Home Browsers Time for a mid-year browser security check

Time for a mid-year browser security check

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We’ve reached the mid-point of 2022 and when it comes to security, I feel like we’re not making much headway. I still see people report they’re getting scammed, ransomed, and attacked on a regular basis — and for many users the browser is becoming the most important part of whatever platform you use. So now is a good time to review your browsers, and any extensions you’ve installed to beef up security.

Note, I said browsers —plural. While enterprises might want to standardize on only one browser for better control, for small businesses and individual users, I recommend installing more than one. (I often use three different browsers.)

Why is this important? Because attackers (and trackers) go after browsers. In fact, it’s good to think of your browser a separate operating system, and act accordingly to protect it. Though I focus mainly on Windows issues, these guidelines and recommendations apply to Mac OS, Ubunto, Mint, and others.

Basically, every browser should be reviewed for additional protection against malicious sites and ads. On platforms such as macOS, you will need to focus on Chrome, Firefox, or WaterFox protections; if you’ve standardized on Safari, you will need to use Adguard.

Even now, I see malicious banner ads in rotation. If you don’t have endpoint protection or something similar, you can better protect yourself by deploying something like uBlock Origin, which blocks ads and unwanted content.

Be aware that uBlock and uBlock Origin are two different products, with the latter being a fork of the former. They’re separately maintained. I recommend uBlock Origin, which you can install and deploy as a standalone extension. Once it’s installed, you can then build whitelists of sites that you will allow and adjust other settings as needed. If you are new to ublock, you can leave the defaults alone, or review these posts for recommended settings. You can also click on the extension icon in your browser and select “Filter lists.”

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