How much time do you spend browsing the internet in a typical day? Research shows that the average person now spends nearly seven hours online per day. Depending on your business or job, you may spend even more time online. Cyber threats, unfortunately, are persistent on the internet. Make one wrong move and your computer could become infected with malware that destroys your privacy by stealing your data. You can stay safe online, however, by following these web browser best practices.

#1) Stick With a Major Web Browser

There are over a dozen web browsers, some of which offer better protection against cyber threats than others. Generally speaking, any major web browser is a better choice than a smaller and lesser-known web browser. Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer and Opera are all excellent choices. They are regularly maintained with an emphasis on cybersecurity.

#2) Install Updates Immediately

Regardless of which web browser you use, you should install updates immediately after they are released. An update is a new version. When developers discover a security vulnerability in their web browser, they’ll patch it with an update. Of course, you’ll have to download and install the update to receive the patch. If you see a notification in your web browser that a new version is available, don’t hesitate to download it.

#3) Choose Extensions Wisely

Extensions allow you to customize your web browser with additional features. There are literally thousands of extensions available. You can download and install an extension to enhance your web browser with additional features. Be warned, though, that some extensions can pose a risk to your privacy and data. If an extension is poorly coded, it may contain a vulnerability that leaves you susceptible to cyber threats. Alternatively, some extensions are developed specifically for malicious purposes.

#4) Look for HTTPS

All major web browsers can connect to websites over HTTP and HTTPS. The former is the standard internet protocol, whereas the latter is a more secure internet protocol. If you see the HTTPS displayed in your web browser, you can rest assured knowing that your data is protected. The HTTPS protocol encrypts data using a pair of keys so that it can’t be viewed by anyone other than the website to whom you send it.

#5) Enable Private Browsing

You can enable private browsing in your web browser to achieve greater protection against cyber threats. Private browsing is a feature that automatically blocks the deployment of cookies. Websites won’t be able to track your activities with this feature enabled.