Increasing the security settings in your web browser could prevent your computer from being attacked by viruses or unwanted hackers.
Your web browser is your main connection to the rest of the Internet, multiple applications may rely on your browser, or elements within your browser to function. This makes the security settings within your browser very important.
Many web applications try to enable various types of functionality, but it may leave your computer vulnerable to attacks. Disable most of these features and enable the functionality temporarily if you think the site is trustworthy.
Remember to familiarize yourself with your browser’s security options and settings. Every browser allows you to adjust security levels, so it’s a good idea to understand how to change your settings and to be knowledgeable of certain terms.
If you use Internet Explorer as your default web browser, you can find your settings by:
- Clicking Tools on your menu bar
- Selecting Internet Options
- Choosing Security tab
- Clicking Custom Level
In Firefox, you can access your settings by:
- Clicking Tools on the menu bar
- Selecting Options
- Clicking the Content, Privacy, and Security tabs
To keep your computer safe, your security settings should be at the highest level possible. But this may prevent some sites from loading or functioning properly. Keep your security settings high, but only enable certain features when you need to.
Your web browser may give you the option of putting websites into different segments, or zones, and allow you to define different security restrictions for each zone. The Internet is the general zone for all public websites. The local intranet is a safe zone, but be aware of the settings on the sites that are listed.
Trusted sites are an optional zone, but may be useful if you or your business maintains multiple websites. Even if you trust these sites, apply the highest security levels to external sites. It’s in your best interest to avoid visiting sites that are restricted or that make you question if they’re safe. Visiting sites that use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in this zone allows you to verify that the site you are visiting is what it claims to be.
Disabling cookies and blocking pop-up windows in your settings are also simple, yet effective ways to protect and secure your computer.