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Browse Safe And Stay Secure Online

Updated on October 21, 2018
Miebakagh57 profile image

I hold BA History and computer programming. As an Administrative Officer, I work on computers, and furthers in IT.

Introducing Malicious Software or Malware

Weekly, malicious software enter the market. But what is a malware? Malware is a computer program that tries to hijack your computer. Hijack, that you pay a ransom for its release. The computer will not be liberated! At times, it will be completely destroyed like the last episode in the movie, 'Airforce one.'

They come in the form of a virus, worms, spyware, rootkits, and trojans. Ransom worm, adware, and scareware are common. How do you know malware? Updated virus or spyware definitions can detect them on your computer.

Microsoft and other vendors have sites on which to download genuine virus definitions. You go to the original center to download a free version. Never download a virus or spyware definition of Microsoft from an independent vendor.

Why I am writing this article is for online visitors not to be a target for online scammers.

Malware Target Your Computer Operating System

An HP mobile computer
An HP mobile computer | Source

Brief Characteristics of a Malware

1. A Malware is used by government and corporate entity to spy or gather military, scientific and technical information.

2. A Malware spies on your computer and operating system, stealing your password and personal information.

3. They can take control over and damage your computer systems. You cannot even land on a real site but on a phishing website.

4. Malware slows down your machine so that you are unable to load a file or page.

5. They can infiltrate your entire computer and reset the system to your dislike.

Malware Trojan Takes Over Your Computer System and Destroy it

Inside the Trojan are hidden intelligent military officers that spIes on your computer
Inside the Trojan are hidden intelligent military officers that spIes on your computer

Install Antivirus Software and Scan Your Computer

You turn on your computer to start Windows. What anti-malware software should you install to protect your computer? I install Microsoft’s Security Essential (MSE), SuperAntiSpyware (SAS), and Malwarebytes. A quick scan takes less than thirty minutes.

This short scan with MSE is followed by another short scan via, Malwarebytes, and SuperAntiSpyware. The later, detected some Potential Unwanted Programs.

So, I again take a short scan with SuperAntiSpyware. 124 adware tracking cookies were unearthed. Furthermore, I turn on the Microsoft Malicious Software removal tool for a quick scan to safeguard my machine.

Then, a full scan with SuperAntiSpyware follows without any issues. Whenever you encounter a minor or major issuance, go for the next scan.

This unconventional method of scanning a computer with 4 antivirus tools is okay, provide they are compatible with your system. But you cannot take on Windows Defender Offline and Microsoft Security Essential together, OR run one at a time on the same computer. It will clash.

Free Antivirus Versus Paid Antivirus

Is there a difference between free and paid antivirus? Yes. Paid antivirus offer more protection, for example, in Panda antivirus one gets:

  • Web protection.
  • Covers your Android device.
  • Free VPN.
  • Wifi protection.
  • Scans USB devices.
  • Exploit protection.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • Shields vulnerability in software.
  • Blocks bad websites.

You can install a paid-promotional antivirus for less than $20.

Protect Your Computer Against Malware Threats

Standard Malicious Software

Is your computer being infiltrated? Be aware that certain antivirus software vendors have standard malicious software that enables virus, spyware, and malware to infiltrates your computer.

These malicious viruses are chameleon-and-hydra-like. They can evade the latest antimalware definitions. A malicious software may contain a code or trojan embodied in a downloadable e-book, VCD or DVD disc purchased.

Computer Codes Can Contain Malware


Microsoft Security Essential Can Contained Malicious Malware

Microsoft Security Essential is a free antivirus from Microsoft Window. It is free to use against virus, spyware and other malicious malware. It is a limited comprehensive protection against viruses, worms, and Trojans. Download and install it at the Microsoft’s Security Center

Microsoft Security Essential Scan Completed

Antivirus Software That Fight Malware: Product Feature and Prices

Windows Defender Offline (WDO)
Works offline, "removes viruses, spyware, and other malicious software." Enhanced protection against rootkit and boot kit, cleanse PC when online.
Free ware
Scan and removes all sorts of malware. Yu can get the paid version on trial only for 30 days period.
Premium edition $39.90
Malwarebyte Organization
Microsoft Security Essential
Detects virus, worms, trojan and malicious software.
Free ware
Antivirus softwares that detect malwares


When you bought a new laptop/computer, what browser is identify with it?

1. My browser is Internet Explorer IE. But I prefer and installed Google Chrome as my search and homepage due to its updated security patches.

2. The world's first web browser is Netscape Navigator or Communicator. Google Chrome is now the most popular web browser.

3. Google Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Microsoft's Edge, and Mozilla Firefox are the most used web browsers. Apple’s Safari seems to take the fourth place.

Regularly update your browsers to the latest update. This is one sure and safe way to stay secure online.

hp Windows Computer


Web Browsers can Install Malware on Your Computer

A web browser is an electronic software application that you can use to source, receive and retrieve information online.

