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10 Actionable Tips for Safe and Effective Internet Browsing

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10 Actionable Tips for Safe and Effective Internet Browsing

Internet browsing is an everyday activity for most of us. However, browsing the information superhighway, aka the internet, exposes the users to assorted threats.

Identity thefts, virus and online scams are just the tips of the iceberg. But with the following tips, your internet browsing won’t hit a glitch and you will be able to browse safely and effectively.

1. Secured computer equals secured browsing experience

Trivial as it may sound, threats generally attack the computers which have no ‘strongholds.’ In Cyber science, the strongholds are anti-virus, updated operating systems and working hardwares. Therefore, your computer should be provided with all these safeguards.

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 2. The browser should be fast and minimal

As Internet Explorer is notoriously famous for its distended architecture, sluggish loading time, and insecure environment, it is always expedient to install and make FireFox as your browser.

 3. Adds-on amplifies the security

Several attachable add-ons are available, which function to protect your data and identities during the browsing time. It will be quite beneficial to install some of my favourites add-ons like FlashBlock, LastPass and Web of trust.

 4. Raise up the computer security standards

Normally, the computer becomes prone to the attacks due to the laxity in the security settings. Unraised firewalls and the absence of security software will bring chaos to your browsing experience. By adjusting security settings, your browser aptly responds to potential and annoying threats like pop-ups, malicious  add-ons and spyware.

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 5. Scan files before downloading

It is a healthy habit to download only the content which you believe is secure. In case of a doubt, you are advised to scan the file with the antivirus software.

6. Be wary of phishing

Phishing is a malicious attempt, often done by masquerading as harmless, friendly internet entities (like banks, social media sites,  shopping and traveling sites, payment sites) to acquire important information (usernames, passwords, credit card details etc.)

You can avoid being victimized by such sites by not clicking on the links attached to the received emails, and by ignoring unasked-for mails.

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7. Secure Online Presence by Ditching Surveillance

It’s been long since the Internet service providers are logging and maintain the records of online activities of their users. It assists them in tracking the bandwidth and the speed provided to their clientele. No matter how much you desire to restrict these eavesdroppers from infiltrating your anonymity and prevent unwelcome surveillance, it cannot be done. At least not without a suitable VPN software.

VPN mitigates the chances of sniffing whether you’re a connected to public Wi-Fi, or you are willing to securely connect with a torrenting client under its encrypted tunnel.

When you do shopping online, it is an expert advice to shop from an SSL secured website with ‘https’ plus a padlock button left or right of the address bar. A counterfeit site may have poor graphics, misspellings, and bad grammar. These should serve as a warning to any off-the-guard, novice users.

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 8. The password should be variable, kickass, uncrackable and unassociated.

Cyber criminals can easily prey on usual, relatable and simple passwords. It is time to do away with associating yourself to the password. No more Superman123. It is time for THOU $H@nT bRE@KETH fOTHERmUcKER.

9. Internet users should be on the guard

Attacks are more frequented to the unwary users and the appliances of internet connectivity left in neglect. Attackers come in disguise in a pubic network or WiFi. Therefore, it is best to avoid using public platforms or use the sessions in such public domains in incognito mode. Additionally, the router default settings should be changed and the connection should be password-protected.

10. Caution to the conveniences

Auto fill up forms and ‘remember your password’ features increase your indolence. But you may have to regret that moment as some websites use unseen field to remove your information from the forms. There are still chances that this may be used by cybercriminals to hijack your browsing session and extract sensitive information to use against you.

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Featured photo credit: myapplegadgets.com via cdn1.myapplegadgets.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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