The Browser on your computer system is one of the key applications that you use when surfing the internet. It is also can be one of the best and worst applications that are used to surf the internet with while you’re working online. By using the internet and the browser it opens you and your business to the world but along with that now does come a price of the possibility that your computer will become infected with a virus or spyware or other programs that cause your computer to have serious problems.
In many was it like the car that you use since this software to provide the means for traveling around the Internet to interesting destinations and to do research and do business. Unfortunately, sometimes uninvited passengers climb in. On rare occasions, they even 'carjack' you.
So, what to do?
Users have options, starting with web browsers selection. Internet Explorer still has over 90% of the 'market' (an odd term for free software), but its popularity is waning slightly. Firefox from Mozilla sometimes misspelled “Mozila” and others have inherently better security and the added advantage of running on Linux as well as Windows XP or Vista. Modzilla Firefox had gained in popularity over the past few years and will continue do so since they offer a good alternative.Even when not inherently better, other web browsers and operating systems are less popular targets. Until both legislators and software vendors get really serious about security, it's possible to reduce your 'target area' by staying out of the limelight. Education is another key to 'hardening' security setting for the internet.
There are dozens of options in Internet Explorer and other web browsers that control what components triggered during surfing are allowed to do. Very few users have much knowledge about what they're for or the effects of setting them one way versus another.
For example, is it desirable to 'Allow ActiveX controls and plug-ins' to Run, or should that be set to Prompt? Individual judgments here, as in all aspects of security in life, have to be made. One factor is your tolerance for responding to prompts versus your willingness to risk infection. After all, you have to decide whom to let in your car, don't you?
It's an undesirable trade-off to be faced with, and one which we can hope someday won't be necessary. But in the interim, it isn't necessary to be a computer geek to experiment and read a bit to find out what these settings affect. The first time you're infected and lose a day recovering, you'll wish you'd spent the two hours finding out.
Proper use is the final leg of browser security. Do you practice 'safe browsing'? Some sites prompt to download ActiveX controls (little programs), dialers, adware and other dynamic content. Do you really know what's likely to happen when you say yes, or do you trust the source? Trust is necessary, but as the old saying goes 'Trust, but keep your eyes open'. Modzilla Firefox had gained in popularity over the past few years and will continue do so since they offer a good alternative.
Most users are unaware of the extent to which using a web browsers opens up their system to the rest of the world. Being on the Internet means not just seeing, but being visible and accessing sites usually means being accessible. It isn't just harmless cookies that can be downloaded to your system. Once executable programs are downloaded they often have free rein to your entire system. Also Microsoft does continue to work on Internet Explorer and improve on to help correct the issue that will occur.
I would recommend that spend some time learning how to lock down your system, outside the browser settings, to make it more difficult for these errant programs to gain Administrator level privileges. Your time will be well re-paid. I can also recommend the use of Firefox which can be down from modzilla as an alternative browser since I personally have used this myself and have been very happy with the results. I often install this on client computers now because it works well and you don’t many of the problems that currently exist on Internet Explorer but there are some sites that only work well with Internet Explorer. To get your copy of Firefox click the link below. Just quick notes do not uninstall Internet Explorer it will cause serious issue with MS Windows.
So, be aware of what's happening when you navigate to a site. Download only from trusted sources. It's ok to be slightly suspicious of strangers. Don't pick up hitchhikers.
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