December 16, 2021

Increasing Security for Your Home Internet Browsing

Network security. It’s something that is on everyone’s minds these days. Gone are the days when only big businesses like Sony and Target needed to worry about keeping their networks and data secure. The average household network now must worry about cyber-criminals eager to gather your information and invade your privacy. In other words, you must invest in security for your home network to ensure that browsing the World Wide Web doesn’t expose you and your family to hidden dangers. These are a few things consumers can do to improve security and help keep their data safe.

Use Robust Antivirus Software and Update Regularly

There’s an important saying about antivirus software, “It’s only as good as its most recent update.” It isn’t enough to pay for the best protection if you don’t update it every time an update is available. These updates protect you from evolving threats as they arise and are essential tools for your internet security.

Use Unique and Complex Passwords

Using the same password for all your login accounts or choosing passwords that are easy to guess, like “Password1,” for instance, defeats the purpose of having passwords. If you’re worried about keeping up with them, consider a password manager. For a few dollars a year, you can protect your passwords across multiple devices while keeping your home network safe and defended.

Invest in a Secure VPN for Your Home Network

A VPN, or virtual private network, allows anyone on your network to surf the Internet privately and anonymously by creating an encrypted “tunnel” for your data. It hides your IP address and even allows you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely. Of course, this only works if you invest in a secure VPN and use it for all your online activities. Make sure you choose one that allows you to use the same account for multiple devices and that doesn’t have limits on speed or bandwidth so that your browsing experience isn’t diminished.

Use Browser Plug-Ins Wisely

While there are plenty of questionable browser plug-ins available, there are just as many that can help you browse more securely. These are the ones you want to focus your attention on. Specifically, you want to use an ad-blocking extension that not only blocks ads but also against tracking codes designed to invade your privacy. Additionally, consider tools like Ghostery that protect you against hidden trackers some websites use to track your browsing habits.

Choose the Right Browser for Your Privacy Needs

While some Internet browsers proudly boast their own VPNs, these are not as effective as a private and secure VPN for protecting your private information, browsing history, and more. Even worse, some browsers are worse than others. For some of them, YOU are the product they are selling and the information they gather is how they make money. One browser to consider that promises never to store your personal information or track you to serve ads is DuckDuckGo. While there are many critics of this browser, there are just as many who swear by it.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

As annoying as it can be to need multiple devices to surf the web, the security two-factor authentication offers is worth its weight in gold. Especially when it comes to peace of mind and protecting your privacy. With cybercrimes on the rise, more sites are offering two-factor authentication. It only takes a few seconds to enable and can provide precious security in an increasingly insecure cyber world.

Clear Your Cache Often

Cookies are tasty treats to eat. Not so tasty when it comes to your Internet browsing experience. These cookies are used to track you and can store more information than you realize, including deeply private information such as:

  • Financial information (where you bank, IRA accounts, and even where you spend your money).
  • Family information (children’s names, children’s schools, doctors, etc.).
  • Personal data (information that can be used to identify and impersonate you by identity thieves).

It pays to be a little bit paranoid when it comes to protecting your privacy online and hiding private information about yourself and your family.

Be a Little Less Social on Social Media

At the very least, make sure you make your information available only to friends and family. Also, be wary of friend requests from people you don’t know or those you do with whom you are already friends. These could be attempts by hackers to get information from you and others. Always verify before accepting new friend requests from old friends.

The internet can be a wonderland of information and entertainment. It is not without its dangers and pitfalls. Taking the right steps now can help you increase security for everyone in your home who surfs the waves the World Wide Web delivers.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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