  • You can use it to receive emails, files, videos, photos, and images; electronic devices in downloadable e-books and software.
  • Additionally, all these items can be upload by the same browser.
  • A malware can be download or upload via, a browser without your knowledge!
  • It comes offline in VCD or DVD disc.
  • E-mails significantly carried viruses.
  • A browser like Babylon or Ask ToolBar is a malware.
  • Some web browsers are paid versions and potentially carried malware that load codes on your computer.
  • Settled with any one of the traditional five web browsers.

A web-browser has no limit to communicate online.

The Five Most Trusted Web Browsers

Brief History of Web Browser

With the development of the internet, the web-browser comes into prominence. The first web browser is the mosaic worldwide web WWW. The www was later developed and released for all future browsers. The mosaic became the only framework on which web browsers were innovated. Thus, a model of “the world’s first popular web browser was born.”

The first April fool prank (e-mail malware prank) attachment was not yet manifest at this stage.

What do You Think

The world's first web browser is:

See results

Netscape Navigator

Browser War and Anti-Malware Patches

Netscape Navigator results first from the mosaic. It soon became very popular and was even regarded as the world’s most popular web browser, like its parent mosaic.

Then enter Internet Explorer (IE). The browser war or market competition between browsers has begun. Internet Explorer which was also molded after the mosaic was soon to overtake the Navigator! Opera had to join the competitive war but failed woefully. It made a market share of at least 1%! an insignificant figure compares to Navigator 90% and IE 95% respectively.

Enter Google Chrome With Unique Anti-Malware Patches

The entry of Chrome into the browser war in September 2008 is commendable. Having overtaken IE and all the other browsers combined, it reaches a market high by April 2014.

Chrome by Google is now the most popular and the most used web browser, helping 1.1 billion people to surf safely. Popular because many prefer its security and safety features that act as an anti-malware device. Presently, Google Chrome has the highest market share of all web browsers 60% and followed by Firefox 11%, Edge 4%, and Safari 3%.

Chrome By Google

Google chrome ha unique safety patches
Google chrome ha unique safety patches

Cloud-Based Browser

Maxthon is a relatively new web browser. It uses a cloud-based technology. It is foremost in using cloud technology and set the pace for "cloud-based" browsers.

Cloud-based browsers have secured security features that "prevent malware from interacting with your computer" while online. Maxthon has three search engines, including Chrome my default.

Maxthon Fights Malware in The Cloud Before They Attack Your Computer

Browser-Extension and Malware Attack

The online world is dangerous. A guy goes surfing the web. He uses a Firefox browser and installs Avira adds-on on Firefox. But when he attempts to download a program, he is directed to Avira website. While others who use chrome will receive a warning before landing on Avira.

Does this mean the Firefox is unsafe? Negative. I have experienced the same issue with Ask ToolBar. I once enable the ask toolbar. I try to visit my affiliate site, but it sent me to upgrade its toolbar on Ask site. I uninstalled it.

All this shows that many legitimate websites and browsers are at times compromised. In such a case, the best browser could not help. So you should not add any extension on your browser without a better understanding of its functions.

Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox are safe browsers. But you can render them useless by adding unreliable toolbars, and extensions.

Malware and Phishing Sites

How many websites do you think is out there on the internet? 500,000? 100,000,000? Apart from this, what about the many corporate and private blogs?

There are billions of websites on the internet. Some sites real and lawful, are compromised daily. By virtue of some of these sites being via media, they become unsafe are like to the man in the middle attack.

Visiting these unsafe sites online also means compromising your computer, site, and browser to malware and phishing. These threaten your privacy and security. These sites on which you are directed will install malware on your computer and at the same time will also trick you into sharing “your username and password or sharing other private information."

Malware can Include Man in the Middle Attack

Man in the middle attack
Man in the middle attack

Safety of Your Browser

Malware Infection Vectors

A malware is any software application trying to download the unwanted software and take control of your computer.

But what is a malware site? 'Mal' means bad and site is a location or address. So, a malware site could mean a bad location address or URL on the internet.

You want to visit Microsoft Download Center, but it took you to another counterfeit center with a Microsoft Logo. It can even take you to a genuine site but gathered your login information and password. What do those sites aim for? They seek private information on billion dollar corporations and individuals.

Another is identity theft and attacking of computers and cyberspace. “If your site has been infected”, inferring that these malware sites not only gathered private information but also compromised your blog or website personal and corporate as a malware entity, “it is generally because some vulnerability has allowed a hacker to take control over your site” Google opined.

Surprisingly, the malware will at the same time installed and run automatically. Once, your computer, browser, site or blog has been fully compromised with malicious contents, they are as good as “one potential vector of malicious content” or “malware infection vectors” Said Google. You can take care of all these by installing malicious software removal tool from trusted vendors. Download and scan your computer with Microsoft malicious software removal tool

Some online shopping websites, like eBay, as they own antivirus patches. I install Trusteer Rapport and it automatically detects any suspicious application and website visits. eBay maintains Trusteer Rapport. But you should not compromise your password with it.

