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ITS Safe Computing

Web Browser Security Settings

Web browser default settings are designed to be secure. However, you may want to take additional precautions to protect your privacy and enhance security. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with web browser security and privacy settings and make use of those most appropriate for you.

General Recommendations

Be aware that some browser settings may interfere with the functioning of some systems via the web. Some systems work better with particular web browsers—and even particular versions of those browsers— than others. To find out which browsers, versions, and settings work best with systems provided by ITS, see ITS Web Browser and Desktop Operating System Support.

  • Keep your browser software up-to-date.
  • Use the built-in browser security settings which can be adjusted to make your browser harder to exploit.
  • If you do not need pop-ups, disable them in your browser or install software that will prevent pop-up windows if your browser cannot block them. Pop-ups can be used to run malicious software on your computer. However, many ITS administrative systems, as well as general websites, require pop-ups for all features to work correctly. Depending on the systems and services you access, you may need to have pop-ups enabled.
  • Install browser add-ons, plug-ins, toolbars, and extensions sparingly and with care. The functionality of browser add-ons comes from allowing code to run on your computer. Add-ons from unreputable sources can pose potential risks to privacy and data security.
    • Research the source of the add-on, plug-in, or extension. Download it from its original source (third-party developer) or from one of the major browser support websites. Most reputable add-ons are endorsed by the browser(s) that they can be used with.
    • Sometimes, you may visit a website that asks you to install a new add-on or plug-in so you can fully view the website. This can be risky, as the website may direct you to malware, rather than a legitimate add-on/plug-in.
    • Enable automatic updates to add-ons, plug-ins and extensions to ensure that they have up-to-date protection against potential security threats.
  • Consider using your browser's private-browsing or do-not-track features when you do not want information saved to your device about the sites and pages you have visited.
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Browser-Specific Resources


See Firefox Privacy and Security Settings to learn how to use Firefox more securely.

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Visit Chrome Support to learn how to use Chrome more securely.

Note: using Chrome on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is no longer supported by Google.

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Internet Explorer (IE)

Visit Internet Explorer Support (IE11) (IE10) (IE 9, 8, 7) to learn how to use Internet Explorer more securely. If you’re not sure which version of Internet Explorer you have, open Internet Explorer and press ALT + H or click the Help menu, then click About Internet Explorer.

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Visit Safari Support, or use the Help menu within Safari, to learn how to use Safari more securely.

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