Not all web browsers were created equal, especially when it comes to privacy. In fact, a couple of popular browsers fall short when it comes to keeping your search history and other personal information private, which can lead to unwelcome cookies and even hackers.
In an age when everything is stored somewhere on our computers – from social security numbers to credit cards – it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re using a browser that considers security and privacy as important is speed and memory.
And here we cut to the chase: The award for most outstanding browser for privacy goes to…. Safari and Firefox. Although some new browsers, including Tor and Cocoon, go the distance when it comes to privacy, too.
If you trust Google, and are 100% confident whenever you’re using the world’s most popular search engine, maybe it isn’t so bad if you use Chrome as your browser. Sure, you can block pop-ups and can turn on the “Do Not Track” function, but besides these standard settings, privacy is nominal at best.
A part of the reason it scores low is that it’s a closed-source browser, which means that you can’t see the code behind it, so there’s no telling what kind of tracking is really happening. And considering Google makes a lot (and we mean a lot) of money off knowing everything it can about you, we have little reason to believe it’s good for privacy.
A (nice) word about Google. While privacy isn’t Chrome’s forte, it excels at security. Google automatically updates Chrome frequently, and Chrome consistently gets the highest security test scores.
Any browser that can’t guarantee your search history will stay private is not going to win many praises when it comes to privacy. Like Google’s Chrome, privacy on this browser is basic at best. You can request not to track and you can block pop-ups, and you can be added to tracking protection lists via the Tracking Protection feature. But while it can prevent cookies in your browser, it doesn’t always. Again, like Chrome, this comes down to being a closed-source browser.
You’d think a browser developed by Apple would have cutting-edge privacy features, and it does. It offers many extensions that help protect your privacy, and its intelligence tracking service does a great job protecting against cookies. Your cache is protected, which means no unwanted data. And it stops digital fingerprinting – so advertisers can’t send you a million shoe ads after you buy a pair of sneakers online.
Mozilla’s Firefox, especially its newest version, Quantum, rates extremely high for privacy for a multitude of reasons. The biggest reason perhaps, is that, as a nonprofit, Mozilla doesn’t have much to gain from being able to glean a lot of personal data. It also perform regular updates, features automatic blocking of content and ad trackers and supports a password free login. Add-ons let the user create an event more private online presence.
A word about the newest browsers
There’s a new group of internet browsers on the scene that offer users a variety of options tailored to what they want and how they search Some, like Colibri, take a simple, minimalist approach to browsing, while others like Brave, do a great job blocking bad ads and disabling trackers.
So, are these new browsers better than today’s popular ones? That depends. Brave has a ways to go, while new browsers like Tor and Cocoon are in good company with Safari and Firefox.
If online privacy is important to you, go with Firefox or Safari, or try Tor or Cocoon. And remember, you can always switch from browser to browser, so you can choose when to search in a more private setting, too.