As more and more time goes by, many reports have come out about the safety of browsers. Unless they are properly configured, they can contain quite a bit of data that can be exploited or collected by 3rd parties. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that are exposed and/or collected.
- Logins – If you have ever gone to a website, logged in, and clicked yes when the browser asks you permission to remember it, that information is in your browser.
- Browser History – Every site you visit.
- Autofill info – This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, etc
- Trackers and cookies – These are placed in your browser by the sites you visit. Of course, not all cookies are bad.
Keep in mind that even if you are using a good VPN service, your browser can still let 3rd parties know through browser fingerprinting or WebRTC leaks. Now, we’ll talk about some of the browsers to avoid. Ironically, they claim to be secure but they may also abuse your privacy because of what they collect.
- Google Chrome – While this is the most widely used, you really need to consider the source. Google collects data and works hard at it. Despite the company motto “Don’t be evil”, it is fundamentally an ad and data collection company. It is certainly hardened against exploits, but the tradeoff comes in privacy when you hand over your information to Google.
- Microsoft Edge – Of course, Microsoft is another big data collection juggernaut. Because their browser is closed-source, you can’t be exactly sure what is going on there.
On the flip side of this argument, we have some of the best for you. That said, there are debates and conflicting opinions that can be drastically different. The best secure browser for you depends on your needs. Here are some of our favorites.
- Firefox – Firefox has been around for some time and it has an active development team. It focuses on great all-around browser security, strong privacy features, and excellent security. However, you will want to shut off “telemetry” that collects the technical and interaction data.
- Waterfox – An open-source Firefox browser fork. It still has Firefox functionality without “telemetry”. Because it is a fork, however, it is based on an older version of Firefox and has slower security updates. That can definitely be a drawback. The development team offers “complete anonymity” and has removed all non-essential items.
- Brave – Brave browser s a Chromium-based option that is secure, fast, and very privacy-focused. Since the founder formerly worked for Mozilla (makers of Firefox), it is a great out of the box security choice. The drawback to this browser is, since it is Chromium-based (the open-sourced code behind Chrome), it is still vulnerable to WebRTC leaks. There is an easy way to solve this issue, though. Simply go to Brave’s Shields > Fingerprinting protection > Block all fingerprinting.
- Ungoogled Chromium – This is a 100% open-source project based on Google Chrome. It has some tweaks to enhance privacy, control, and transparency. It is essentially a drop-in replacement for Chromium.
- Tor browser – This is a hardened version of Firefox that is designed to run on the Tor network. This may not be the best solution for regular users, mainly because the traffic takes 3 different hops. That means it can be slower than other browsers. Additionally, it may break the site you are trying to use because of script blocking.
Above, you see the best and the worst for secure browsers. Please share this post with your friends so they can find the best secure browsers to fit their needs. Follow us @VPNFan for the latest privacy guides.