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Security and Privacy

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Browser Security

Your browser is your primary connection to the Internet. It not only makes it possible to view Web sites but it also allows some of your other computer applications to function properly. Some of the most popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

All browsers have security and privacy setting that can be configured by the user. However, the default settings are often optimized for the best Web experience, not necessarily security. The use of anti-virus and anti-spyware, firewalls and regular security patches goes a long way in protecting your computer when you are online. With a few setting changes to your browser, you can get even more protection for you and your finances.

  • Block Pop-up Windows - Although turning on this feature could restrict the functionality of certain Web sites, it will also minimize the number of pop-up ads you receive, some of which may be malicious.
  • Limit or Prohibit Cookies - Many Web sites track which pages you go to on their site using a type of file called a cookie. While most are simply there for your convenience, others can be malicious. It is advisable to restrict or disable cookies, then enable them if you visit a site you trust that requires them.
  • Use a Filter - Many browsers offer a filter that will warn you if you are going to a suspicious Web site or to reported phishing sites. Keep in mind this is not fool proof though and you still need to be aware of signs of a suspicious site.
  • Create Zones - Some browsers offer the option of putting Web sites into a specific "zone." Each zone can have a different security setting, making it easier to protect yourself while maintaining functionality on those sites you visit frequently.
  • Restrict Active Content - To make a Web site functional and stylish, Web sites may use active content such as JavaScript, ActiveX and Plug-ins. This is used to create options like drop-down menus. However, active content can also be a vehicle to install malicious code on your computer, so before installing anything make sure it is necessary and that the site you are downloading them from is trustworthy.

Ideally, you should set your security for the highest level possible. However, restricting certain features may limit some Web pages from loading or functioning properly. Therefore the best approach is to adopt the highest level of security and only enable features when you require their functionality.

To learn more or get details about security settings, go to the Help section in your browser.

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