With the increasing growth of digital technologies, the web browser has become one of the most important tools for everyday communication, collaboration, and business worldwide. Many businesses, such as Microsoft or Amazon, use the internet to connect and do business with their customers.
Because of how important the web browser has become, it has become the target of hackers who are always lurking around to see if they can capitalize on a security vulnerability. To overcome this, users of web browsers (individuals and organizations) need to be aware of common security vulnerabilities used by hackers. They must also be aware of modern security measures such as updating browsers and installing a browser security extension.
In this article, you discover a detailed explanation of some of the web security vulnerabilities used by hackers and tips that can help one avoid being a victim of a cyber attack.
Browser Security Vulnerabilities That Hackers Use
Below are some browser security vulnerabilities often exploited by cybercriminals to try and steal sensitive data and funds.
- Corrupt Browser Plugins
Browser extensions are integrated tools or applications in a browser that helps users improve their overall experience while using the web browser. For instance, certain browser plugins help users save videos on the internet with a click.
Despite the productivity which browser extensions bring to users, it has been used by hackers to steal information and funds from unsuspecting users. Usually, these hackers create a clone browser plugin that looks exactly like the originals so that users can be tricked into installing such corrupted extensions into their browsers.
Installing an authentic browser security extension will help a user to detect when they are about to install corrupted browser plugins.
- SQL Injection
Hackers have continuously used SQL injection to steal sensitive information because of how successful it has become in recent times. SQL injection occurs when hackers alter the backend SQL statements, allowing them to steal people’s data stored in a browser.
With a successful SQL injection, hackers who carried out the attack could have access to information such as passwords, identification documents, cookies, and usernames. If there is other financial information, such as passwords to debit/credit cards, hackers can also get access to them.
An individual or organization can employ the services of browser security solutions such as LayerX to ensure that a successful SQL injection does not happen in a browser.
- Weak Defense Software
Hackers know that many internet users install several defense mechanisms, such as antivirus software and firewalls, while using their web browsers. So they have come up with a way of exploiting weak defense software so they can subsequently gain access to that particular browser.
Apart from hacking into these defense mechanisms, hackers have also found a way of sending attacks to a browser without being noticed by this weak defense software.
Individuals or organizations can prevent this using only quality and trusted defense software on their browsers. They can also use the services of a browser security solution like LayerX, which gives them holistic protection against any form of cyber attack.
- Pop-up Ads and Redirect Links
Sometimes while using a web browser, you would notice that an ad suddenly pops up from your screen, and in most cases, they still appear despite efforts to remove them. In another scenario, you would sometimes click a link on your web browser and suddenly be taken to a different page.
These are browser security vulnerabilities often used by hackers to inject viruses into their browsers and trick them into submitting sensitive information. In most cases, the redirect links are phishing websites that may appear authentic.
The first thing a user or an organization should do when dealing with this kind of situation is to use a web browser that has an inbuilt ad blocker.
- Saved Passwords
It is a fact that most people often forget the passwords they use while logging into different sites and apps. To try and remember the password always, they often use the save password feature in their browser to save the password for future purposes.
While this might seem a very good invention and increase productivity, it is a browser security vulnerability often utilized by hackers to steal information. When a hacker manages to get access to your saved passwords, they automatically have access to different websites.
To prevent this from happening, one should always turn off the save password feature in their browser, or they can even use a two or multi-factor authentication.
Tips on How to Ensure Browser Security
Here are some tips that individuals and organizations can implement to improve their browser security across all platforms.
- Visit Only HTTPS Websites
HTTPS stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure, representing a website that uses a secure communications protocol. This means that any sensitive information you input on this website has a high chance of being safe.
One of the best ways of identifying an HTTPS website is when there’s a green padlock in the browser’s URL bar.
- Use Pop up Ad Blockers
Since many hackers often use pop-up ads to carry out their heinous crimes, ensure that you use a web browser with an ad blocker. This will prevent any pop-up ads from being shown on your screen, and you will be notified whenever a pop-up ad is blocked.
- Avoid Auto-Complete Forms
Have you noticed that sometimes you don’t need to input your email address or password when logging into certain websites? While this might be good for productivity, it is a vulnerability hackers might exploit, so turn auto-complete off to save your data.
- Update Browsers
It is often easier for hackers to gain access to a browser and its information when it is outdated. So, ensure that your web browser is up to date so it can make it much harder for hackers to gain access to it.
Browsers are a very powerful and indispensable tool in this age, making them a major target for hackers who want to steal people’s data and funds.
Many vulnerabilities that can help hackers steal information from a web browser are SQL injection, weak defense software, pop-up ads, and many others.
To reduce the success rate of attackers coming from hackers, web browser user should turn their ad blockers on, visit only HTTPS websites, and update their browsers frequently.