A browser is your gateway to the Internet. It interprets the code of the websites you visit and displays it in the form of images, text, videos, etc.
It also tracks your browsing habits to make your overall experience more enjoyable and convenient. However, your choice of browser affects much more than what you see on the screen. Tap or click here for details on the top browsers.
Your data is being collected at a faster rate than ever before. This information is shared between companies so that they can track your every activity on the web in order to target you with ads. Hackers take things a step further with phishing scams to steal your passwords and credit card information, not to mention kill you with viruses and malware.
It may have been a while since you’ve tried a new browser, but as cyberattacks become more prevalent, it’s a good idea to see what’s out there. We have gathered some of the most secure and well-known browsers to help you choose.
Best Overall Browser for Privacy: Brave
Most browsers use some form of ad and pop-up blocking, and Brave is no different. What separates the brave is how far they go with this philosophy. The big boys of browsing will block what they find most intrusive, so you’ll still be hit with more “legitimate” ads. Brave blocks all ads and trackers by default.
Brave does not see or store your browsing data, although it does remember site authentication. You can also see what was blocked, whether it was phishing, malware, or something else malicious, via Brave’s New Tab page. No browser is perfect, and you should always be on the lookout for scams like this one masquerading as PayPal.
So how does the Brave support itself? You can opt-in to see ads created by Brave, which don’t target you based on browsing habits, but are tailored to a general audience. By viewing these ads and the sites they represent, you earn Basic Attention Tokens or BAT.
This cryptocurrency can be allocated to your favorite sites and content creators, who can in turn convert it into real currency. You also get 15% of the total for yourself. Brave runs on the Chromium source code, which also powers Google Chrome, so it may feel familiar to you.
Download Brave here for free. It is also available as an app for Android and Apple devices.
Best Browser for Customizable Privacy: Firefox
When you browse the Internet, cookies are left wherever you go. A cookie is a small piece of data that is used to record information about you, whether it is shopping habits or favorite music. Third-party cookies are created by parties other than the website you are visiting and may be used to track you on various sites. In 2019, Mozilla Firefox started blocking third-party cookies by default, including cross-site tracking.
While not all third-party tracking is blocked, Firefox does offer alternatives. You can use global security levels like “Strict” or “Standard” or you can go the custom route. This last setting allows you to specify which trackers and scripts Firefox blocks.
Social media trackers are also blocked by default and you can play with these settings as well. Take Firefox for a test drive on your computer by clicking here.
Best Browser for Maximum Security: Tor
While most of us are content with virtual private networks (VPNs) to protect our identities online, some users want even more anonymity. The Tor browser routes your connection through a number of volunteer servers before reaching your destination. These servers are random and can be located anywhere in the world. Your data is encrypted between each “node”, adding layers of security.
A VPN can still be used with Tor and it is a good idea which browser you are using. Tap or click here to learn why a VPN is important, and learn more about Kim’s VPN of choice.
Tor’s level of secrecy has made it banned under some governments. You may also come across some websites that block your Tor browser. Those security layers also make for slower connections, though it’s a small price to pay if you’re facing unjustified censorship.
Tor runs on a modified version of the Firefox browser. You can download Tor here.
Best browser for privacy on Mac: Safari
Many people use the browser that came with their computer for convenience. This is a good thing in the case of Safari. The Mac browser blocks cross-site tracking, so you can access those sites.