Web browsers are very important to our seamless use of the internet, and because web browsers are used frequently to access the internet with lots of information passing through them, we must configure them securely and safely. Most computer systems come with several web browsers already installed in them. Before using these web browsers, it is important to check their security settings. The failure to do so makes the browser vulnerable and could be used by hackers to compromise our computer system by installing spyware. These Spywares could be used to steal personal data and use our computers to attack other computers connected to a network. To forestall this, below are browser security settings we should know and implement in some of the most widely used browsers. 

For Google Chrome, do the following: 

  • Enable Malware and Phishing Protection: Under Chrome’s “advanced settings” menu, ensure that Chrome malware and phishing protection is enabled (under privacy), this feature warns web users if the site they are trying to visit may contain malware or phishing.
  • Don’t Sync: Chrome users should disconnect their email account from their browser under the “personal stuff” tab. Chrome users should be aware that syncing their email account with their Chrome browser means that personal information such as autofill data, passwords, preferences, and more will be stored on Google servers. If users must sync, it is important to select the “encrypt all synced data” option, so that the data can be encrypted to ensure the privacy of personal data. 
  • Turn Off Instant Search: While the instant feature offers some ease and convenience in searching for information, for security reasons, it should be turned off because leaving it on means anything that is typed on the browser is instantly sent to Google.
  • Configure Content Settings: Under the privacy section, click “content setting” and perform the following actions: select “Keep local data only until I quit my browser” and “Block third-party cookies and site data.” These options will ensure that user cookies will be deleted once leaving Chrome and advertisers will not be able to track users using third-party cookies. Select “Do not run Java script“ to protect users from security vulnerabilities. Disable pop-ups from every site. And select “Do not allow any site to track my physical location.” 
  • Configure Password and Form Settings: Disable autofill and “offer to save password I enter on the web” under the passwords and forms” section.

Mozilla Firefox

Under the settings, check the “options” menu and do the following: (i) configure privacy settings, select “Use custom setting for history” deselect remember my browsing and download history” and “remember search form history”. Also deselect “accept third party cookies”, set cookies storage to “keep until I close Firefox“ and “clear history when Firefox closes.” these measures ensure that the browser is only storing information that is necessary for it to function optimally. Configure security settings and do the following: verify that “warm me when sites try to install address”, block reported forgeries and deselect “remember the password for sites”, disable Javascript. Taking these steps will ensure that Firefox users are kept from using harmful sites and prevent Firefox from saving users’ passwords. 

While these settings are for Firebox and Chrome, they are also available under Microsoft Internet Explorer, and under its settings, these security settings apply with slightly different names and the steps above should be followed. Beyond browser security settings, computer owners and internet users should get software and apps that give their systems extra security and privacy. For instance, a Bulletproof Privacy Network (BPN) such as Hoody will help you protect your privacy and security. When using your browser with Hoody, each one of your tab and website gets a new IP, a new location, and a unique set of Fingerprints, making tracking impossible.  Hoody Phantom Browsing™ future-proof technology beats the most advanced and invasive tracking techniques.

In conclusion, as much as browsers are important and make browsing easier, without the right security settings, we put our privacy at risk and make ourselves vulnerable to being hacked by cybercriminals with our data being breached. To guard against this, we must know the necessary browser settings to protect our privacy.