Web browsers are, without a doubt, the most information-rich and vulnerable software out there. Should a hacker attempt and manage to break in your browser, they will be able to find out a wealth of information about you – your passwords, emails, credit card data, bookmarks and so on. This is exactly why you need to pay special care to your browser and keep it clean and secure at all times.
If you are not tech-savvy enough and don’t know how to properly maintain your web browser, stay with us, as we will offer some tips on how to clean and secure your browser.
Tips for securing and cleaning your browser
1. Check your browser’s version
For starters, make sure to check whether you are using your browser’s latest version. Since browser updates are released at regular intervals, both to fix security issues and add extra features, using an outdated version can pose a serious security risk. To keep your browser fresh, enable automatic updates by clicking Tools, selecting your browser, and enabling the option “Install new versions automatically.”
2. Scan your system for malware and virus
Once you have ensured your browser is up-to-date, scan your entire system with the latest version of a reliable antimalware application. Keep in mind that no antivirus program can catch all the infections, therefore, make sure to use a secondary malware scanner as well. With a proper scan, you will detect dangerous viruses and adware, and, hopefully, eliminate unwanted toolbars, ads and so on.
3. Disable or uninstall browser toolbars
If your web browser is still acting strange, try removing every toolbar you are not using. For starters, remove all downloadable toolbars. Some popular web browsers include an address bar that can also serve as a customizable bookmarks menu and as a search engine box. The biggest issue here is that the majority of adware networks online do not offer anything useful. Their website shortcuts and search bars often lead unsuspecting web surfers to their adware networks. If you want to avoid visiting all kinds of shady sites and boost your browser’s speed in the process, make sure to eliminate every single toolbar from your web browser, thus closing off every potential entry point for malware and removing any unsightly visual clutter.
4. Check and re-check add-ons and extensions.
In addition to toolbars, adware networks also try to trick online visitors into installing browser extensions and add-ons, in order to conduct search redirection, inject all kinds of adds, and force them to use their sites as a homepage. To avoid all of this, make sure to regularly check for extensions and add-ons, and disable all that look suspicious.
5. Fiddle with programs and features
Your last step should include checking the “Programs and Features” list. It is no secret that some adware content can be found on that list. Therefore, check it out by clicking the Start button and typing “Programs and Features” into the search bar.
The programs that end up on this list are usually not offensive or harmful enough to be detected by modern malware and virus scanners. However, they can still cause certain problems from time to time. That is why you should regularly inspect the list of your installed programs and disable anything that you are not using or seems suspicious.