4.57 billion people use the internet, but hardly anyone stops for a moment to understand how the internet works. And why would someone? All it takes is a tap on the Wi-Fi button to get instant access to videos, music, games, or whatever you love doing on the internet.
It has one drawback, though. People who understand the internet tend to take advantage of those who don't. As a result, oblivion internet users end up falling victim to security breaches and data theft.
Today, we'll talk about web hygiene – how you can protect your network for safe and secure internet use.
Security Breaches on the Rise
Browsing the web privately and securely seems a bit unrealistic. Your internet provider knows the sites you visit. The same goes for the government, and probably other governments. If it's not them, then social media websites, ad platforms, and mobile apps could be tracking you across the internet.
Your browsing history can be more personal than you think. It might unravel your political beliefs, health conditions, and even your dark side – the adult sites you surf.
There are so many ways a hacker can access your sensitive information on the web. If you save your login credentials for a site, even a rookie hacker can hack it. The cookies you allow on your browser store your browsing history and personal information. The browser cache also consists of data that can inform the sites you visit and the content you view.
Even if you remove your saved credentials and disable cookies, some essential cookies will be collected. All in all, no matter which security measures you deploy, the risk of security breaches and data theft will not entirely subside.
Four Best Practices to Protect Your Network
Even if you switch to the incognito mode, disable autofill, and avoid entering any of your information, you're still at risk.
Because even though you've secured your browser, your network is still vulnerable. Hence, it's essential to protect your network with proxies, anti-virus, or VPN for your PC.
Here are four best practices you should follow to protect your network.
Installing a superior quality and reliable antivirus is the easiest step you can take to secure your network. Antivirus programs continuously monitor your network for viruses, malware, and other malicious activities and hacking attempts.
A good-quality antivirus can go a long way in protecting your network against data thefts and security breaches. It can run automatic scans to detect any suspicious files in your system. It also deletes malicious codes and programs to provide you with a clean and safe browsing experience.
2. Network Access Control
Network Access Control (NAC) is a computer security approach that focuses on unifying user/system authentication, network security enforcement, and endpoint security. By implementing NAC solutions, you can enhance web hygiene by supporting access management and network visibility.
An NAC solution offers various capabilities, like policy lifecycle management, guest networking access, profiling, and security posture check, to help you control access to your networks.
Hence, NAC systems can deny access to devices that are not compliant with the defined policies.
3. Proxy Servers
Simply put, a free proxy server acts as a gateway between the internet and you, the user. It is a separate server that acts as an intermediary between your internet-using device and the website you're accessing.
When you visit a website, the site collects your IP address. Your IP address includes your location and disclosing it can be a significant security concern.
But if you use a proxy server, the request is redirected to the proxy server instead of your original server. Therefore, the site gets a different IP address, keeping your location and other personal details secure. Many companies also use a proxy network for business to rotate their IP addresses when scraping the web.
From a web hygiene perspective, proxies can help you defeat hackers, filter content, cache content, and investigate payloads & packet headers.
A wide range of proxy types is available, such as:
· Residential proxy
· Datacenter proxy
· Anonymous proxy
· Dedicated proxy
· Private proxy
· Shared proxy
· Public proxy
Static residential proxies are by far the best proxies. They use IP addresses of real devices, making them the most secure and almost impossible to detect.
Firewalls refer to network security systems that administer and control traffic incoming and outgoing through the network. It works similar to NAC; it filters requests to a network based on predetermined security rules.
Thus, it creates a barricade between a trusted and untreated network. You can install firewalls to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your information sources like mail servers and websites.
The Bottom Line
By using the right tools and techniques, you can enjoy a safe and secure browsing experience. In the end, it's all about enhancing your knowledge base. The more you read and learn about security breaches and hacking instances, the less likely you will fall into such traps.