What do you look for in a privacy-focused browser? As a user, you expect such applications to defend you against techniques that invade or compromise your digital privacy. Therefore, these browsers are supposed to lay the foundation of your wall of defense against practices like device fingerprinting.
Your browser protecting you against external threats is undoubtedly a critical factor in deciding how effective it is. If it’s able to block malicious scripts, consider it a bonus. Let’s evaluate browsers and their operation.
Browsers and Your Digital Privacy
Browsers open the world before you on your screen. There are numerous programs you can choose from these days. Usually, you decide to trust your browser without checking its internal operations. We suggest a few criteria you should consider when choosing your browser.
- If privacy leaks have been reported. Has the browser drawn flak for having encouraged unwelcome monitoring of users? You should also investigate how stable it is and keep yourself abreast of any vulnerability in it that may have been reported.
- The private browsing mode. The desired results may remain elusive, but the browser having an incognito mode is still desirable. Of course, it might not achieve much, but it can help to become more secure and anonymous online, especially when paired with other solutions.
- Features to enhance user privacy. Does the browser have suitable mechanisms to block phishing sites, trackers, or other invasions into your privacy? You should also check if the privacy options remain active by default or you need to activate them manually.
- Back-end data exchange. You should be aware of the data exchange when you browse the web. It’s the data that is delivered to the back-end servers. While all such data transfers may not invade your privacy, there may be elements bordering privacy intrusion. Much of the information shared is telemetry data. However, with time, a pairing of your online activities with specific identifiers may be done that could create your user identity.
Having taken note of such back-end activities, let’s investigate how good two of the most popular browsers are.
With billions of users, Google Chrome is the world’s favorite browser. As the industry leader, Google is on a continuous effort to improve. However, some of the innovations it makes may not entirely be conducive to ensuring your privacy.
You should be conscious that, after all, Google is an advertising company and a huge one at that. Hence, even if Google makes genuine attempts to offer alternatives with more privacy, it still must support its extensive ads ecosystem. To put things simply, limiting tracking and personalization by Google may not be good business.
The Pros of Google Chrome
Reasonably good privacy settings. With Google Chrome, you can block third-party cookies and turn off ad personalization. You may also manage the tracking of your web activity and location history. However, these changes need to be done manually.
A very personalized experience. Google Chrome is your best bet if you prefer ads tailored to meet your needs. It is courtesy of the competent profiling mechanism that Google works with.
What you should consider
Most of the online ad ecosystem survives on Google. Therefore, for Google, it’s a must to know about you and other users. It indulges in unhealthy data-harvesting practices frequently. Again, the incognito mode doesn’t make you as private as it’s hyped to.
If you are looking to quit Google Chrome and switch to another browser, Mozilla Firefox is the one. It has put considerable effort into ensuring user privacy. Therefore, Mozilla Firefox comes with some very flexible privacy mechanisms.
The Pros of Mozilla Firefox
- There’s a private browsing mode to boot, and it also offers an enhanced tracking protection feature.
- Firefox blocks companies from indulging in fingerprinting if they are found to do so.
- Since 2019, Mozilla Firefox has very effectively blocked trackers and attempts at crypto mining.
- It’s an open-source browser from a non-profit organization.
Ensuring Even More Privacy
Some things make you feel slightly apprehensive. Some of the data sent to the back-end servers could be detrimental to maintaining user anonymity. Using metadata, the rough location may be obtained as well.
Even if you choose a browser that excels in privacy, many techniques can still compromise your experience. You can turn to a free VPN app to protect your data and privacy online. After all, Virtual Private Networks encrypts your connections, traffic and hides your IP address. Thus, the data traveling between your device and the internet is encrypted so none can snoop on it, including your Internet Service Provider.
With online marketing getting more aggressive and cybercriminals getting more innovative, your privacy is threatened. Therefore, choosing a browser that offers enhanced privacy features is the need of the hour. We have shared the factors you should note while considering either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Stay cautious and stay safe.