7 Best Browser for Privacy in 2022
Ensuring secure web browsing has become essential as online threats have increased exponentially. Browsing online over an unsecured network has become dangerous. You can jeopardize your safety when:
- You are saving your passwords in your browser.
- You are using too many browser extensions.
- You keep accessing sites that do not follow HTTPS protocol.
You might not be aware that your privacy is in danger while using a popular browser like Chrome or Safari. Most popular browsers keep tabs on their user’s personal information, such as their :
- Browsing history
- Login credentials
- Autofill preferences.
- Device usage
This information makes for a convenient browsing experience but at the risk of user privacy.
Many browsers can and may still disclose sensitive information to third parties. Some browsers also permit trackers and marketers even on private modes, allowing more data to be taken out of the user’s hands.
Unfortunately, consumers are unaware that browsers aren’t always safe and that a lot happens behind the screen. Read on to learn more about staying secure online and why that matters.
Why does browser security matter?
It is not unreasonable to assume that the browser that comes pre-installed with our device is the best option for us to utilize. This can be untrue, though, as the best option may just exist in the many available options.
Since our browsers handle almost all of our data, it is important to use a safe browser. Think about it: we use our browsers to engage with most of the internet, and now more than ever, browser security matters a lot.
We usually jump to protect our devices from hackers, but before hackers can even enter the picture, many browser companies can make a profit by selling browsing information to other parties, such as advertisers. Anyone who isn’t using a secure browser is always left vulnerable to fraud, scams, and loss of personal data.
Your browser’s ability to safeguard your privacy is paramount to your safety.
Security vs. Privacy
Security deals with the ability of the browser to protect its users from hackers. Privacy deals with how much data the browser collects about the user. Both concepts are worth investigating and keeping an eye on when you’re looking to stay safe online.
Secure web browsing means the browser will never track their user’s online activity or collect their data. A secure browser also keeps up to date with its software vulnerabilities with good customer support and speedy software fixes. A private browser allows users to stay in charge of their personal information by hiding user activity from others sharing the same device, network, or connection.
Even though most browsers have a private mode, it usually doesn’t hide user data from the websites they visit or their Internet Service Provider. Oftentimes, private modes in browsers also share data with the user’s network operator.
A truly secure browser can make a world of difference when it comes to staying safe online. With growing concerns about data leaks and user privacy, everyone connected to the internet should remain vigilant about their browsers.
Tips for Secure Browsing
Here are some tips for secure browsing that you must consider for your online safety:
- Do not store passwords in your browser
We often get a pop-up when we sign in to a certain service to save our password in the browser. It may seem convenient and all at the moment but honestly it is risky to save your passwords online.
Saving your password in your browser is like giving an open invitation to hackers and other spying eyes to get access to your accounts.
- Do not rely on a single browser.
Another tip for secure web browsing is to keep switching browsers. You can use separate browsers depending on the websites you’re accessing. This way, your ISP may not be able to track all of your online activity.
- Understand the meaning of private browsing
Private browsing or incognito modes aren’t as private as it seems. Yes, your online activity is not stored in history, and no cookies are stored, but the ISP can see your online activity. Since your ISP can track your online activity, it can also throttle your connection.
The best option for bypassing ISP throttling is to use a VPN because it changes your IP address, and the ISP loses its control over your connection.
Best Browser for Privacy – Our Recommendations
1. The Onion Router (TOR)
With its many layers of encryption, TOR is an extremely private browser that safeguards your privacy by shielding your online activity from unwanted parties.
All of your traffic is routed through multiple volunteer “nodes” that are made up of individual computers that are a part of the network. This makes it almost impossible for anyone to trace any data back to your device, which makes TOR a brilliant browser for anyone who is security conscious.
TOR is often compared with VPNs, but what people do not understand is that when comparing TOR and VPN is not right. TOR is just a browser, whereas a VPN is a comprehensively designed software.
2. Brave Browser
Next on our list is Brave Browser, which is somewhat of a newcomer on the market. It is based on Chromium which makes it easy for users to shift onto the browser, and it comes with a large range of security and privacy options.
