Use a Secure Web Browser
Protecting your privacy when browsing the internet using a secure web browser is a critical element in staying safe online and keeping your personal data secure from third parties.
Many web browsers are data collection tools for advertising companies who collect data about you through your browser and receive income by sharing your data with their advertising partners with targeted ads for example.
This abuse of your privacy isn't restricted solely to web browsers, it also applies to email services, mobile apps and search engines.
Unless configured correctly, most browsers contain lots of private information that can be collected and exploited by third parties, typically a web browser contains the following;
- Browsing history of all the websites you visit
- Cookies and trackers from the sites that you visit.
- Form auto-fill information including names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
- Login credentials consisting of usernames, email addresses and passwords
Don't make the mistake of assuming that using "private" or "incognito" browsing will protect you. Your IP address and location will remain exposed and various third parties can still track all of your activities.
Furthermore all your activities remain visible to your ISP (internet service provider) who log everything you do online and share the data with third parties. It's critical to also use a VPN to achieve basic digital privacy by hiding your real IP address, location and online activities as well as encrypting your internet traffic and preventing it from being intercepted.
There are several secure desktop browser choices also available for Android and iOS devices, some include syncing across multiple devices. It's best to do some research and weigh up the pros and cons and test them out, the're all free so your only investment is time. The following are are well worth checking out;