Information Technology Fundamentals - Secure Web Browsing
What is a Web Browser?
A web browser is a programme that allows a user to navigate the World Wide Web and access information in the form of text, images, and videos.
Internet is a very large and effective resource. The internet has revolutionized the way we live, learn, and socialize over the course of a few decades. Depending on context, it acts as a global connector, a commercial engine, a relationship builder, a source of future innovation, and a source of more memes than we can handle.
Everyone should be able to use the internet, but we also need to know how to use the devices we use to connect to it. Every day, millions of people use browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari, but how many of them truly understand what these programmes are and how they function? We have quickly progressed from being awed by the prospect of sending an email to someone on the other side of the world to rethinking the very concept of information itself. What matters now is not your level of knowledge, but rather the speed with which you can access information, be it via web browser or mobile app.
How a browser work
Your browser is your ticket to the entire world wide web. It searches the rest of the internet for content and brings it to your computer or mobile device. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is used, and it specifies how data like text, images, and video are sent over the internet. Sharing and displaying this data in a standardized way is essential if it is to be accessed by people around the world using a wide variety of browsers.
Unfortunately, the format isn't interpreted consistently across browsers. Different users will experience a website's various forms and functions. Web standards are a set of guidelines developed to ensure that all users, regardless of their browser of choice, have a positive experience on the internet.
A rendering engine is a piece of software used by a web browser to render text and images from data received from a server on the internet. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is used to write this data, and web browsers read this code to render the content we see, hear, and experience online.
The internet is a vast and ever-expanding network, and hyperlinks are the highways that connect its many destinations. There is a special Uniform Resource Locator (URL), or web address, for every single webpage, image, and video on the internet. When a browser requests information from a server, the address it enters tells the server exactly where to find the data specified in the HTML.
A browser's job is to display data that has been requested from remote servers or stored locally. The user initiates this action by entering a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) such as "https://en.wikipedia.org/" into the browser. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a set of rules for transmitting data that is used to retrieve nearly all URLs. For the sake of both privacy and security, it's preferable that a URL employ HTTPS, the encrypted version of the protocol that establishes a connection between the browser and the web server.
There are usually a number of other pages and resources linked to from any given web page. Whenever a user clicks or taps on a link, the browser is taken to the specified URL. In order to speed up subsequent loads of the same web page, most browsers keep a cache of its resources on the local machine. Large images, for example, can be stored in the cache so they can be accessed without being redownloaded from the server. The duration of a cached object's storage is typically limited to the time period specified by the web server in its HTTP response messages.
Why Secure Your Browser
Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari are just some of the browsers that come pre-installed on most computers today. Given their pervasive nature, browser security configuration is of paramount importance. The default configuration of the web browser included with an operating system is often not secure. If you don't take precautions to protect your browser, you could end up with malware, spyware, or even a hacker taking control of your computer.
Users of computers should, ideally, assess the potential dangers posed by each piece of software they install. Software is often preinstalled on computers before they are sold. The first step in evaluating your computer's security is discovering what programmes are already installed and how they will interact with one another, regardless of where they came from (the computer manufacturer, the operating system maker, your Internet service provider, or a retail store). As unfortunate as it may be, most people simply don't have the time to devote to such in-depth analysis.
Threats from software exploiting security holes in web browsers are growing. New software vulnerabilities are being exploited and aimed at web browsers, as evidenced by the widespread use of compromised and malicious websites.
How To Secure Your Web Browser
Here you'll find resources for making some of the most popular web browsers more secure by turning off features that could be exploited. If you want more information about the browsers you use, we suggest going to the vendor's website for each one. We recommend contacting a vendor directly for more information on how to secure the browser if no such documentation is provided.
It's possible to have more than one web browser set up on your computer. In addition to the browser you use to access the internet, other programmes on your computer, such as email clients and document viewers, may also use browsers. It's possible to assign a different default browser to specific file extensions. Even if you're only using one browser for manual site navigation, that doesn't mean everything else will follow suit. This is why it's critical to properly set up all of your computer's browsers for maximum security. Having the option to switch between dedicated browsers for more secure transactions like online banking and more general browsing is a major benefit of using multiple browsers. Use of multiple browsers can reduce the likelihood that sensitive data will be compromised due to a flaw in a single browser, website, or related software.
Browsers get new versions quite often. The locations and names of menu items and other features can vary from one software version to the next.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Windows PCs come preloaded with Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft's web browser. Visit http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/ie-security-privacy-settings to modify the security and privacy parameters of Internet Explorer.
Apple ships its computers, tablets, and phones with Safari pre-installed. Visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201265 for details on how to tighten Safari's security on your iOS device. Visit http://help.apple.com/safari/mac/8.0/ for more details on Safari for Mac. and then go to "Privacy and Security" in the menu.
Mozilla Firefox is an alternative web browser that is widely used on platforms other than Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux. Find out how to safeguard your information by using Firefox's private browsing, password features, and other security settings.
Stat Counter and other measurement tools show that Google Chrome surpassed all other browsers in popularity in 2012. Visit https://support.google.com/chrome?topic=3421433 for more info on Chrome's security, safety, and reporting features. Click the drop-down menu next to the appropriate topic and choose from the options presented.