Browser Care – Best Safety Practices for Your Web Browser

4 min

A web browser is one of the most essential pieces of software in a computer or smartphone. Yet it’s given very little attention by users. Especially in comparison with other apps that are frequented every day. 

The issues are aplenty: The Internet browser is not updated regularly, its settings are not tweaked according to its user’s needs, it’s carelessly connected to a personal email account, and/or useful extensions or plugins that have the power to further secure your relationship with the Internet are not utilized. 

We feel these are enough reasons to turn your focus on the need to look after and maintain your web browser. At TuxlerVPN, we like to guide our users so that they can stay safe online and take complete control of their privacy and data. Hence, we have prepared this list of things that you can consider to strengthen your browser and make your web surfing a safe activity.

These web browser safety practices are universal, so you can apply these to any browser of your choice. 

Update Your Web Browser

This is perhaps the most critical advice we can give. You should regularly update your browser – across all your devices – to safeguard yourself from malware, phishing, and other forms of fraud. It’s true that web browsers developed by Google and Mozilla also actively work against virus and malware attacks. But if the browser is not regularly updated, you will still be vulnerable to attacks. And then you can’t blame the developers.

One good example is the caution page that Google Chrome shows when you try to access a non-HTTPS website. Such warnings are a great way to detract users from continuing to the webpage that could be dangerous.

How to do it: Assign a day every week/month to update your browser. Make sure you also reboot your system after each update.

Check Your Browser Settings

In most cases, the default settings of a web browser help the developer more than the user. It’s true because a majority of users never bother to change their settings. And developers sometimes take advantage of this by turning the browser into a personal data logger. For example, some browsers automatically allow all error logs to be sent to the dev. This flow of data – including your system information – may be considered a breach of privacy. And since users don’t check the settings, they continue to be sent.

This needs to change. While the larger menace is that users are not even interested in doing so, we think it should start with a small group of people – like you and your friends. Since you are reading this article, we believe you are interested.

A good way to start is to go to your browser’s settings and check every option. On Google Chrome, there is everything from Privacy and Security to Appearance to Autofill. Going through these settings, knowing what each of them means and does, and toggling them on and off can go a long way in safeguarding your privacy and personal data when you are online.

While it is important to go through the Advanced settings too, we recommend you to start with the basic ones first. You can refer to any online guide to explore the Advanced settings later.

How to do it: Simply access your browser’s settings page and start looking at each element. Many of these are easy to understand.

Install an Adblocker

As a software service provider, this suggestion to use an adblocker may come as a surprise. Many websites today depend largely on advertisements to sustain themselves financially. And by all means, you should continue to support them in whatever ways you can, including being exposed to their “healthy” ads.

However, not all ads and not all ad-filled websites are safe. The Internet can be a tricky place and services that promote viral content can cause some damage to you, both from safety and information consumption perspectives. Some websites run ads which when clicked will redirect you to a spam website that executes phishing, a form of cybercrime where websites masquerade as legit entities and try to defraud you via email or phone.

A good way to avoid these ads is to install an adblocker extension on your browser. Several highly-rated blockers are available for free in the market today. You just need to find a decent one and install it. The highlight of such extensions is that they allow you to whitelist and blacklist websites. So, if you visit some news websites that you also want to support financially, whitelist them in the extension and you will be able to view the ads on them. Alternatively, you can also purchase their ad-free subscriptions for a better browsing experience.

How to do it: Look for a good-quality adblocker for your browser and install it.

Install a VPN Extension or Plugin

Another great way to safeguard yourself online is to use a VPN extension on your browser. Having it will help you stay anonymous as it will route all your traffic through another server. It’s a great way to keep your web footprints hidden so that none of your web histories ever comes back to haunt you.

Several free VPN extensions are available today. But you can consider TuxlerVPN, one of the oldest and widely used residential IP extensions in the Chrome App Store.

How to do itInstall it today (here’s how). If you are not on Chrome, simply do an online search to find a VPN plugin that works with your browser.

Use the Private Mode

Most web browsers today have a private or incognito mode that you can use when you want to access new websites or look up information. Since most browsers adapt to your web surfing habits, using your default session may not be ideal.

For example, if you want to search for ways to unblock a foreign streaming service, it is best to use the private mode of your browser. Why you may ask?

Two reasons: One, if you are in a region with heavy censorship laws, such searches can cause you legal problems. Secondly, you cannot verify the authenticity of the websites that show up on such search engine results pages (SERPs). So, why risk your data and your system when you can simply use the incognito mode for a bit more safety?

How to do it: Look for the private mode option on your browser and activate it. Learn its keyboard shortcut to access it quickly the next time.

Browsing the Internet is not always a walk in the park. Sometimes you need to be extra cautious to stay away from its hostility. Following these five browser care tips will help you stay safe and safeguard your data and system in the long run. Execute them today across all your devices.

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