Some people may still believe that criminals wouldn’t be bothered in trying to compromise their security as it wouldn’t be worth the trouble and effort, but in fact the online world is teeming with viruses, Trojans and malware designed to take the hard work out of accessing your data.

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Whether you use a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, if you are accessing the internet you are exposing yourself to potential threats that could compromise your security.

The plain fact is that anyone who goes online risks being infected by malicious code written with the precise aim of stealing data from your system and sometimes of taking control and making your device work for the bad guys without you knowing it.

Everybody should take simple but serious steps to guard against this, so here are some effective ways of securing your web browser:

Use a firewall

Most good internet packages, such as Virgin Media broadband deals will come with some security aspects as standard. The built-in firewalls that come with routers can be very effective for day to day use but dedicated stand-alone applications can offer more thorough protection as in order to be sure that internet traffic is secure a firewall really need to monitor both incoming and outgoing connections.

If it is found that something is already on your system and is trying to contact the outside, virus removal programmes can then be used to neutralise the threat which might have gone unnoticed if your firewall protection only reported on inbound traffic.

Use a mobile browser

Most people just use the browser that comes built in with their internet enabled device but for the ultimate in safety conscious web surfing you can chose one of the latest ‘mobile’ browsers that can be run from a USB thumb drive. Both Opera and Firefox offer powerful applications with extremely small footprints and they can be run solely from the USB stick, so nothing can be downloaded onto your computer’s hard drive cache. These lightweight apps work extremely well if you use the new USB3 protocol drives, but are perfectly functional on older USB sticks too.

Use the latest version

Whichever browser you use, make sure that it is the latest and most up to date version. All the major browsers have regular version updates which address new security issues and also improve functionality. As well as major release versions, many updates and patches often become available to address particular security concerns.

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