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Improve Your Online Security

Improve Your Online Security

Boost your online security by applying these 10 handy tips to your web browsing habits...

When it comes to online security, installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software is simply not enough, this is because many threats are set up to bypass popular anti-virus softwares. The truth of matter is that you have to be more savvy than that, you must surf the net with the strictest diligence.

10 tips on how to boost your online security:

Improve Online Security

Improve Online Security

1. Augment your anti-virus tool

Tools like Threatfire are designed to work in conjunction with your anti-virus software. But unlike traditional anti-virus tools, Threatfire doesn’t rely on signatures to identify malware. Instead, it monitors your PC for suspicious malware-like behavior. The software works silently in the background until a threat is detected, at which point the user will be notified.

2. Switch to plain text mail

Many unpleasant things can be hidden away in HTML. If you set your inbox to view all messages as HTML, you will be able to see these hidden codes.

3. Don’t click mail links

It’s best to never visit any website by clicking links from your emails, especially if those links are taking you to a site which requires your log-in details. Most of these links which take you to a home page asking for log-in or account details are scams, once you enter your details, they can be used by the hacker who set up the link.

4. Vet your email

Most anti-spam tools only process email that’s been downloaded from your mail server . By installing an application like PopTray, you can check and preview your mail while it’s still on the server. This allows you to delete unwanted or suspicious messages without exposing them to your mail program.

5. Switch web browser

If you are not careful with your online surfing, the Active-X controls found in FireFox, Opera and Chrome can support potentially malicious software. If you are unsure what you allow through your Active-X filter, you could switch your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer, which uses a different security protocol.

6. Check web sites before you visit

Plug-ins like Web of Trust feature traffic-light systems that warn you if a website contains malicious codes.

7. Manage your passwords

A password manager such as KeePass enables you to securely and easily enter your passwords into any program. You only need to remember one master password, so you can create the most complex combinations you will never need to remember. The program can even generate secure, random passwords for you.

8. Screen all downloads

Never open attachments or downloads directly form the source, instead save them to your desktop then scan the file with your anti-virus software (you can do this by right-clicking the file and selecting ‘scan with …’).

9. Learn the P2P basics

Peer-to-peer networks are a breeding ground for malicious software, especially in content that’s been copyrighted. If you must use p2p, pick a trusted provider, be careful what you share, and read the comments to get a better idea of what you are about to download. Once you have downloaded the files/s, be sure to scan it with your anti-virus before opening it.

10. Create a virtual sandbox

Sandbox (Click here to read our original SandBox article >>>) is a virtual drive the works on an protected and isolated space of your hdd. With the Sandbox enabled, every change you make (e.g, download files, install software) is discarded when you delete the sandbox, so you can surf the web and open mail attachments without fear of malware sneaking out of the isolated drive and on to your PC.

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