Web Browser Security

In this tutorial module, we look at web browser security as part of your overall web security plan.

WordPress Security TutorialsThis tutorial is part of our tutorial series on WordPress Security. In this module, we look at web browser security as part of your overall web security plan.

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Web Browser Security

Since everybody uses a web browser to access the Internet, this makes the web browser a very tempting target for hackers.

Hackers not only try to take over your computer and use it for their own nefarious purposes by installing malicious software, or “malware”, but web browsers also store a lot of information about your web surfing habits and online behavior that could be used to exploit your online security.

For example, web browsers can store information about the websites that you visit, including images and videos that you looked at, links that you have clicked, and files that you have downloaded.

This information is stored in the browser’s cache, history, and cookies.

  • Browser Cache: The ‘cache’ (pronounced ‘cash’) is a temporary storage space on your hard disk where recently viewed web pages are held. The cache allows you to quickly load a previously visited webpage without having to reload the page and its images from the web server on subsequent visits.
  • Browser History: Your browser records all of the webpages that you have visited in the past.
  • Cookies: In computer terms, a ‘cookie’ is a small text file stored in the browser. This text file stores a message given to a web browser by a web server when a user visits the website. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. There are two types of cookies: First-party cookies are set by the site domain listed in the address bar. Third-party cookies come from other domain sources that have items, such as ads or images, embedded on the page.

To learn more about what type of information gets stored in web browsers, we recommend reading your browser’s privacy policy.

Browser Security

To view the privacy policies of the major browsers, visit the sites below:

All of the above can create a potential security risk, as the data stored in your browser can allow hackers to compile a profile of your activities and personal information that could be used to compromise your security.

In this series of tutorials, you are going to learn:

Browser Security

References

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Originally published as Web Browser Security.