When we look at the statistics, the number of cybercrimes increases year on year. Hackers have invented a wide range of tools that can crack your password or get your access information with ease. But there are also other ways of violating your privacy. Every click you make is tracked by websites, advertising agencies, ISPs, and other third parties. Thus, you need to secure your privacy online using a web browser optimised for making your web-surfing secure. So, which browsers are really designed to preserve your personal data and prevent leaks?
Everyone knows that Microsoft Edge or Safari are built into smartphones and laptops supported by the corresponding operating systems. So most users are unconcerned about the browser they use assuming that the default option is the best one. Although browsers like Safari, Google Chrome, or Opera are the most common, they really can’t pretend to be the most secure and privacy-conscious. Indeed, there are some less common but highly powerful and privacy-focused browsers that could provide you with plenty of embedded privacy settings that can block cookies, ads, and data tracking. It’s pretty difficult to name the best one as each of them contains its own privacy features enabling them to become contenders for victory. So let’s go through these browsers and their privacy customizations to help you make the call.
1. Tor Browser
Tor is one of the well-known privacy-oriented browsers. It is based on Firefox’s browser and equipped with its own hidden relay servers that are focused on anti-surveillance functions. It automatically erases your cookies and browsing history on the fly. Tor makes users’ internet access anonymous by encrypting their traffic in at least three separated layers (nodes) that are decentralised and run by volunteer computers. Each node focuses on a single layer of encryption, making it impossible to get the entire message in any of them. Thus, no one can trace your online activity or identify you until you deliberately identify yourself. The unique technology of Tor is also available to lessen the uniqueness of your fingerprint, which is an unmatched feature in successfully decreasing the possibility of identifying a user.
Of course, Tor Browser has its drawbacks. Due to the complexity of protecting certain processes, the speed of your internet could be affected. Also, the NoScript function may break some websites. Moreover, there is a possibility that law enforcement is able to see who is using the Tor browser, even if they are not aware of what people do there.
Brave was founded in 2016 and despite it being a quite new browser, it is worth considering. This privacy-focused browser is based on a Chromium network and truly packs a punch with features like an ad-blocker, anti-tracking, and anti-fingerprinting technology. Brave also automatically changes your connection to HTTPS, as it's always important to have a safely encrypted connection. The security options of this next-generation browser enable you to choose which data to erase when you exit the program. Another useful thing is the embedded feature that could prevent scripts from launching. Recently, Brave entirely switched to a Chromium core, which simplified the process of bringing over their Chrome extensions. It allows the browser to be made more functional and convenient. Nevertheless, users still should be cautious in selecting extensions, as it’s important to use ones that respond to individual security requirements.
Despite the fact that Brave is open-sourced, some users may be wary of its Chromium foundation. Brave’s advertising model is particularly contentious, as it favours adverts that benefit the browser over those that benefit the websites you visit.
3. Mozilla Firefox
Firefox is well-known for the variety of settings and extensions that it provides for its users. It’s one of the more commonly used alternatives to Chrome or Safari. Although Firefox doesn’t release updates as frequently as the previously mentioned browsers, it does so on a regular basis. If we take into account the fact that Mozilla is a non-commercial organisation, it’s worth evaluating the work of the company’s volunteers, who do a great job to ensure that Firefox has the most up-to-date security systems in place. Firefox’s security features really have something for everyone. It includes phishing and malware protection, for example, banning attacked websites, and informing the user about attempts of installing site add-ons. It’s also equipped with ad blockers and tracker-detection systems. Moreover, it’s easy to use due to its minimalistic style and simplicity. However, be sure to turn off the telemetry feature as it shares your browser’s data with Mozilla. Such features might disturb the users that appreciate their privacy, but that can be easily disabled via the settings tab.
The main point in using Epic is that you’re able to benefit without changing the built-in extensions. It’s already configured to make the process of internet access secure and confident. Its customizations will block cookies after every session, preventing data tracking and unwanted ads. Epic also has an option to search the information via DuckDuckGo (A privacy-focused search engine that is a good tool to ensure your personal data stays safe). This browser is fundamentally aimed at making your internet access private. It disables auto-syncing, spell-check, auto-fill, and many other functions that can collect users’ personal information. Of course, it doesn’t save you browser history, access credentials, and cookies. Epic also aims to hide your IP address in any possible way in order to protect the information about your location and your device’s data.
While the settings focused on high privacy can disable some sites and functions, which means the browser is not ideal in all cases, extensions can be changed at the expense of privacy.
The explicit disadvantage of the Epic browser is that it’s based on the Chromium code, which is not open-sourced. So there’s no certainty that this code will be independent in the future.
So, what browser can be named the best one suited to protecting your identity and personal data? Well, none of them can be completely private. There are a number of browsers that claim to be the most private and protected ones, but even they have flaws that can disturb some users. So, you should choose the browser that mostly satisfies your own requirements and seems to be the best one for you. In this article, we’ve collected some facts on the ‘chef’s pick’ of browsers. Now, the decision is in your hands.