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Don’t Surf The Web Unprotected

I can almost guarantee that you are going to end up with some nasties (malware) on your computer if you don’t take the time to add extra security measures to your browser programs.

The most popular browsers are probably Firefox and Internet Explorer these days. Since Internet Explorer is the browser that comes pre-installed on Microsoft Windows systems, it has enjoyed tremendous popularity for many years.

I’ve been a dedicated Firefox user for years and I don’t use Internet Explorer that often. Firefox has had the unique ability to install user-written add-ons to it that perform various functions for years now. I am aware that Internet Explorer has made progress in allowing add-ons in recent years, but I still firmly believe Firefox is a better browser with a larger selection of add-ons to choose from.

One add-on that I recommend for everyone is called NoScript. This particular add-on can be a bit of a hassle for some users since you have to “train” it to recognize sites that you trust. Before you allow it to trust a particular site, NoScript blocks a lot of web functionality that makes web pages look the way they do. At the same time, it also stops most (if not all) browser exploits.

I realize that Internet Explorer has been working towards adding filters that may help block harmful sites and content, but still, I think Firefox with NoScript is the way to go.

doing-damageA recent report reveals that there are literally millions of web sites on the internet that have been set up to take advantage of known browser exploits and inject harmful programs onto the computers of people who visit these sites without the proper protection.

Many of these malicious web sites are set up to install malware on visitor’s computers that allow them to be controlled by cybercriminals without the computer owner’s knowledge. Unless someone is very computer savvy, they are likely to be completely unaware that their computer is being used by a cybercrook who may be thousands of miles away in another country.

Once the cybercrooks have control of your computer, they will work in the background and make your computer do whatever they want it to. Some of the most common tasks these criminals execute on victim’s computers involve attempting to break into other computers on the internet, send out spam and flood other computers with so much internet traffic that they become unusable.

Yes, although it’s a bit of a hassle to install and use NoScript, I can almost guarantee that you will be infected with malware at some point with it or some other adequate protection.

How do I know? I’ve found myself infected after using Internet Explorer to visit just a few sites on more than one occasion. I don’t have any extra protection installed on Internet Explorer and do not even know if protection is available or how good it might be if it is available. I primarily use Internet Explorer only when I visit trusted web sites, but I sometimes push my luck and visit other sites even though I know I am taking a chance by doing it. Trust me, I’ve paid for that mistake a few times!

If you are a very light web surfer and visit only a few well-known and trusted web sites all of the time, you may get away with surfing unprotected. There have, however, been very popular and very well-known websites have been hacked or tricked into running ads or other content that attempts to install malware on the computers of those who visit the site.

I know a lot of computer users are not “into” computers and all of this talk of malware and NoScript may sound like an alien language, but I believe it’s vitally important to protect yourself from browser exploits. If you know someone who is a “computer geek” see if they will take a few minutes to get Firefox and NoScript running on your PC.

Alternatively, give yourself a little more credit than you might otherwise do and see if you can download and install Firefox yourself and then install the NoScript add-on. You might be surprised to find that you are more computer savvy than even you realize!

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