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3 Tips for Safer Online Browsing

9th of September, 2015

With all the tips and tricks on the Internet for safe browsing and privacy security, it’s hard to know just which ones to focus your attention on, let alone take to heart. We here at Privacy Shell hear you –– it can be tough to know which claims about safe browsing are gold and which will lead you down a road of wasted time and frustrating plugins. So here are three quick safe browsing tips from us to you, so that you can sit back, relax, and browse safely.  


1. Know Your Privacy Policies


Knowing your terms, agreements, and privacy policies is an absolutely crucial step in protecting yourself against online threats. Sure, this sounds like a time-consuming endeavour, but luckily Privacy Snapper can help you with this task. Privacy Snapper is a browser add-on that acts as your own personal online briefcase, holding all the terms and privacy policies that you’ve agreed to in an easily accessible manner. Get your Snapper below.

In addition to your own personal Snapper, Collusion for Firefox andChrome shows you who is tracking you on the Internet while you browse. This is especially important if you’re connected to a public wifi network.


2. Protect Your Credit Card Information


When you’re entering credit card information, your URL bar should read “https”, rather than simply “http” or “www.”. Hypertext Transfer Protocol, HTTPS, is the language that your web browser speaks, adding a secure layer between your browser and the website. You might notice, for instance, that when you log into your online bank account you will see the same security interaction in the URL, meaning that your computer is only communicating with the secure site via the encrypted HTTPS page. We also recommend using a reliable and traceable form of payment like a credit card or PayPal account where payments can be cancelled in the event of fraud. If a seller is asking you to send them a money transfer or cash directly, it’s likely that it’s a scam. Further, check for customer service contact information. An authentic retailer will create an online presence where their customers and clients can get to know them. The website should include contact details that, at the very least, provide a business address, email address, and telephone number where you can easily reach them.


3. Create Good Security Questions


A good security question will produce answers that have the five “S”s. They should be safe, stable, simple, special, and sundry.


Safe: Cannot be researched or guessed


Stable: Will not change over time


Simple: Precise and consistent.


Special: Something unforgettable you can remember (and you alone).


Sundry: Many possible answers


Check out Privacy Snapper for more tips on answering password security questions to make sure that you’ve got your passwords protected under the best lock and key.


With these three tips in mind, feel free and empowered in your abilities to browse the Internet the way that modern technology allows us to. Online privacy is our right, so take control and take back your technology.  

About Brianna Wiens


Brianna is pursuing her PhD in Communication & Culture at York University, while also teaching university courses in organizational group interaction and communication theory. 

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