How to best secure web browsers for Windows PC

A secure web browser is something all users of the Internet should aspire to have. This must be taken seriously because attackers on the web can easily gain access to your computer via your web browser if it is not secure enough. Security Vulnerabilities in ActiveX, Java, JavaScript, Flash, Add-ons and Extensions are typically exploited to get to your system.

This post takes a look at some browser security settings that will help you best secure your Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera web browsers on Windows 10/8/7, to protect yourself against online security threads like Drive by Downloads, BadwareMalvertising, Phishing, Browser Hijacking and offer you a safe online browsing experience, and prevent online identity theft.

secure web browsers

How to secure web browsers for Windows

Every software company that creates web browsers will tell you that their own offering is the best when it comes down to security. But that is only true for folks who only tend to visit websites such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter on a regular basis. Folks who venture to illegal torrent websites among other places on the web, need to tinker around with their browser to ensure a greater deal of security.

1] A browser must always be updated

Yes, users need to keep their web browsers updated to the latest version. Updates fix many safety issues, and web browsers can have a lot. Bear in mind that web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera rely on several technologies to bring you the best of the web, so there is bound to be a few issues here and there.

2] Download and use a 64-bit web browser

To do this, you must first have a 64-bit version of Windows installed on your computer. You see, 64-bit programs have a greater protection against attacks. All browsers now have a 64-bit option, so if you have the correct operating system, you should go for it right now.

All-in-all, there are even more ways to secure your web browser. You can stop yourself from visiting certain websites or disabling Flash entirely, but you’re not going to do that, are you? Well, just follow our suggestions above for better enjoyment of the web.

3] Uninstall plugins you no longer use

There are some plugins that are no longer needed by users on the web. One such plugin is Microsoft Silverlight; the company’s once touted competitor to Flash. It never took off, and the fact that users can stream Netflix videos without having to install Silverlight is a clear sign. Furthermore, we have to mention Java. It is used by fewer websites these days, so we recommend you consider uninstalling it..

4] Make sure to update your plugins and extensions

The few plugins you use should always be updated to the latest version. Yes, plugins can be an enormous security threat, so whenever there’s an update available, be sure to get on top of it as soon as possible. These days, web browsers that support plugins make it possible to have these little tools update automatically. Here are 5 ways to check for & update Browser plug-ins, extensions, add-ons.

5] Harden browser settings

Here are some security and safety tips and settings to secure Internet Explorer.

Firefox users may want to reconfirm that all the default settings are checked at Firefox > Settings Menu > Options > Security.

Opera users can check them in Menu > Settings > Privacy & Security.

Chrome users can open Menu > Settings and check their settings. Take a look at Sync settings as well as Privacy & Pop up settings. If in doubt, use the Reset settings button to reset all settings to defaults which are the optimal one’s for you.

Edge users can open More actions > Settings > Advanced settings > Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads. Take a look at some of the new security features in Edge.

6] Enable Click to play

Click to play is a feature that restrict certain plugin use until you need them. For example, Flash content on a website won’t load until the user clicks to allow them. This can block Flash content that are a security threat before they can access your computer. You might therefore want to activate Click To Play.

7] Other general tips to keep you safe and secure

  1. Do not click on links indiscriminately. In fact make it a practice to hover over the links and see in the bottom left corner of your browser where the link will be temporarily displayed. If it looks safe, go ahead.
  2. Use a good antivirus as the help protect your browsers too.
  3. Using a URL Scanner add-ons for your browser might also be an option you may want to consider.
  4. Make sure your browser’s pop blockers are turned on in order to avoid harmful pop ups.
  5. Do not use the same password for all your online accounts.
  6. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi hotspots and remember to stay safe while using public computers.

Take these Browser Security Tests to check if your Browser is secure.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.