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Author Topic: Techie Tips: Basic Web Browser Security  (Read 690 times)

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Offline misha

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Techie Tips: Basic Web Browser Security
« on: November 26, 2011, 12:50:46 AM »
This is something I came across the other day.  I'm doing a copy paste of this thread from another forum I frequent.
Perhaps consider the merit in this.

A lot of people are in the dark about securing their web browsers and just assume Windows or Apple have taken care of any issues.
The problem is, there's always people updating hacks and exploits and that means you have to do some things to pro-actively protect your web experience.

I'm going to list 3 things you should all be doing. If you follow these steps your web experience will be a lot safer.


Don't use Internet Explorer if you can help it. That will solve a LOT of problems as 90% of web nasties focus on Explorer and all it's security flaws.
Windows users should be running the latest FireFox web browser and remove Explorer from your desktop or menu so you don't use it again!

Mac users can stick with Safari or use firefox but will still need to add the following add-ons along with Windows users.

There's a couple add-ons you can apply to Firefox or Safari which will add a lot of extra protection by blocking web ads and any nasty cookies or spybots that your browser could pick up. If your using Firefox or Safari then add these:

AdBlocker - this will block most banner ads and clean up a lot of web pages that are covered in advertising. Those banner ads can infect your computer even if you don't click on them. Adblocker will get rid of them and make the web pages load quicker and safer.
For Firefox: Adblock Plus :: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/
For Safari: AdBlock http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsafariadblock.com%2F&ei=kcl6TpOOIcOhiAfa3pD_Dw&usg=AFQjCNFVfGLpwHnrWzt3aNtt3aPNDQKoTw
Ghostery - this will block tracking cookies for advertisers on websites. You can select to allow ghostery to ignore certain sites if you trust them. You may be surprised how many trackers have been following you after you add this as it will display the number of trackers on each site you visit:


If your using Windows you'll need to add some more security to your PC. One of the best free methods is using SpyBot Search & Destroy. This will find any nasty stuff that you don't want on your PC and remove it and then block it from ever coming back. Install and run SpyBot S&D and you will be amazed at how many things your PC has picked up along the way - even if you have Norton or mcafee installed. Mac users won't need this and should be protected if they've kept up to date with software updates.

Further tips and comments in the thread followed.

Crikey, much more into the idea of Ghostery after reading this: http://adrianshort.c...-as-we-know-it/

... and

Yeah i love Ghostery mainly for blocking Facebook and Google snooping of which i think both are datamines for the intelligence sector. Most people think because they've ticked certain privacy settings on Facebook that it means they have obtained privacy but in reality, the front end of Facebook that everyone uses is just a window dressing to a mammoth database that would have analytic software harvesting everything that goes into their database regardless of what user settings are selected. It would mimic a Pentagon war room more than anything people see on their accounts.

I've tried to build this site with as little snooping from google, Facebook etc as possible but in the small areas where they still have their tentacles reaching our servers i recommend everyone installs Ghostery so it's blocked.

I give Facebook about 2 years until there's a massive revolt and migration into another service, won't be long until the open-source community mimics Facebook and reclaims the backend mysteries of what that place does with all your info. It won't take long until people work out that Big Brother and Facebook are becoming one and the same. Google is just as bad, if they ever team up with Facebook then it'll be back to pen and paper for me, might have to train some pigeons too!


Gotta say.... I've never had a facebook account and NEVER WILL.  I cannot think of a single reason why I would need or want...  or be so dependant on such.   
My stupid alco sister spends heaps of time and money on that thing playing even stupider games... at the expense of neglecting critical work around here.   In a few weeks time I escape this sick abusive situation, and the fact I tow a trailer and can't see in the mirror is not a problem at all.

Anyhow, nice to see there are no such tracking items on this site.
So it goes.

Offline Frank

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Re: Basic Web Browser Security
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 09:22:21 PM »
An essential add-on to any browser is WOT www.mywot.com this flags all search results and also links on FB as safe/unrated/dangerous. If you go to a site that is rated dangerous by accident then it jumps in front and stops the page being able to get active... you get the choice of going away or ignoring the warning and entering the site. Sometimes you will guess a site must be good so you can that take another option which gives details of the rating. If the site is listed as installing viruses don't go to it, but it might just have gotten a bad 'political' rating. Sites are rated by its users and accordingly competitors or radicals may have been getting their staff or friends to give bad ratings! Nothiong is perfect but it does give a sporting chance of not landing on a site that installs malware just be visiting the site - lots of security systems (Anti virus etc) are not great at blocking all such attacks...

Look at several on-line reviews and tests of all security software before you commit. It will surprise you how many of the free tools outperform commercial ones year after year! Most of the free ones also offer even more security if you pay a subscription that is usually less than all commercial suites.

As to Firefox, still my primary browser but it is becoming bloated and slower with each, frequent, update. I also use Maxthon (No 1 in China) an Explorer clone greatly improved, Google Chrome, a bit buggy at times and Opera which can be irritating by not closing down properly and also has its quirks. One problem is that all of the browsers know the best way to interpret web-sites and each of them will do it differently - hell for site programmers and owners, but IE is still worst in that respect. By having several choices, if a regularly visited site does not work well in one, you just get into the habit of using the browser that does for those particular sites.
Frank A.
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