Improve Your Web Browsing With These Tips

September 2018

The Internet can be wonderful tool as it provides you with a lot information and entertainment, right at your fingertips. However, there can be many frustrations and security risks associated with browsing the web. So what can you do to help improve your experience and your security? The following tips provide some information on what steps you can take.

Sign up for a web site

Websites may offer various benefits when you sign up with them. For example, some sites provide an ad free experience with a low cost subscription. Before jumping on the offer, you’ll want to be sure to look at what information they are asking for and how they will use that information. Be careful with providing too much personal information. If you do find yourself signing up for websites, you should consider using a password manager so that you will use a unique password for every site to ensure your privacy. Password managers help reduce the stress of trying to remember all of your passwords, making it easier for you to create more unique passwords that use passphrases and special characters that are harder to crack.

Autoplay Videos

We've all visited websites that have loud videos that play as soon as they load. The worst offenders seem to be the ads. So how can you change this? Some sites do allow you to control autoplay, but the option may be buried in their settings. Be sure to check around to locate the settings and see if you can turn them off, or at least mute the ads. If you’re on social media, Facebook and Twitter allow you to stop autoplay videos in their apps and websites. The Chrome browser also prevents some videos from autoplaying and will adapt to how you view videos on the sites you visit. More recent versions of the Safari browser allow you to manage video for a website or for all websites. Other browsers are working on similar controls so review their settings after an update. Add-ons are available for some browsers which could also help.

Browser and App Settings

The settings provided by your browser can impact your web experience. Changing settings can make a difference in various ways. Some of the common settings are for privacy and security, content, permissions, notifications, data saving, cookies, ads, location sharing, camera, and microphone. Some settings can be set on a site-by-site basis, for all sites, or both. Allowing your browser to automatically update can give you access to new or updated settings as soon as they are available. Look under the menu for settings or options. Some browsers have an advanced settings section that you will want to look at, too. Try various settings and see how your browsing experience changes.

App settings can allow you to control various items. For example, allowing an app to update or download content only over Wi-Fi can save mobile data and slow down annoying video ads or other content. On some devices you can only change an apps settings through the device's setting menu.

It’s also important to make sure you have an updated browser as it is critical to protecting you and your personal information. Since security threats evolve every day, web browsers are frequently updated to protect you against new vulnerabilities. You’ll want to make sure that you are always using the most up-to-date browser version to not only improve your browsing experience, but also to ensure your information is safe online.

Ad blockers and privacy tools

You can control your browsing experience in other ways besides settings. Ad blockers and other privacy tools can reduce some of the annoying features in addition to protecting your privacy. Tracking blockers such as Disconnect, Ghostery, and Privacy Badger may block ads as well. These tools typically allow you to whitelist sites or manage the blocking of content on a site. You may want to consider whitelisting the sites you frequently use since some sites will ask you to turn off your blockers and may restrict access if you don't.

Enhancing your browsing experience

The quality of your browsing experience is up to you. Taking time to adjust your settings and choose apps can help make your browsing less annoying, frustrating, and more secure.



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