Today we will look at how to browse and limit your risk of being hijacked or compromised in some way. You have several browser options. Four of the most popular are:
The first thing to do is make sure you have the popup blocker turned on. I tend to add the google toolbar to my browsers so that I can use thier popup blocker, it is easier to turn on and off. Turn on protected mode in iE7 and use the phishing filter.
When on a site with banner adds don’t click on them, particuarly when the adds that look like a windows error message. Remember that nothing is free so, if you are on a site offering free games or other things you may be a risk. If you are looking for shareware programs stay with the big sites like tucows or download.com where the software is checked for trojans and viruses before posting.
To avoid some of the Microsoft bugs you can use the other browsers. This doesn’t stop you from being taken over, just helps slow it down. I also use different browsers at different times, to surf randomly I use firefox, if I have to use a site that needs IE I use it then or, if I am going to a site I know can be trusted I may use IE.
Of the four I have listed My preference is Firefox. It is resistant to many of the Microsoft bugs and has several addons that help protect you and make the browsing experience better. I add the noscript extension so that only sites I trust can run scripts on my computer. I also add the google toolbar for easy access to the popup blocker.
Now I should be clear that all browsers have some security holes no matter what. Using non microsoft products just means that you won’t have those hole, sometimes.
If you have Windows Vista be sure to leave the “user account control” on as this will halp stop the installation on things you don’t want. This is helpful no matter what browser you use.
If you are cautious, stay away from sites with free games, pron or other fringe interest, don’t install programs from unkown sites and don’t allow sites to install without permission then you should be fine. Having an antivirus program can be helpful but is not a cure. often the virus you get has not been discovered yet and you will become infected without knowing it.