Web Browser Security and Privacy

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Article by Dave Mahler Posted: May 12, 2012

in How To

Internet safety has never been so important. We carry out so many personal transactions online, that it’s crucial to take steps to protect from malware, fraudulent websites and threats to our privacy. One way to keep your personal data safe is to make sure you have optimized your browser settings. This article shows you how to find and change important security settings in Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Internet security Web Browser Security and Privacy

Firefox

Security settings can be found under “Options” (Windows) or “Preferences” (Mac).

To maximize your Firefox security settings, tick the first three boxes, which will prompt Firefox to warn you when sites try to install add-ons, and block suspicious web pages.

Unlike the image below, for maximum security you should untick the box marked “Remember passwords for sites”. The only time you should check this box is when you are the only person who uses your computer. Even then, storing passwords in Firefox could compromise sensitive personal information, such as your email and financial data, if your machine falls into the wrong hands or someone installs spyware on your computer.

If you want to save passwords, tick the “master password” box to create a password-protected encryption for any information you do store within your browser.

Firefox Security Web Browser Security and Privacy

Safari

Safari comes with a wealth of security options, including parental controls, automatic updates and standards-based authentication. The most important features you need to know about to protect your personal data are the “Remove Website Data” feature, the Privacy pane, and the reset function.

The ability to remove website data and modify your settings via the Privacy pane are exclusive to Lion OS users. The privacy pane is available through “Preferences” and you can click “Remove All Website Data” within the Privacy pane to erase cookies and Flash plug-in data.

Safari Security Web Browser Security and Privacy

Chrome

To access security settings in Chrome, click the wrench symbol on the right-hand side of the toolbar. Click on “Settings” (Windows) or “Preferences” (Mac) and select the “Under the Hood” tab. Click on “Content Settings” to change the permissions for cookies, pop-up windows, JavaScript, plug-ins, and location sharing. You should always keep the box marked “Enable phishing and malware protection” ticked.

Chrome Security Web Browser Security and Privacy

IE

You can find the security settings for IE 7 and 8 by clicking “Tools”, “ Internet Options”, then selecting either the “Security” or “Privacy” tabs within the browser. Under the “Security” tab, you can adjust Windows’ security zones, which can prevent you accessing websites that might compromise your security.

The “Privacy” tab allows you to adjust permissions for cookies and pop-ups, while the “InPrivate Filtering” feature enables you to prevent websites sharing details of your visit with other websites.

IE8 Security Web Browser Security and Privacy

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