There are various reasons people choose certain internet browsers over others. Some may hunt out the best of the best from a speed or design perspective, while others will simply stick with what they’re familiar with. But with internet privacy such a hot topic right now, did you know that some internet browsers offer more protection than others?
As of June this year, Google Chrome for Android dominates the browser market with a 37.44% market share. Big names such as Firefox and Internet Explorer have waned in popularity in recent years, while smartphones have overtaken desktop computers as the most popular way to access the internet. Pre-loaded browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Samsung Internet have gained ground as a result.
There are a few steps you can take to make your browser of choice more secure. Perhaps the most obvious is installing a virtual private network (VPN), which works to hide your personal data, activity, and identity. Whether using a VPN app for Mac, Windows, or a specific browser, the effect is broadly the same.
But what about the security credentials of the browsers themselves? Below, we analyse some of the best options if privacy is your number one priority.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s Safari is among the best options for Mac users. The tech giant reportedly uses machine learning to detect and stop advertisers and other trackers from collecting your data. It also offers features such as warnings for unsecure websites, private browsing, and auto-generation of strong passwords.
Safari is also compatible with iCloud Keychain, storing and auto filling sensitive data such as passwords and payment card information.
Despite its fading market share, Mozilla’s Firefox is still a strong option if you want to manage your browser privacy settings closely. You can use it to block cookies and third-party trackers with different levels of strictness, making it ideal for restricting younger internet users in your household or adapting your behaviour in different environments.
The lesser-known Brave boasts an impressive range of security features, including automatic HTTPS connection upgrades, ad blocking, and site-specific security customisation. You can even view stats on exactly how many unwanted elements Brave is blocking for you at any one time on its New Tab page.
Tor is a browser endorsed by none other than Edward Snowden, the famous National Security Agency whistleblower. It automatically deletes your browser history and cookies when you finish browsing and encrypts your traffic three times, just to make sure. It focuses on privacy over security, however, so it won’t automatically block malware and plug-ins.
Ultimately the right browser for you will depend on your personal preferences and browsing habits. No browser is perfect, however, so it pays to research supplementary tools such as VPN software and tracker blockers if you want to enjoy more comprehensive protection.