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We’ve all heard that it’s crucial to maintain a layer of privacy while surfing the web, but have you thought much about the reasoning behind it? Depending on which browser you use, companies can track all of your online activity, but it goes much deeper than that.
As we continue to put more of our personal data online, like our banking information and passwords, there has been an exponential increase in security breaches and general cybersecurity issues. That means using the wrong browser can be potentially dangerous for you, and you could very well be using one that is unsafe as many of these browsers are pretty popular.
We also recommend considering using a VPN for additional privacy while browsing online. If you’re unsure where to start, we have a great list of the best VPNs of 2021. Now, let’s get to the secure browsers:
Tor (also known as The Onion Router) is a top browser for privacy and anonymity. It uses the software extension NoScript to wipe any prior web traffic to ensure the tracks of your browsing history are covered. They also use an in-house connection called onion routing (hence the onion in their logo), which has users connect to each other to access Tor’s server. Edward Snowden even endorses Tor. We recommend using Tor for activities like browsing and reading online forums over streaming.
- Hide your identity and access the dark web
- Deletes all cookies automatically
- Connection can be slow
- May run into malware issues
- Privacy-friendly ads that don’t sell user data
- Rewards system that allows you to earn tokens
- Intuitive interface with high speeds
- Less ad-ons or plug-ins than other browsers
- Can be challenging to exchange reward tokens for real money
Ranked as the 3rd most popular browser against Chrome and Safari, Firefox is a secure browser with frequent patches and updates. Firefox has made a concerted effort to optimize its privacy protections over the past few years. Because the Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit, Firefox also has no incentive to sell any of your personal data.
- Open-source browser with frequent updates
- Firefox’s privacy mode wipes all your information after logging off
- Complex interface due to customization options
- Fewer browser extensions and slower speeds
Known as Apple’s default browser, Safari is excellent for preventing viruses and malicious links from negatively impacting your entire system. Your data will remain secure even if you click the wrong link on accident. They also have a handful of security measures in place for added protection online.
- Prevents you from loading suspicious sites
- Prevents trackers from using your information
- Infrequent updates
- Not an open-source browser
DuckDuckGo is an excellent browser for private mobile browsing. Unlike the other browsers we mentioned, DuckDuckGo is only compatible with tablets and smartphones. Fortunately, this also means your browsing history will never leave those devices. And, you can wipe it with the click of a single button.
- Does not store your IP address or user information
- Easy to add as a Google Chrome extension
- Less targeted ads
- Only works on mobile
- No protection against viruses, malware, ransomware or unsafe sites
Stay Safe Online
Staying safe online may not seem intuitive at first, but it’s definitely a process that becomes second nature over time. When choosing a secure browser, we recommend that you clear your browsing history at the end of your day, browse in private mode and use a VPN to browse the web anonymously.