How to make your browser as secure as possible

How to make your browser as secure as possible

A photo of a laptop

Your browser is your window to the outside world, but it works in two ways – it is also the window through which viruses, malware and other malicious devices can gain access to your computer. With that in mind, it’s important that you take the time to lock your chosen browser as much as possible from a security perspective, and we’ll show you how to do it.

The good news is that today’s browsers are built with security in mind, and you’re automatically protected from a host of problems as long as your browser is up to date – Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, and other browser developers can usually count on launching patches as soon as possible. new security flaws are detected, so browser updates are not something to neglect.

In Chrome, you can check if you are running the latest version by clicking on the three dots (top right). Help and About Google Chrome. On the Edge, click on the three dots (top right) and then Help and feedback and About Microsoft Edge. In Firefox, click on the three lines (top right) and then Help and About Firefox on Windows, or open Firefox menu and select About Firefox on a Mac. When it comes to Safari, of course, the browser is kept up to date along with macOS — off Apple menu, select About this Mac and Software update.

Security in Google Chrome

Chrome comes with a couple of features that control the privacy and security settings of your browser: You can see them by clicking on the three dots (top right) and then settings and Privacy and security. The first is the Privacy Guide, which you can run by clicking Getting Started (or Privacy Guide lower down), and there is also the security check, which you can run from the top of the list.

Both the privacy wizard and the security check guide you through the most important security settings in Chrome, but you can also access them separately. From Privacy and security page in Chrome settings, select security and then Improved protection for the most comprehensive and proactive security settings: It’s better to detect threats in advance than standard protection, even if it means sharing more data with Google regarding URLs and snippets of page content so that they can be analyzed.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome security page

Screenshot: Google Chrome

Further down security screen, make sure that Always use secure connections and Use secure DNS the options are both enabled, which will distribute the strictest and most secure web connection protocols wherever they are available. If you think you are particularly vulnerable to targeted attacks, you can sign up for Google’s Advanced Protection Program from the same screen – it adds several extra layers of security to both the Google Chrome browser and your Google Account.

There are a couple of other settings that we recommend that you also change through the Chrome settings. Pick Privacy and security then Cookies and other website data, and you can block third-party cookies – the type that can track you across multiple websites when you travel on the web. It is also worth checking out Privacy and security and then Website settings: You can see from this page which websites are currently authorized to access key data (such as your site) and important computer components (such as your webcam).

Security on Microsoft Edge

You can access the key security settings in Microsoft Edge by clicking on the three dots (top right) and then selecting settings and Privacy, search and services. At the top of the next screen you can choose how aggressively Edge presses cookies and trackers – you can choose between Basic, Balanced or Stringand the differences between them are explained on the screen to you.

During Clear your browsing history, you can not only clear all the data that Edge has kept on you, but you can also make sure that this data is deleted every time you close the browser – which makes it much harder for someone else to see what you have been involved in. Further down the screen, we recommend that you turn on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen and Block potentially unwanted apps functions, so the software takes a proactive stance when it comes to blocking anything suspicious.

A screenshot of the Microsoft Edges security page

Screenshot: Microsoft Edge

Turn on the button next to it Improve your security on the web, and Edge will take even more steps to keep you safe from disabling website activity – insofar as it may disrupt the functionality of any of the pages you visit. You have two levels to choose from, Balanced and Stringand if you see serious malfunctions with some websites, you can exclude them from these additional security measures by clicking Exception.

A few other options on the Edge Settings page to be aware of: Cookies and website permissions you can choose to Block cookies from third parties, which stops the most nasty website trackers. Further down Cookies and website permissions page, there is a list of all the permissions that individual websites have – camera, location, microphone, JavaScript and more – so you can check if there are permissions that should not have been granted and revoke them if necessary.

Security on Mozilla Firefox

The main Firefox settings screen can be accessed by clicking on the three lines (top right), then settings. The page we are particularly interested in here is Privacy and security, and as soon as you open it, you will notice that there are options for protection against invasive trackers at the top. The String The setting is the most secure, but you can ruin some features on some websites.

Further down the page, you will notice a long list of permissions that may have been granted to certain websites (for example, access to your computer’s webcam). Click settings next to any of these permissions to ensure that only the websites you know and approve of have access to the necessary rights. It is also a good idea to have Block pop-ups and Warns you when websites try to install extensions boxes selected.

A screenshot of Mozilla Firefox's security page

Screenshot: Mozilla Firefox

Scroll down to securityand we recommend that you enable all features here, so that Firefox takes the most proactive security setting possible: Select Block dangerous and misleading content (which includes phishing sites and malware hosting sites), and Block dangerous downloads and Warn you of unwanted and unusual software. It should then be very difficult for any dangerous code to get through the defenses Firefox has set up.

For even more protection, select Enable HTTPS mode only in all windows to use the most secure connection available when connecting to a website, and (further up the screen) select Delete cookies and website data when Firefox is closed – that means you do not have to remember to regularly delete cookies and other cached data that websites want to store, as your browser will do it for you.

Security on Apple Safari

Apple is proud of its strong privacy and security stance, and you will find many related features in Safari. To see the steps that the browser takes to keep your web browsing safe and private only for you, open Safari menu and selection Privacy report– you get a detailed reading of both the tracks that were blocked and the websites that hosted them.

Open Safari menu and select Settings to add even more in terms of security and privacy protection. There are only two settings below security Title: You can get Safari to warn you when you’re on a site that may very well be fraudulent (we recommend that you enable this), and you can enable or disable JavaScript — this can be used to mount attacks on your computer, but It is also used by many websites so that they can work properly.

A screenshot of Apple Safari's security page

Screenshot: Apple Safari

During Integrity, you have more settings to play with. For maximum protection, turn on Prevent tracking across multiple sites (third party cookies) and Hide IP address from tracker. If you choose Manage website datayou can control which cookies are stored on site for the website – it takes longer to handle cookies in this way, but it gives you more flexibility.

Open up Websites page in the dialog and you can quickly check which websites have access to your camera, microphone, your current location and so on – delete any websites that you do not recognize or that appear suspicious. You can also set the default behavior when websites request these permissions, but you should never allow these permissions to be set without your express consent.

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