More Best Practices for Secure Web Browsing

Last week we shared with you 10 best practices to help keep you safe while browsing the web. Here are another 9 things you can to do to help protect you and your business.

  1. Adjust Web browser settings.  Computer users can set their browsers to identify risky or adult-only Web sites and filter those sites. Depending on the browser, which commonly includes Internet Explorer, Google, Firefox and Safari, there are different levels of filtering and blocking. Pop-up ads can be dangerous for Internet-browsing children because some ads are pornographic or can lead to other risky Web sites.

  2. Beware of windows or pages that prompt you to click a link to run software.  Malicious Web sites can create prompts that look like messages from your browser or computer. If you see a pop-up you think is risky, go to the company’s Web site for scans and downloads.

  3. Supervise children.  Adults should supervise children browsing the Internet. Children are more likely to give out personal information and a supervising adult can teach them that revealing personal information can be dangerous. Supervision is a good way to teach children about what kind of Web sites are safe and what are not. Children may also inadvertently click on risky or inappropriate sites while doing research for school. A family computer should always be in an area where others can observe the browsing.

  4. Use a firewall.  Home computer users should use a firewall to block digital intruders from accessing personal information. Firewalls are either hardware-based or software-based. Either can provide some protection, though no firewall will block all hacking attempts, so supplementary security measures are recommended.

  5. Back up your hard drive on a regular basis.  Any files that the computer user does not want to lose should be saved to a disk or flash drive. If a virus infects the computer through the Internet or email, it can wipe out or corrupt important hard drive files, but the effect will be less devastating if those are saved on a disk or flash drive.


  6. Delete unknown emails and attachments.  When checking email, users should delete any items from unknown parties or which contain unknown attachments. If an email with an attachment comes from a known contact, but seems out-of-character or unusual, the recipient should not open the attachment until he contacts the sender to verify its authenticity. Most email providers offer filter options to automatically block unknown senders.

  7. Limit exposure of personal information. Internet users should try to avoid giving out personal information like addresses, banking information or Social Security numbers. When making purchases, browsers should use a single credit card designated for Internet purchases only. If that card number is stolen, the user can easily cancel the card and report it stolen.

  8. Never trust free content and don’t provide personal information to get something free online.  Free movie, music and video downloads often include pirated content and just as often this content contains viruses and malware. Criminals may use this data to break into personal or work accounts.

  9. Watch for shortened URLs, and numbers, hyphens or special characters in a URL.  Hackers use legitimate looking topics to trick you into clicking and manipulate URLs to trick users. Be wary of URLs posted in Facebook and sent via email. Scrutinize the URL to ensure you are going to a legitimate Web site and use a search engine to identify the actual URL.

Protect your privacy, your assets and your reputation as diligently online as you would elsewhere.  And if you need help ensuring your health care data remains secure and your technology functions as you need it to, contact VCPI at 877-908-8274 or click here.