Most computer users don’t think twice about opening their chosen web browser and searching, exploring and clicking their way to a wealth of information. But how often do you think about how safe the communication portal is? Browsers of all kinds are known to contain flaws that can be exploited by hackers. Malware, spyware and various computer viruses can infiltrate your PC by simply popping open Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.
Because web browsers are generally installed on computers before they reach the consumer, most people don’t think twice about using the program to its fullest capability. The problem is that most browsers aren’t configured with absolute safety in mind. This means that simply visiting an infected site may cause the unbeknownst installation of a computer virus or a drive-by download. Most users fail to check links before clicking them or don’t fully check the URL for security. This lack of personal configuration coupled with casual human tendencies can lead to a disastrous combination.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to safely configure a web browser to optimize security. To begin with, users need to be aware of the components of most browsers, including ActiveX and Scripting, which are notoriously riddled with vulnerabilities. These features can be disabled overall and utilized only when necessary. Most web browsers can be configured with more rigorous safety settings under either the Tools or Preferences tab, depending on the browser.
Sometimes, having to manually enable certain browser features can be a bit of a hassle when it comes to optimizing the user experience – the main reason most browsers are installed with more relaxed settings. One option is to have multiple browsers on your computer and have one configured to the highest possible safety settings to be used for more sensitive sites (such as online banking). Aside from configuring your browser, it’s equally important to have quality, up-to-date antivirus and antispyware software installed to quash potential threats, like award-winning PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus.