Skip to Content
browser icons on mac
© Yurii Tymchuk |
Tech tips

Simple mistake making your computer slower and less safe

Your privacy is at risk whenever you go online or use a connected device. This isn’t to say you should throw away all your tech and live in a cave, but there are ways to minimize exposure.

Let’s start with your choice of browser. This has a significant impact on your online experience. Many browsers share popular features like dark mode, but you’ll find more significant distinctions when it comes to privacy. Tap or click here for the best privacy-focused browsers.

Do you leave your browser open? That’s a bad habit you need to break. It slows your computer and compromises safety. Read on for more information.

Convenience or compromise

We get it — leaving your browser windows open is easy, so you can return to them right where you left off. Who wants to go through the trouble of making a bookmark each time?

The truth is, it’s not worth it. At the very least, someone can see what you were doing, such as your search history and clicked links. Even worse is someone accessing your accounts while you’re still logged in.

Even if you log off, your browser can store data as long as it’s running. Someone could return to the login page and get your sign-in credentials. Hitting the back button doesn’t cut it, either. Even if that logged you off the account you were using, there could still be confidential info from the cached page.

All this gets more dangerous when you’re using a public computer. Yikes.

For security reasons, get into the habit of closing your browser when finished using it. While most sites will log you out shortly after closing your browser, you should manually log out of each account.

RELATED: Free, fast test to see how much private info your browser is leaking

Update delay

Browser updates contain important fixes and security features critical to keeping you safe. When you download an update (or let the browser do it automatically), you’ll usually have to shut down or restart the browser for the update to install.

This doesn’t happen if you leave your browser open. The update will sit in limbo and won’t take effect. Just close your browser after each session and this won’t be a problem!

Space hog

When you have too many applications running, your computer slows down. Browsers can be data-hungry creatures, and there’s no reason to leave them open when you’re not using them. Whether playing a game, typing an email or checking social media, keep your browser closed until needed.

You may also like: Privacy-focused browsers for your phone

Tech smarts in 2 minutes a day

Get my Daily Tech Update and the Digital Life Hack. Just one minute each and arm you with the tech knowledge you need to impress your boss and friends with how smart you are.