Keeping your important information safe online and avoiding malicious software doesn’t have to be the major headache that it’s often made out to be. You can feasibly minimize your exposure to harmful websites with just a few tools, instead of using a suite of unnecessary extensions and software that just takes up space without actually helping you. With that in mind, here are three must-have security tools for safe browsing.
1. Adblock Plus
The spreading of malicious software through the use of online advertisements is so common that it has its own name—malvertising. According to this article, a number of reputable news websites have been running ads during 2016 that contain malicious code designed to steal user information with keylogging and screenshot grabbing.
The best way to minimize your risk from the plethora of malicious advertisements out there is to block them completely. Adblock Plus does a stellar job of blocking all annoying ads and their associated malware.
This nifty tool is essential if you want to ensure your information remains safe online. To obtain Adblock Plus, you can simply download it for free as an extension to any one of the most common internet browsers including Chrome, Mozilla, and Safari.
2. Web of Trust
The truth about websites you’ve never visited before is that you should always remain skeptical about their authenticity until you obtain enough proof to convince otherwise. The Web of Trust service can give you a quick and foolproof test of whether a website is safe to browse or not.
With safety ratings sourced entirely from previous user feedback, the Web of Trust website is useful for gauging the reliability of any website.
To obtain a safety rating for any site, visit the WOT home page, type the URL of the site you want to check, and click on the magnifying glass. The result will look something like the below image.
In terms of safe browsing, the trustworthiness score is the one to look out for. Child safety is self-explanatory, but trustworthiness gives you a quick test of whether a large community like MyWOT thinks a given website is safe to browse. You can also check out detailed user reviews below each safety ranking on the WOT site if you want to find out more information.
Completing this list of must-have security tools for safe browsing is the very useful Disconnect extension. The key feature of Disconnect that makes it so useful is that it blocks third-party tracking cookies.
Many popular websites such as Facebook and Twitter use these cookies to collect data about you while you’re online, even when you’re not browsing their sites. Furthermore, these cookies are susceptible to stealing, in a practice known as sidejacking.
If you want to minimize privacy concerns online, Disconnect is a must. Unfortunately, the basic version is only available for one browser. But most people tend to stick to the same browser anyway, so you should be fine with this version.
Using these three tools should ensure that your data and important information remains safe online while minimizing the risk of malicious software finding its way on to your computer. You don’t need a whole suite of tools to ensure protection—it’s the quality of the tools you use that’ll help you out the most.