A Systematic Review of Secure Browsing Habits: Mitigating Online Risks
AbstractThe pervasive influence of the internet in contemporary society has transformed the manner in which we access information and engage with services, emphasizing its paramount role in our daily lives. Nevertheless, this convenience is accompanied by an escalating array of cyber threats that persistently evolve and adapt, presenting substantial hazards to individuals' digital identities and sensitive data. To shield against these threats, it is imperative to cultivate secure browsing habits. This systematic review scrutinizes three fundamental dimensions of secure browsing habits: evading untrusted websites and downloads, employing secure connections (such as HTTPS), and exercising prudence when utilizing public Wi-Fi networks. By scrutinizing current research in this domain, our objective is to offer valuable insights and practical recommendations, empowering individuals to fortify their online security. In the contemporary digital terrain, the ability to distinguish between safe and untrustworthy websites and downloads stands as a pivotal element of secure browsing habits. Recent research underscores the proliferation of malevolent websites and deceptive downloads that have the potential to compromise personal data and privacy. To mitigate these risks, individuals must nurture the capacity to recognize and avoid dubious sources of online content. Another critical facet of secure online navigation involves the use of secure connections, particularly those fortified by the HTTPS protocol. HTTPS encrypts the data exchanged between a user's web browser and the visited website, thwarting potential eavesdropping and data interception by malicious entities. Our review delves into the most recent research on the prevalence of HTTPS adoption and its influence on overall online security. Public Wi-Fi networks, while offering convenience, have garnered notoriety as hotspots for cyberattacks. Research in this domain underscores the vulnerabilities inherent in these networks and the imperative need for adopting cautious practices while using them. Our systematic review investigates the perils associated with public Wi-Fi, the prevalence of cyber threats in such environments, and strategies to safeguard sensitive information while connected to these networks. Building upon the insights derived from our systematic review, we proffer a set of pragmatic recommendations aimed at reinforcing online security. These recommendations encompass the significance of regularly updating software, the use of reputable antivirus software, the adoption of password management tools, and the cultivation of user awareness concerning phishing and social engineering tactics. This systematic review serves as a comprehensive exploration of the pivotal facets of secure browsing habits in an epoch marked by digital interconnectedness and online perils. By synthesizing the latest research, we furnish individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the digital realm securely and to effectively shield their digital identities and sensitive information. In doing so, we aspire to embolden individuals to mitigate online risks and to interact with the internet with heightened confidence and enhanced security.