Safe browsing can be broken down into three major components.
At a minimum you should use unique, strong passwords for each of your online accounts. You have two options for storage of these passwords. You can write them down on a piece of paper. This is a totally acceptable solution. Another option is to use a password manager application. This is slightly more complex, but provides some enhanced functionality such as auto-generation of strong passwords. More details regarding password managers can be found below. Storing passwords in an unencrypted format on your computer is not recommended.
Browser & Plugins
All browsers are not created equal. I would recommend using Google Chrome due to its ease of use, but Firefox is another good option. The plugins discussed below are available on both platforms.
This is perhaps the most critical piece, but unfortunately it is the hardest to teach and tools can only mitigate the risk so much. The basics are as follows:
- Only open email attachments from people you know
- Only click on links from people you know
- If you are not sure about who an email is from you can click on the arrow (in Gmail) and get additional details regarding the senders. This functionality exists in all email clients. I am just not sure exactly where.