Did you know that your online activities are being tracked and recorded? Without taking steps to protect your privacy, companies like Google have a record of everything you do, from your searches to your purchases.
If you take a closer look, you may be surprised at the amount of personal and behavioral data that is available to these companies about you. For instance, unless you turn it off, Google likely has a detailed record of your movements for the past few years, including your daily schedule, your morning coffee spot, and your evening running route.
Many people don’t give much thought to their online privacy, thinking they have nothing to hide. However, private browsers are not just for those who want to view illicit websites or engage in illegal activities.
Why You Need a Privacy-Focused Browser?
Google uses data from your search queries and website visits to personalize ads and promotions for you. This can include information about your plans for a vacation, pregnancy, or job search. While this may be convenient, it can also be seen as an invasion of privacy. Your internet activity is also recorded and stored, which can reveal sensitive information from your past. Furthermore, search history can be used as evidence in court and has even helped solve criminal cases. To protect your personal data, consider using the below listed private browsers.
Before Chrome became the most widely used browser, Firefox was a popular choice among users. Although it may not be as widely used today, Firefox is still considered a top choice for privacy. It comes equipped with features such as Enhanced Tracking Protection, which acts as a built-in shield to block third-party trackers from following you around the web.
Additionally, Firefox has a private browsing mode, which stops the browser from recording your history or remembering logins, and also disables third-party trackers by default. Firefox also supports various privacy-focused third-party extensions such as ad blockers and Facebook Container extensions which prevent Facebook and Instagram from tracking you around the web. Chrome is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
The browser is designed to provide fast, secure, and private browsing, and claims to use 35% less battery than Chrome. It has built-in “Shields” to block ads and third-party trackers, a private browsing tab that uses Tor to mask your location, and an alternative option for supporting creators without viewing intrusive ads. Users can choose to see privacy-respecting ads in exchange for tokens that can be donated or exchanged for currency by creators.
Brave also offers an optional premium feature for iOS users that includes a firewall and VPN. It also allows you to use the IPFS network for browsing and automatically upgrades connections to HTTPS. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.
DuckDuckGo, another privacy-focused search engine, also offers a browser app for Android and iOS, as well as an extension for Chrome.
The browser ensures that your searches are private by blocking trackers and forcing sites to use encrypted connections. It also has a unique feature called Privacy Grade, which evaluates a website’s privacy level before and after using the browser’s privacy protection features.
Additionally, the browser never records your search history. The DuckDuckGo browser is available as an app for Android and iOS, and as an extension for Chrome.
Avast Secure Browser is a web browser developed by internet security company Avast, known for its antivirus software. It is built on Chromium and is designed to be fast, user-friendly, and secure.
The browser includes several layers of protection to ensure your browsing sessions are private, such as blocking third-party trackers, disguising your digital identity, and blocking online ads. It also has features such as automatically forcing websites to use encryption, an integrated VPN, and private browsing mode. Avast Secure Browser is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
5. Tor Browser
The Tor Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on anonymity and privacy online. It operates the Tor network, which sends user traffic through thousands of relays run by volunteers, making it difficult to track a user’s location or trace their browsing habits.
While the Tor network is often associated with the “dark web” and criminal activity, it is also used by legitimate users such as journalists, activists, and law enforcement to protect their identity and browsing activities.
The Tor browser, which is built on the Tor network, also blocks insecure plugins, uses DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, and blocks third-party trackers and automatically clears cookies for added privacy. However, it’s not recommended as a general browser replacement as it may slow down browsing and some websites may not work properly when using Tor. The Tor browser is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.
6. Onion Browser
Tor is not available for iOS, but the Tor website recommends using Onion Browser as an alternative.
Onion Browser also encrypts traffic through the Tor network for the highest level of privacy and security. It automatically closes all tabs when the browser is closed, to prevent any browsing history from being saved.
Additionally, it blocks third-party trackers and ads, and allows users to customize security settings for each website they visit. Onion Browser does not collect any data on user activity or utilize third-party analytics. It is only available for iOS.
7. Aloha Browser
Aloha is a privacy-focused mobile browser for Android and iOS, with a PC version in beta development. It offers a built-in free VPN, which encrypts traffic to protect your location and identity.
It also has an integrated adblocker, blocks third-party trackers, and features a secure file manager that locks all downloaded files in a secure area that can only be accessed by passcode or fingerprint.
8. Snap Search
Snap Search is a private mobile browser for Android that is always in “Incognito Mode”, which means you cannot be tracked online and your browsing sessions remain private.
It does not require any registration and the company does not collect any information about its users. It blocks ads and third-party trackers by default and also includes an integrated VPN.
Additionally, it requests zero permissions on Android, ensuring that no personal data is shared with any third party. It is available only for Android.
When it comes to online privacy, it’s important to consider the type of browser you are using. While Chrome, Safari, and Edge are popular choices, they may not offer the best privacy protection. Instead, you may want to consider using a private browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Tor Browser, Onion Browser, Aloha Browser, and Snap Search.
These private browsers offer features such as blocking third-party trackers, ad-blockers, integrated VPNs, and private browsing modes to protect your personal data. Some of these browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Brave are available for multiple devices and Tor Browser or Onion Browser are specifically designed for privacy protection. Aloha Browser and Snap Search are specially designed for mobile devices and include a free VPN.