Software System Vulnerabilities and Malware

A vulnerability in computing is any defect, flaw, and weakness. It is open for detection and attack by a hacker.

The attack is an exploit in part or the whole system when compromise. A denial of service then results. Your machine meanwhile becomes under the control of another power.

The defect arises mostly in the architecture of the software. Your software is as good as the makers made it be. It is not 100% perfect. It comes into the market in very good condition, but misuse by you or a third party can open a hole in it for an attacker to work exploit.

A Design Fault can Cause Vulnerability in Browser for Exploit

Browser Vulnerability Compromised With Malware

The issue of vulnerability is very important here. Your browser Chrome, IE, Firefox or Edge has a weakness. The defect is not realized when it was released into the market. It was tested and retested because anything can happen when you go online with the software.

Let’s take chrome as an example. It is an open source browser in that it is still subjected to development. It is expected that user experience with the software can help bring in more issues and hence, a nice way to make it better.

How many of us are aware that Google does subject its chrome browser to trusted software vendors that will detect any vulnerability in the software and get paid for it?

Within twelve hours or so of the detection, Google will update chrome to a more secure level than ever. We, the users of chrome are required to submit any issues we found while using the software. I had uninstalled my chrome browser at most seven times within three years. Each time, I was asked why I uninstalled it. My feedback like yours help Google to make Chrome secured

Your browser whether Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc is a vulnerable software. Google latest update now is 70.0.3538.67 (32- bit), October 2018.

Coupled with vulnerability is browser exploit. If you experience signs of change on the homepage, search page, any changes in your favorites and your settings of internet opinion, etc there is no question that your browser has been compromised with malware.

Windows Firewall

Windows firewall can prevent hackers gaining access to your computer operating systems. Prevent this.

Check your firewall setting and turn on the Windows firewall.

  • Click the start menu button on your computer.
  • Type firewall.
  • In the new window, click “Windows Firewall”.
  • Click “Turn Windows Fire Wall On”.
  • Close window.

Tip: do not uninstall Windows firewall in preference to other superior fire-wall settings. These may contain malware codes. Whatever firewall setting your PC comes with Window's or Mac, retained it.

Fire Wall

Drive By Downloads

"Drive-by downloads are even scarier than a malicious website... Drive-by downloads can be installed on your computer simply by looking at an email, browsing a website or clicking on a pop-up window with text designed to mislead you, such as a false error message. This is...frightening because... your anti-virus software might be incapable of detecting it because the hackers deliberately make it difficult for antivirus soft software to detect." Don't any unexpect links. These may load codes,

Zero-Day Exploits Links

A few years ago, there was this relative “Zero Day” vulnerability that attacked IE browsers. It is a “limited targeted attacks” on IE 7-10.

The attack will direct you to visit a malicious website. “This would typically occur,” said Microsoft “by an attacker convincing someone to click on a link in an email or instant message.”

Consequently, Microsoft's Edge ME, a new browser replaced IE in Windows 10 and 11. ME promised to protect your system from "phishing attacks and social engineered malware" while online.

Microsoft advises that you update your systems regularly.

Lately, malware vendors noted IE is not a frequently used browser. They recently employ a new trick in tricking online visitors to click a link in a word document. This enables the attackers to executed "malicious shellcodes" and then load a malware.

Password Protection

An untrustworthy third party can gain access to your computer without a password. This is an invitation to insert malware codes on your system.

You can create a strong password for your computer.

A strong password depends on the combination of the different characters and symbols used on your computer keyboard, and the length of the characters.

  • Choice two letters from the upper case alphabets A to Z.
  • Choice two letters from the lower case alphabet a to z.
  • Choice two characters from the Arabic numerals 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
  • Choice two special characters from any of # ^ $ % ( _ * + : < ? > ! / { [ : ] } etc but do not use the @ sign.

If we choose two characters each from the four categories, the password will be strong.

Passwords are created by easy to remember sentences, and by substituting words, letters, numerals and so on. For example,” my exam will start on 9 September 2014.” will become MXwso9014 I test this with a password checker and it is strong.

A strong password even depends on how long it takes an attacker to crack it. Will it take minutes, hours, days, a week or a month or years? Test your password strength here


Protect your computer against malicious software and contents by:

  1. Installing internet security software.
  2. Keep all antivirus software up-to-date.
  3. Delete all suspicious emails, whether spammy or not.
  4. Don't click on any email links. Copy and paste the link into your browser.
  5. Don't install flash players, codes, allow certain cookies on your browsers.
  6. Use only the best open source browsers.

To your online safety!

© 2014 Miebakagh Fiberesima

Please readers, your imput to make this article better is welcomed.

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