Safe Surfing

Posted: July 8, 2014

Double Click

Given the Internet’s wide reach, many users sometimes wonder if a site is actually safe to surf. This fear isn’t unfounded, as viruses, trojans, worms, keyloggers and other malware can be downloaded  from an unsafe site.


But how can you know if you are safe?


First, realize that safety measures built in to browsers cannot cover every base, so users must implement brain safety features, too.


As I’ve said before, if a site looks different or other browser tabs and windows start popping up, or anything else strange and out of the ordinary happens, close the site as quickly as possible. If the title or link looks disreputable, do not visit the site.


If you receive a link from a bank or retailer that you have used in the past, do not click it.


With any emailed link, always be very cautious, even if it comes from a friend. I am not saying your friends would purposefully attempt to infect your computer; however, their computer may be infected and send emails with trouble links without their knowing.


To visit reputable commercial or retail sites, type the URL in the browser’s address bar or use your own shortcut.


If you need to download software, also use a reputable site. Download.com, which is owned by CNet.com, is one such site you can trust for software. Others are good, just tread lightly.


Never click a link in an unsolicited email. Not even if it guarantees $1,000,000 will be waiting in an account created just for you. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost to these scams in recent years. Don’t laugh, since many people still fall for this old swindle.  


When you are browsing and come to a malicious site, most browsers will issue an alert of some sort. Each browser is different: Microsoft Internet Explorer puts a red highlight around the Security Lock icon in the address bar. Google Chrome pops up a warning page with advice or what you may want to consider if you continue. Firefox gives either a yellow exclamation mark in a gray box on the address bar or a warning page with warning advice. Any version of any browser may change the way it displays, but for now, this is how they work.


You can easily search online for “turn on or off security warnings in Firefox.” Make sure you substitute your browser’s name when researching.


Also, I only use the three major browsers mentioned in this article; however, they all work similarly.

Contact Ron Doyle at ron@doubleclicks.info



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