4 tips for safely conducting research on the web
Surprisingly, basic safety is often ignored by people using the web to research information quickly and efficiently. If you use the Internet for research of any kind, you could be exposing yourself and your company to hidden dangers such as the unauthorized transfer of confidential information. And no one wants to be the person responsible for a companywide computer network shutdown.
Whatever your reason for using the web, there is a smart way to conduct research on it: with an alert eye and a vigilant approach. Use these four tips to help protect yourself and your company from prying eyes and malicious programs.
1. Update, update, update!
Microsoft continually provides enhancements and security updates to all its products, including Internet Explorer. No program is completely safe from harm but as threats are discovered, Microsoft makes fixes, upgrades, and service packs for its products available. To maintain the highest level of security on your computer, you or your IT department must make sure to apply all service packs.
Before you venture onto the web, make sure you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer. At the time of this writing, the latest version is Internet Explorer 8.0.7. To see what version you are using, follow these steps:
In Internet Explorer, on the Help menu, click About Internet Explorer. There are three items you should notice in the window that is displayed:
Version: Internet Explorer 8.0.7 is the latest version.
Cipher Strength: This is the level of encryption that the browser can support. If you are going to be sending any confidential information over the Internet, you must make sure the cipher strength is 128-bit. If it is less than this value, it will be possible for a hacker to crack the encryption code and view confidential information.
Update Versions: Keep your version updated to ensure the balance between security and functionality is correct.