Internet Explorer, Opera, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Next up is Browser Security. The browser is actually a pretty sophisticated piece of software. It has to translate all that stuff on web servers into something user friendly. The browser also handles all of the security details associated with the communications with an https secure site. It is your portal into the World Wide Web after all.

Think about it, a good portion of your bandwidth goes through your browser. You may have a few programs running that poll the internet for data every so often, like email clients, Windows services and antivirus software. But all that audio, video, text, graphics and downloads are all happening in the browser. Being as such, it is also your portal for the majority of malware out there in the wild.

Firefox and Chrome go at it while Internet Explorer sits it out eating glue.
Firefox and Chrome go at it while Internet Explorer sits it out eating glue. ; )
Battle of the Browsers.
The major browsers available today are already pretty secure, as long as you keep them up to date. But there are a few add-ons I’d like to suggest to aid in keeping your browsing adventures a little more secure. Be aware though that every add-on you have installed in your browser is another possible point of failure in the security chain. So try to keep the add-on’s at a minimum and only use add-on’s from a reputable source. You can get an idea of whether or not a plugin is from a good source by the popularity of the plug-in and by reading any user comments.
WOT, Web of Trust rating system.
The next add-on I’d like to suggest is Adblock Plus. It works wonders. After you install it head over to: and click on the ‘Add Fanboy Ultimate Adblock List’ link which will bring up an Adblock box where you need to click on ‘add subscription’. That’s all there is to it. There are other lists available as well, these two highly recommenced. Feel Free to add as many as you like.

You can click on the red Adblock stop sign icon in your browser and then click on ‘Filter Preferences’ which will open up a box listing the filter lists you’re subscribed to. Click on the ‘filter list’ for the ultimate list and take a look at it. I didn’t count them but there must be thousands of ads in there and it’s updated frequently. There was and is a lot of work put into those lists. You can see they block a lot of the bad stuff out there that you may come across while surfing.

You can disable Addblock Plus on a site by site basis if you prefer to see the ads on a particular page. This is handy if you want to support your favorite YouTube channels by allowing the ads. All around it’s an awesome plugin to have in your arsenal. You can check them out further or install from here.

Adblock Plus
Facebook with and without Adblock Plus.
Facebook with and without Adblock Plus.
Click&Clean, Click and Clean
The next add-on I’d like to suggest is Click&Clean. Basically what it does is delete your typed URL’s, Cache, Cookies, your Download History and Browsing History, all with one click. You can pull up the dropdown menu and select just cookies. I do this once in a while when I want to leave my history intact but delete my cookies in case there are some tracking sites latched onto me. You can also have it run CCleaner on closing of your browser. This is a file cleaning application I’ll be going over in a future blog.
Click&Clean dropdown menu’s for ‘Chrome’ on the left and ‘Firefox’ on the right.
Click&Clean for Chrome and FIrefox.
Next up that I’d like to suggest is ‘NoScript’. What it does is allow JavaScript, Java, Flash, and others only for trusted sites of your choice. It blocks script by default requiring the user to allow whatever scripts they choose. You can enable JavaScript, Java and plugin execution for sites you trust by left clicking on the taskbar icon or using the contextual menu. This one is only available for Firefox and Seamonkey browsers however Chrome has a similar plugin called ‘ScriptSafe’.

In the image shown below you’ll notice a yellow bar across the bottom of the browser page. This is the NoScript status bar. The menu on the right is displayed by clicking on the options button. Here you will select any elements you wish to allow or if it’s a site you trust just click ‘Allow All’. I use the ”Temporarily Allow All’ option quite a bit. This will allow those elements until the browser is closed.

NoScript Menus
You can also choose to use a ‘Private’ window in Firefox or an ‘Incognito’ window in Chrome. Both work in a similar fashion by not saving your history, cookies and searches once you’ve closed all the tabs. Both have disclaimers to remind you that ‘you are not invisible in these modes’. Your employer, Internet Service Provider and the site you visit will still know where you’ve been if they so choose.

I can’t talk about browser security without talking about secure browsers. This is for those of you that don’t mind putting aside your favorite browser altogether. Comodo offers a secure browser in two forms. Dragon browser which is based on Chromium and Ice Dragon browser which is based on Firefox. These are similar to browsing in ‘Private’ or ‘Incognito’ mode. I prefer to use the standard version of Firefox and use Click&Clean to clear my tracks. It gives me control over what exactly is or is not deleted.

Ice Dragon
Tor Browser

I’d also like to mention the Tor Browser. This browser, which is built off Firefox, offers anonymity by routing your requests through several relay servers before reaching its destination. This method of privacy has one major drawback in that it is very slow. I’ve tried it a few times but I didn’t have the patience to use it on a regular basis so I switched back to Firefox. If you must have your plugins, then Tor Browser isn’t for you as it rejects plugins by default. If you don’t mind using a bare bones browser that offers exceptionally good privacy, then by all means give it a shot. If you don’t like it simply uninstall it. Tor Browser is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

If you follow the advice on this page (and elsewhere on this site), you should be fairly safe. However no amount of browser security will protect you unless you maintain vigilance while surfing. Be careful what you click on, that’s all it takes to get infected nowadays with all of the drive-by infected sites out there. it’s like a minefield. Stay safe and happy surfing.

Until Next Time