" when installing Software

Reading the terms and conditions every time is just a pain in the you know what. But you should read those terms every time. Here is why: When you install apps or software without reading the terms you may be allowing the software to do some very undesirable things. Collecting information about you, listen to your conversations, installing Trojans, Viruses, Malicious Software and Adware, the list can go on and on. So read. With every install

Webcams

Ever have that feeling someone is watching you? Maybe through your Webcam? You may just be right. Things like webcam hacking, snooping, and location tracking happens all the time. If you suspect someone hacked your webcam or hacked you without your consent, do not ignore this. Read our blog on "Online Privacy and Security, Protecting Your Privacy"

Other Helpful Websites

Scam Detector

How To Stay Safe Online. It is all about data protection, online security, and other tips for staying safe online. This is an educational category with over 60 articles

StaySafe.org

10 Tips To Stay Safe Online As well as anti-virus software, there are many other good ideas to ensure safe online shopping on websites and through social media, doing online banking, and put a stop to identity theft to ensure online safety

Internet Safety Tips and Resources

How to Stay Safe Online. It is no secret that the Internet is home to some shady characters, but staying safe online doesn't require you to turn your internet off. Instead, stay mindful and take a look at these 10 easy tips for online safety

Get Safe Online

We will help you stay online with safety and confidence. Videos. Watch our great advice videos

Justice.gov

Keeping Children Safe Online. Stay safe at home. Stay safe online. To report an online child sexual exploitation offense, call 911 or go to report.cybertip.org. Tips to help protect children

Google Safety Center

Tools and tips to help you stay safe online. We automatically protect your privacy with industry-leading security. There are a few additional steps you can take to manage your online security and choose the right level of protection for you

The Mix

Remember that someone you met online might not always be who they say they are. You should never feel pressured or obligated to chat online

Stay Safe Online

An Easy Guide to Safely Using Mobile Apps. Even apps that you hardly use can subject you to security vulnerabilities. As long as they're installed, they don't need to be running in order to do damage

Staying safe online and on your devices

Stay safe online Clear your browser history. As you search the internet a record of your activity is recorded on the device you're using

Stay Safe Online

How To Stay Safe Online. Online Safety Basics. Learn how to protect yourself, your family and devices with these online safety tips and resources. These resources and tips will help you to better secure them and keep your data safe


We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.
Or if you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact us anytime
Thank you

Tweet  Share  Pin  Tumble  Email