Technology

3 quick and nerdy ways to browse the web more securely

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How to browse safely
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How to browse safely

We have published a few stories about security and privacy threats recently so we felt it was time to have a look at how you can securely browse online.

1 Change your DNS
This might appear complicated but simply put your DNS (Domain Name System) is the gate through which your computer connects to the internet.  All it is is a series of numbers written in the format 123.456.78.90,  because your computer sends all internet requests to a set DNS address your DNS servers  can be easy targets for hackers.  Thankfully you can change the DNS server your computer uses to a more secure one very easily.  Google offers a free public DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) which the company says will give you a faster safer means for web browsing.

On the same note the internet security firm Comodo also offers a free public DNS (156.154.70.22 and 156.154.71.22) which it says offers better security.  According to Comodo “[Comodo’s] SecureDNS references a real-time block list (RBL) of harmful websites (i.e. phishing sites, malware sites, spyware sites, excessive advertising sites, etc.) and will warn you whenever you attempt to access a site containing potentially threatening content.”

Google’s set-up instructions can be found here and Comodo’s can be found here but if you are not technically minded you can download DNS Jumper, a free programme that will automatically change your DNS.

2 Download a better browser
All modern browsers claims to be secure but as the recent story about Firefox’s major security flaw shows these claims often amount to little. But fear not there are some great secure browsers and browser addons available.

Returning to Comodo, they have released their own browser which they say contains “unparalleled level of security and privacy.” The browser, called Dragon, is a modified version of Google’s Chrome which includes more security features and removes Chrome’s tracking technology (there is also German version of Chrome called Iron which makes similar claims).

3 Do regular updates
Regularly updating your browser and addons can go a long way to make your web surfing as safe as possible. Out of date addons and, worse, an out of date browser leaves your computer open to attack from new viruses and newly identified security holes.

Most browsers will automatically check for new updates but this ability may be removed on some. You can check if your browser is up to date in the Tools or Settings options.

With these simple tricks you should be able to make your web browsing more secure while still being able to enjoy the web.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).