Browser Security – Updated (May 2017)

Technology Tips – Published May 2017 in the Guide and Digest

By Don Trauger – Kennett

Browser Security – Updated

I have revised and updated the information in this article which was originally published in April of 2016. It contains many links to click and may be best utilized while on your computer. To read and implement the programs mentioned below, click the following link: http://hersheysmill.org/hmc-tv20/diges/. Click on the May 2017 Guide and Digest.

 

In previous articles I have recommended the following security programs: Bitdefender Free Anti-Virus (download it here): https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html. Malwarebytes free (download it here): https://www.malwarebytes.com/. AdwCleaner (download it here): https://toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/. Bitdfender Free comes in 2 flavors. The online version is the newest and is recommended for Windows 10. It appears first when you click the above Bitdefender link. A pop-up window comparing the older free version and a pay-for version may overlay the first window. Actually, both versions work fine on Windows 10. Malwarebytes offers a 14 day premium free trial with the download. After that it reverts back to manual scans and updates if you want to stay with the free version. NOTE: The new version of Malwarebytes (3.0) also contains an anti-virus. It can conflict with other anti-virus programs you may have installed. Remember that you can only have 1 anti-virus program running on your computer. Uninstall any other anti-virus program before installing Malwarebytes (3.0). Alternatively, if you have the older version of Bitdefender, click the white “B” icon on the Taskbar and turn off the Virus Shield while running Malwarebytes (3.0) during the trial period. After the Malwarebytes 14 day trial is over you can turn Bitdefender’s Virus Shield back on.

 

Now, I suggest you take an additional approach to increase security particularly when you browse the Internet. Yes, your anti virus can still protect you when a malicious file is downloaded into your computer. However, anti-virus programs are not currently where most of the malicious action is. For technical reasons hackers can’t make money writing virus code. Their attention has turned to other ways that Malwarebytes and AdwCleaner can detect and remove. There are still viruses out there but not at the same level as previously. The additional approach should now include improving browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) security.

 

Next, make sure you are using the Chrome browser. If not, get it here: https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/. Chrome is perceived to be the safest browser. What I suggest is to add 3 free Add-ins. The add-ins are Adblock Plus https://adblockplus.org/, TrafficLight from Bitdefender http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/trafficlight.html and Disconnect https://disconnect.me/freeprotection. All 3 can be added to Firefox as well as Chrome but Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge can only accept Adblock Plus.

 

Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is now contained in Malwarebytes Anti Malware version 3.0. It guards against web sites that may harbor malicious exploits also known as ransomware. Exploit kits are designed by hackers to find and exploit any vulnerabilities in your computer. This program works only when a browser is opened but works on all browsers. However, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit will only run during the free trial or if you decide you want to have the pay-for version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. If you revert back to the free version after the free trial and want Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit you can download it from here: https://downloads.malwarebytes.org/file/mbae_current/. Adblock Plus is an ad blocker. It offers blocking to 3rd party ad servers that are often compromised by hackers that can infect your computer by putting malicious ads on your computer. It doesn’t block all ads. Some legitimate ads originating from the web site itself will still come through. Traffic light examines the web address you are entering. If it’s malicious it will block the connection to that site. Disconnect blocks tracking cookies that follow your various selections of websites.

 

I recommend only one setting change for Adblock Plus. Click the red Adblock Plus icon in the upper right corner of Chrome, click Options, and uncheck “Allow some non-intrusive advertising”. These 3 tools work only when you open your browser.

 

The PC Club meetings are open to all regardless of computer experience. If you have questions that need to be answered, be sure to attend on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM upstairs in the Community Center. May’s topic will cover Browser Security.