Top 10 Cybersecurity Tips while Browsing Websites
Published by : Industrial Automation
Shekhar Pawar shares a few tips for safe browsing of websites at a time when cyberattacks are striking with menacing regularity.
Many cyber-attacks start with website url which is clicked by victim. You need to reduce the risk of being such a victim. Most of us always receive website url on emails, SMS and on various mobile app chat messages. It is very important not to directly click those urls, and instead do some analysis before opening it. I am sharing a few important tips in this article for safe browsing.
1. Use trustworthy web browser
Popular web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Windows Internet Explorer/Edge are always provided with regular security updates, which is really helpful. Try to keep your web browser on auto update mode or update it periodically.
2. Web browser’s privacy and security settings
You need to keep privacy and security settings of it to protect your identity and avoid issues. For example, you can include a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic. You can disable web camera or microphone for it.
3. Beware of short urls
If you have a long web url, you can shorten it using various websites like https://bitly.com/
For example, I have created one short url – http://bit.ly/301Kd8U.
This is actually pointing to a long url – https://millgens.com/featured/is-there-a-teammate-who-is-carbon-dioxide-co2-of-your-team/
In this case when someone receives a short url and clicks it, it is very difficult to know where it will navigate. Who knows it will be a cyber trick, and it will navigate to some fake website created for a phishing attack?
You can use one of the websites mentioned below, which help to see what is the long url for the short url you have received:
Unshorten.it – https://unshorten.it
Urlex.org – https://urlex.org
Unshorten.net – https://unshorten.net
Unshorten.me – https://unshorten.me
Unshorten.xyz – https://unshorten.xyz
4. HTTPS is better than HTTP url
Any website url you try mostly has either HTTP or HTTPS at start. HTTPS is actually HTTP with encryption. HTTPS protocol has TLS (SSL) to encrypt normal HTTP requests and responses, it enhances security than HTTP.
5. Check Google’s safe browsing site status
Google’s Safe Browsing technology examines billions of URLs per day looking for unsafe websites. Every day, they discover thousands of new unsafe sites, many of which are legitimate websites that have been compromised. When they detect unsafe sites, they show warnings on Google Search and in web browsers. You can search to see whether a website is currently dangerous to visit at:
6. Check if website IP itself is blacklisted
There are few online tools, which helps us check whether the website IP address has been listed in the Global Blacklist Database.
Multirbl is one of the popular free multiple DNS BlackList aka RBL (DNSBL) lookup online tool: http://multirbl.valli.org/
7. Check website reputation for safety measures
There are several online tools as service which actually analyse any website through multiple blacklist engines and online reputation tools to facilitate the detection of fraudulent and malicious websites. These help you to easily identify websites involved in any malware incidents or fraudulent activities. They give information if it’s a phishing website.
A few online tools are mentioned below:
Norton safeweb – https://safeweb.norton.com/
TrendMicro Site safety – https://global.sitesafety.trendmicro.com/index.php
mxtoolbox – https://mxtoolbox.com/
urlvoid – https://www.urlvoid.com/
8. Know the source of website url
Website scanners help check the website for any known malware, blacklisting status, viruses, website errors, out-of-date software, and malicious code.
There are quite few website scanners which can help you to know more about any website, like:
Web Inspector – https://webinspector.com/website-malware-scanner
Sucuri – https://sitecheck.sucuri.net
PCrisk – https://scanner.pcrisk.com
9. Make it a habit of typing url in web browser
Just for an example if you have received a url which is very familiar to you, copy paste it in browser – or – don’t click it to automatically open with default browser of your device. Instead, it is better to type it in web browser. It minimises the risk of becoming victim of cyber tricks.
10. Contribute to report malicious websites
You can report the dangerous url to the few below listed services. They will do more analysis of your reporting and it will help many:
Fortinet – https://www.fortinet.com/
Sophos – https://www.sophos.com/en-us.aspx
Trustwave – https://www.trustwave.com/en-us/
Bitdefender – https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/trafficlight.html
Norton – https://safeweb.norton.com/
Stopbadware – https://www.stopbadware.org/clearinghouse/search/
Your browsing experience will be much safer if you follow these tips as the threat of cyberattacks is growing with each passing day.
Shekhar Ashok Pawar is Founder & Executive Director, GrassDew IT Solutions Private Limited, Mumbai, which is primarily focused on Cybersecurity, Consulting, Software Solutions, Digital Marketing and Knowledge Services. With 15 years of international experience, Shekhar is CISA, CEH, MCP, Blockchain Developer, CMMi Level 5 ATM & ISO 27001 LA. He did Executive Management (IIT-Bombay), after Engineering in Electronics & Telecommunications, and has experience in various IT delivery areas across USA, Europe, UK, UAE and India.