We use web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari to read news, check email, shop online, watch videos, and play games. We even use web browsers to take cybersecurity training! Because browsers are so widely used, they are a common target for cyber-attackers. But there are steps you can take to protect your browser and protect yourself, in order to browse more safely.
Safe Social Media
Stalkers and cyberbullies can use social media to track your movements. Current and future employers can use social media to see messages from you that may have been intended only for friends or family. However, you can take steps to protect yourself.
To stay secure, the best defense is for all of us to understand how we can protect ourselves. Educating yourself about current cybersecurity threats you may face both at work and at home helps reduce your risk.
Tips for Browsing Safely
Check your favorite browser and your plug-ins for updates.
Cyber-attackers are always looking for new weaknesses in browser software, and vendors often release updates and patches to fix them. Keeping your browser up to date makes it much harder to hack. If there’s an option to automatically update the browser in the future, select that option.
Browser plug-ins or extensions are small pieces of software added to browsers that can add functionality. However, a plug-in can also add cybersecurity vulnerabilities to your browser. Remove plug-ins that you no longer need or use. The less software you have to update, the more secure you are.
Pay attention to any browser warnings.
Browsers can often recognize malicious websites that are designed to cause you harm. If your browser warns you that a website is dangerous, close that browser tab or window right away.
Beware of pop-up windows.
Malicious websites can generate pop-up windows that look like messages from your browser or computer. A random prompt to install or upgrade software is a warning sign. Only download and install software from known, trusted sources. And downloading free content like movies, music, and videos usually has a catch: it can come with a side of hidden viruses or other malicious software.
Social Media Safety
To protect yourself when using social media, we recommend following these steps before your post, snap, or tweet:
- Turn on privacy settings.
- Don’t give away your location.
- Don’t say how long you’ll be in a particular location.
- Don’t share any photos of yourself that you wouldn’t want your boss to see.
- Be comfortable with your message living on the internet forever. If you’re not comfortable, don’t publish it.
Security Awareness Training
To stay secure, the best defense is for all of us to understand how we can protect ourselves. Educating yourself about current cybersecurity threats you may face both at work and at home helps reduce your risk. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback about security training.
Faculty and Staff
- Employee required training is available at https://go.uillinois.edu/securitytraining (log in required). Quarterly training for faculty and staff via the Proofpoint portal helps to keep cybersecurity top of mind. Small, targeted, timely subject matter modules that can be accomplished in 20 minutes focus on practical knowledge that can be applied in work and personal situations.
- Additional training opportunities are available for those who want to delve deeper into a subject. To take an optional training, visit the cybersecurity training portal at https://go.uillinois.edu/securitytraining
- UIUC students are invited to join a free, open training in Canvas at https://go.illinois.edu/cybersecurity-champion.