Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why are security settings for web browsers important?

Your web browser is the primary connection to the rest of the Internet, and multiple applications may depend on your browser, or items within your browser to function. This makes it even more important security settings in your browser. Many web applications are trying to improve your browsing experience by allowing different types of functionality, but this functionality could be unnecessary and can leave you susceptible to be attacked. The safest policy is to disable most of these features unless it decides are necessary. If you determine that a site is trustworthy, you can choose to enable the functionality temporarily and then turn it off once you are done visiting the site.
Where can you find the settings?
Each web browser is different, so you may have to look around. For example, in Internet Explorer, you can find by clicking Tools on the menu bar, select Internet Options ..., choose the Security tab, and clicking on the Custom Level button .... But in Firefox click Tools on the menu bar and select Options .... Click the content, privacy, and safety data sheets to explore options basic safety. Browsers have different security options and configurations, so familiarize yourself with the menu options, see the help function, or see the website of the supplier.
Although each application has settings that are selected by default, you may discover that your browser also has preset security levels that can be selected. For example, Internet Explorer offers customized configurations to select a certain level of safety; features are enabled or disabled based on the selection. Even with these guidelines, it is useful to have an understanding of what the different terms mean so you can evaluate the characteristics to determine what adjustments are appropriate for you.

How to know what your settings should be?
Ideally establish its safety for the highest possible level. However, restricting certain features may limit some web pages to load or work properly. The best approach is to take the highest level of security features enabled and only when you require functionality.

What do the different terms?
Different browsers use different terms, but here are some terms and options that you can find:
Zones - your browser may give you the option of putting websites into different segments or zones, and allow to define different security restrictions for each zone.
For example, Internet Explorer identifies the following areas:
Internet - This is the general area for all public websites. When you surf the Internet, configuration of this zone are automatically applied to the sites you visit. To give you the best protection while browsing, you must configure security at the highest level; at least, must maintain an average level.
Local Intranet - If you are in an office environment that has its own intranet, this area contains the internal pages. Because the content of the website is kept in an internal web server, it is usually safe to have less restrictive environments for these pages. However, some viruses have taken advantage of this area, so be careful what sites are listed and what privileges are being given.
Trusted Sites - If you think some sites are designed with security in mind, and you feel that the content of the site can be trusted not to contain harmful materials can add them to your trusted sites and apply settings accordingly. They may also require that only sites that implement Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) can be active in this area. This allows you to verify that the site you are visiting is the site that claims to be (see How to protect your privacy and description certificates Web site for more information). This is an optional area, but can be useful if you personally keep several websites or if your organization has multiple sites. Even if you trust them, avoid applying security levels to low-external sites if you are attacked, you may also become a victim.
Restricted sites - If there are particular sites that you think might not be safe, you can identify and define the settings for reinforced security. Due to security settings may not be enough to protect you, the best precaution is to avoid navigation to any site that makes you wonder if they are safe.
JavaScript - Some websites are based on web scripts such as JavaScript to achieve a certain look or functionality, but these scripts can be used in the attacks (see Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies for more information) .
Java and ActiveX controls - These programs are used to develop or run active content that offers some features, but can put you at risk (see Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies for more information).
Plug-ins - Sometimes browsers require the installation of additional software known as plug-ins to provide additional functionality. Like Java and ActiveX controls, plug-ins can be used in an attack, so before installing, make sure that they are necessary and that the site you have to download them from is trustworthy.

You may also find options that allow you to take the following safety measures:
 Manage cookies - You can disable, restrict or allow cookies in your case. In general, it is best to disable cookies and then enable them if you visit a trusted site that requires them (see Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies for more information).
Block pop-ups - While Turning this feature may limit the functionality of certain web sites, but also minimize the number of pop-up ads you receive, some of which may be malicious

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