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How to configure my browser for higher security?

A browser is the main porthole for viewing the web and, more than that, a live tool that allows you to interact with it. While surfing the web, many times searching for content has priority compared to safety (which is a bad idea). However, in order to compensate this flaw, there are some things you can do to make your browser take care of this aspect for you:

Keep your browser up to date. The browser running on your operating system is a third party application that needs to always stay up to date. Developers regularly release security updates and patches to keep up with the current threats and facilitate a safe navigation.

Keep all the other third party applications (Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Java) up to date, for the same reasons mentioned above.

Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and set it to automatically update.

Use a firewall and keep it permanently turned on.

Use auto-fill with caution. This accessibility option that browsers offer is not very secure. If you do not use a more traditional offline system of securely storing your passwords, install and use a trusted password manager such as LastPass or Keepass.

Use encrypted search as default browser page.

Use a safe browsing tool/add-on and/or a selective script blocker such as NoScript (for Mozilla Firefox). Read the reviews and overview add-on scores on the download page and choose accordingly.

Tweak you browser’s security and privacy settings to meet your needs. These settings are important for your computer security, which is ultimately important for your safety and privacy, so choose bearing that in mind. Most browsers provide explanatory information (advantages and disadvantages) about the various security levels available. If in doubt, set security levels to “high”. Instructions and information on how to change security settings are also generally available on the browsers’ official websites.

Testing browser security. If you’re still not sure about the level of security of your browser, or want to check how it performs, there are at least several browser security tests available online: http://www.browserscope.org, http://browserspy.dk/, https://browsercheck.qualys.com/ and others.

About AV-Comparatives

AV-Comparatives is an independent organization offering systematic testing that checks whether security software, such as PC/Mac-based antivirus products and mobile security solutions, lives up to its promises. Using one of the largest sample collections worldwide, it creates a real-world environment for truly accurate testing. AV-Comparatives offers freely accessible results to individuals, news organizations and scientific institutions. Certification by AV-Comparatives provides an official seal of approval for software performance which is globally recognized. Currently, AV-Comparatives' Real-World Protection Test is the most comprehensive and complex test available when it comes to evaluating the real-life protection capabilities of antivirus software. Put simply, the test framework replicates the scenario of an everyday user in an everyday online environment – the typical situation that most of us experience when using a computer with an Internet connection. AV-Comparatives works closely with several academic institutions, especially the University of Innsbruck’s Department of Computer Science, to provide innovative scientific testing methods.
If you plan to buy an Anti-Virus, please visit the vendor's site and evaluate their software by downloading a trial version, as there are also many other features and important things for an Anti-Virus that you should evaluate by yourself. Even if quite important, the data provided in the test reports on this site are just some aspects that you should consider when buying Anti-Virus software.

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