Essential Tips for Safe Browsing  

We’re kicking off Cybersecurity Awareness Month by discussing one of the easiest and most important ways to maintain a secure digital environment: Safe Browsing Practices. The way we search for information online can significantly impact our privacy and our company’s overall security. Let's explore some best practices and tips to ensure we’re all conducting web searches safely and responsibly.

Why Safe Browsing Matters 

In today’s world we must be highly aware of security and privacy concerns when looking for information online. Here why it matters:

  • Privacy: search inquiries can reveal sensitive information if not worded carefully
  • Data security: responsible web searching helps protect our company’s data from unauthorized access
  • Phishing and scams: misleading search results can lead to malicious websites posing security threats

How to Search Safely 

These simple tips will keep your web searches effective and secure:

  • Use trusted search engines: stick with reputable search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo
  • Update your browser: keep your browser up to date to increase security, productivity and functional enhancements
  • Check website security and validity: Make sure your search results are legitimate before clicking any links:
    • Look for the padlock symbol (HTTPS) in the URL bar and verify website authenticity
    • Check for credibility by looking for common indicators like valid phone numbers and email addresses on the Contact page
    • Beware of typo squatting, which is when people - often criminals – deceive users by registering domain names that are slight misspellings or variations of popular websites.
  • Be skeptical of ads: the first few links provided in a search are sponsored (or paid) links, which can lead to untrustworthy sites
  • Protect personal data: don’t enter your personal information into search engines
  • Use specific keywords: be precise with your search terms to get accurate results
  • Use Incognito Mode: browse privately when searching for sensitive information

Your Challenge 

This week, we challenge you to practice safe and responsible web searching using the guidelines above. Share your experiences and additional tips with your teammates.

Following these tips will help keep your personal information safe. Stay tuned for more information throughout Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and follow us on social for even more helpful resources.