The openness of bloggers to virtual, social and smartphone networking makes them a lucrative target for cyber criminals. There was research presented[/do] at the Black Hat USA conference back in August that revealed that hackers are using attacks with the functions available in the latest HTML5 version to gain access to browsers. They are using it to gain sensitive information (banking information, hosting credentials etc.) from other websites using the browsing history of the victims.
CEO of High-Bridge Tech Ilia Kolochenk used a combination of cookies, browsing history and phishing based attacks with the Firefox web browser to hack inside[/do] the NASDAQ website. He claims that these methods can be easily used by hackers to gain access to any website as it only requires the input of an HTML code in the script of the site, and if it’s undetected, there’s a loophole to be breached.
Bloggers, internet marketers and online businesses can suffer severe consequences from such attacks, as most of their financial, personal and social information is stored online. For example, a hacker can easily use a browser-based attack to gain PayPal, Google Adsense and other important credentials of the end user.
But thankfully, there are options to significantly increase end user browsing security and prevent loss of information and revenue.
Ways to Secure End User Web Browsing Activity
1. Reduce the number of add-ons
Add-ons are pretty tempting, but they can actually harbor more attacking possibilities and increased malware. Also, some add-ons get installed automatically without notifying the user.
This is why it is important to configure web browsers to first ask for a prompt before any add-on is installed. This is also going to help prevent automatic installation of third-party scripts that make the surfing activity vulnerable.
2. Use virtual tools
Virtual security software is also important as it helps the browser filter suspicious content and keep it separate from the desktop and network of the end user. This type of security, according to trend (a leader in this industry), keeps the filtered content in a virtual environment, which helps in detection of malware and other threats in real-time.
Apart from threat protection and malware detection, the modern offerings utilize the combination of zero-day exploit discovery and application control to safeguard the web reputation of the end user.
3. Disable pop-ups/block them
Pop-ups can include threats and malware embedded inside them, and users can easily get lured by clicking on content devised from social engineering tricks. The best bet in this case is to turn off/block pop-ups completely.
And if the browser’s blocking function is not up to the mark, there’s always the option to use pop-up stoppers and ad-block extensions. They will stop 70-80% of the pop ups from appearing, even on sites that present the user with multiple pop-ups. Moreover, some of them are customizable and allow the user to add custom sites to the blocked list.
4. Turn off auto-complete
The information regarding the recently typed search terms, visited websites and login credentials can be stored by the auto complete feature through keystrokes. This would make it easy for the hackers to login if they gain access to the browser.
The required action in this case is to turn off the auto-complete completely. Mac users relying on iCloud Keychain, however, don’t have to worry as the platform is backed by Apple’s security protocols.