Browser a Frontline in Cybersecurity

When you think in the browser you normally think of it as an application to check stuff on the Internet. You do not care normally about security because you assume that the browser is super secure. But if that was the case, how do you explain the number of computers that got infected with the virus. Then you say it is because those users did not follow good web practices on surfing on the Internet. However, even it is true that the user is the most vulnerable part of whatever system that does not mean the system can arrive be insecure.

Continuing with the last paragraph, does it mean that those users visited risky pages? The answer is a simple not. Secure pages can have security breaches from time to time. It is not impossible, and they normally do not inform their users about these breaks on security, obviously.  

When using a browser, you should understand their customer objective. Most of the browsers are focused on user experience which is not a bad focusing. However, there are others that are more focused on security. For example, an old known, Brave. It is defined as a privacy-focused browser by Wikipedia, which distinguishes itself from other browsers by automatically blocking online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings.

Now I do not suggest you that a browser is better than other. In the end, most of the browsers are ok at some level in security. However, the main problem is the default security settings which can generate breaches in security. Additionally, how we use our browsers can be a problem sometimes for some configuration of settings. The next are brief advice regarding settings:

  • Disable pop-ups and redirections. 
  • Turn off tracking requests.
  • Turn off third-party access to cookies.
  • Turn off automatic downloads. 
  • Restrict access to your location, camera, and microphone. 

Another way to increase security is using some plugins to help your browser. A common plugin is anti banners or an extension that blocks ads. A good example is Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin. Another useful plugin is Privacy Badger. A useful plugin to block invisible website trackers automatically which protect you and help in loading faster the pages. A useful plugin is HTTPS Everywhere which encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.

Another option is including a plugin related to the antivirus installed on your computer. Normally they include or request download a plugin to add it to your browser. An extension that blocks many threats to security.

Many of the plugins that I talked about are included by default security browsers like Brave and Tor, but in Firefox, Google Chrome, etc., you must include them yourself. However, I recommend you be careful with the plugin that you select, and from where you download them. They can become a door to a virus instead of a wall.