To begin with, all browsing data is stored locally, so Brave and other parties have no access to any of your data. Brave also comes with inbuilt blockers for ads, trackers, and even protocols to stop websites from tracking your operating system or device.
On top of this, it also has a Private Windows feature that allows for direct connection to TOR when you need greater privacy. Due to Brave’s user-friendliness, you can edit your security settings to delete whatever data you want whenever you want it. You can block attempts at fingerprinting, prevent certain scripts from loading, and even program the software to delete specific data whenever you close the app.
Epic Browser was founded on the basis that every privacy setting would be turned on by default so that even the most novice user could remain secure without any effort. It sends “Do Not Track” requests automatically, and it blocks all sorts of cookies, ads, and trackers to secure the user’s privacy. It also uses DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, so there’s little to no need for any configurations for the average user.
However, for more experienced users, there is an option available to improve its security or convenience for its own sake. Epic, by default, offers no sort of auto-fills, plug-ins, or even auto-syncing, since they do not store any sort of browsing history or login data.
This software fully protects your privacy and hides your IP address by blocking RTC calls. All of these features tied together make Epic a hard-to-use software for some people, but it’s one of the best secure browsers available on the market.
4. Firefox (with add-ons)
Firefox is one of the only mainstream open-source browsers which has been proven to be convenient, fast, and secure. All of the code has been researched, edited, and rebuilt to ensure that there aren’t any dodgy mechanisms hidden inside of this.
It offers a private browsing mode that prohibits tracking, protects against phishing attempts, and is integrated with anti-fingerprinting protection. Since it’s open-source, you can even customize the program to meet all of your needs. On top of this, Firefox also has an extensive library of extensions that can make staying secure online convenient.
Once you’ve made the necessary tweaks for the browser to fit your specific privacy needs, it’s easy for it to become your go-to browser.
Opera is another Chromium-based browser that has a variety of privacy settings. Users have the liberty to block all ads and trackers, and keep all browsing data on their device.
One thing that sets Opera apart from others is that it has a pre-installed VPN. This actually functions closer to a proxy and allows users to choose from 3 server locations. However, these locations are vague and set to continents, which can be a privacy risk, especially when dealing with sensitive data.
6. Ungoogled Chromium
Ungoogled Chromium is yet another Chromium-based browser, except it was actually started by Google. Now it is fully independent of Google and has no links to Google’s trackers or host detectors. It is open-source and has daily updates, which keeps you constantly secure as any sort of error or bug is sorted almost instantly.
However, users will have to update their browsers since there are no automatic prompts manually. This has to be through their official website to prevent any errors or data leaks.
Last but not least, Vivaldi comes with multiple privacy features and a very user-friendly interface. Vivaldi is another Chromium-based browser that comes out of the box with blockers for ads and trackers and with DuckDuckGo as the default search engine.
Users can change nearly every facet of the user interface and can even add other Chome-compatible privacy extensions to guarantee the best experience. Vivaldi allows users to select different search engines between the regular and private browsing modes offered, and it also lets users customize security settings for each mode.
Idle API is also disabled by default, which minimizes keylogging opportunities and other data losses. Additionally, users can create a backup encryption key that can help them recover their data if they suffer any losses.
With internet security becoming a growing concern, it is good to make smart choices about the browsers we use. Secure web browsing is a challenge nowadays because when you’re online, you’ll always be at risk of a cyber threat. By following the tips for secure web browsing and using a secure browser, you can protect your online privacy.
However, when it comes to staying totally secure online, it’s best to pair a secure browser with a good VPN, such as AstrillVPN, which can ensure you are protected on all ends. A VPN’s security cannot be compared with that of a browser.
Author: Arsalan Rathore
Arsalan Rathore is a tech geek who loves to pen down his thoughts and views on cybersecurity, technology innovation, entertainment, and social issues. He likes sharing his thoughts about the emerging tech trends in the market and also loves discussing online privacy issues.