In a world conquered by technology, your data is one of the things that you should protect. It is extremely valuable for tech giants such as Facebook and Google, as well as for other third parties that take your data and utilize it for their own purposes.
This is where secure browsers get in the picture; they maintain your privacy and security which are important for safe browsing on the internet.
- Your browser is the repository of all your essential info, including:
- Login credentials: passwords and usernames
- Autofill information: names, phone numbers, addresses, and others.
- Browsing history: all the websites you open
- Cookies and trackers: these are attached on your browser by the websites you open
Apart from the above-mentioned data, browsers are also capable of revealing your identity – even if you invest in one of the most effective VPN services. Even if you utilize a VPN to cover your real location and IP address, your browser may expose your true identity via browser fingerprinting or WebRTC leaks.
Fortunately, there are a lot of easy solutions that can address all these concerns, including:
- Best safe browsers that respect your security and privacy
- Famous yet popular browsers to stay away from
- Browser privacy compartmentalization
- Secure browser add-ons
Using a safe browser that will check all the big boxes for your privacy and security needs is vital because your browser can expose most of your private information. Keeping this in mind, here’s everything you need to know about excellent secure browsers that can give you safe browsing experience.
Here are five features of secure browsers with exceptional privacy protection:
1. It is equipped with a built-in VPN
Browsers that have built-in VPN are limited in the market, but you shouldn’t settle for something that doesn’t have it. This is a vital feature that you shouldn’t miss if you want to browse privately and safely online.
A built-in VPN will enable you to experience secure browsing sessions that are free from the prying eyes of third-parties, without paying for a VPN service subscription. Furthermore, it should also give you a steadfast VPN connection with excellent performance and dependability.
2. It comes with a built-in Malware Checker
The function of the malware-checker is to keep you safe whenever you are visiting websites on the internet. Some sites contain malware, which is dangerous for your devices and might get your personal data.
You should invest in a browser that has a reliable and efficient built-in malware checker. It will keep you away from sketchy and malicious websites by giving you warnings whenever you are about to enter that kind of site.
3. It offers numerous extensions
For a browser to be secure, it needs to have plenty of extensions for you to have different options. Meaning, it has to reinforce third-party extensions and there should be a lot of third-party extensions available for your browser.
On top of that, you should find privacy and security-related extensions for easy and safe browsing sessions.
4. It comes with an auto-update function
Take note that a browser that lacks auto-update is very dangerous. Failure to update your browser regularly will lead to numerous security problems and faults. Relying on an outmoded browser is also a risky move because it is easy to hack and expose your data.
With this, an auto-update function is an essential and consistent requirement for a secure browser.
5. It provides plenty of privacy choices
A safe browser should provide an exhaustive list of privacy options that you can work with. It should give you an entire line of versatile and customizable privacy features. For example, some browsers always track and record the data of the user.
The best browser will offer you the option to turn this monitoring feature off if you want to. It should also have some of the basic privacy features, like malware scanning, ad blocking, and incognito mode.
Secure browsers that protect your privacy
A safe browser offers these two vital factors:
- Privacy: How will the browser maintain your privacy? How much personal data can it collect and where does the browser share it?
- Security: How good does this browser secure your data from online exploitations, hackers, and other third-parties?
Keeping these two indispensable factors in mind, you’ll be able to find the best secure browser that will give you security against third-parties and their malicious activities.
What Are The Safest Browsers to Keep Your Data Safe
Here are the five safest browsers you can find over the internet:
1. Brave Browser
Below is a brief overview of this safe browser:
- Built-in script blocker
- Safety against browser fingerprinting
- Blocks ads and trackers by default
- Automatically upgrades to HTTPS (HTTPS Everywhere)
Brave takes privacy very seriously and it blocks all tracking technology and ads. The servers don’t monitor or log your browsing data, which means that they won’t distribute it. You can also personalize your privacy settings according to your preference.
Moreover, you will be notified about the number of trackers and ads that they’ve blocked every day, which is impressive. Even if you don’t mind these ads, they are just ads and they could impede your browsing experience.
Plugins are also disabled by default since they impose a higher security risk. If you are looking for a browser that will give you an ad-free, fast, and safe browsing session online, Brave sounds great for you.
2. Iridium Browser
Iridium secure browser offers a completely transparent browsing experience. It has a public Git repository that helps you to review all the changes you made in your privacy settings. The best thing about this is you can access the entire source code whenever you want because it is already provided to you.
Besides this, here are the features offered by Iridium Browser.
- Privacy: Iridium is founded on Chromium, which is an extremely safe browser. With the help of several enhancements, including the use of tight security, the optimum level of privacy is delivered to your browser without sacrificing compatibility.
- Speedy: If there’s one thing that Iridium does best, aside from offering privacy and security, it’s being swift and quick in any way. It starts efficiently and continues this throughout loading websites.
- Deployability: Iridium is simple and straightforward to install and it also enables administrators to deploy it without any hassle. For example, you can use an MSI-based installation method to achieve easy deployments for the whole organization.
- Easy to Use: The great thing about Iridium is you don’t have to be a pro to use it and enjoy its benefits. This is because it is easy to use, making it a suitable browser for anyone. It doesn’t have any complex mechanism or feature that requires special and advanced knowledge. On top of that, it is simple, clean, and easy to operate. Even a beginner can take advantage of this browser.
Waterfox is the dupe of Firefox browser however, it is more secure and efficient. For those who are avid users of Firefox and are still hooked by its functionality, WaterFox is the ideal secure browser for you.
Unlike Mozilla that collects the personal data of its users via Quantum and browsing history via Cliqz, WaterFox is different. It doesn’t record or backup anything, ensuring full privacy for users. Moreover, you can also guarantee that your data won’t be exploited or stolen by third parties when you are browsing using WaterFox.
The only downside about WaterFox is its lagging security updates. You can’t guarantee a well-timed update, which is a little disappointing. However, that’s the drawback you will ever encounter from this safe browser because privacy-wise, it takes safe browsing to a whole new level.
If you don’t mind slow security updates and you are looking for a browser that allows you to still use your favorite Firefox features, WaterFox might work great for you.
Here are additional features that you should know about WaterFox:
- Based on Firefox
- Allows users to utilize older Firefox add-ons
- No telemetry, tracking, startup profiling, data collection, and sponsored tiles
- Slower security updates and less active development compared to the standard Firefox
4. Tor Browser
Another addition to the list of secure browser is the Tor Browser. It is an upgraded version of Firefox that is specifically engineered to run on the Tor network. It is a safe browser that secures you from potential browser fingerprinting and other harmful browsing concerns.
Since it utilizes the Tor network, which generates traffic to more than three different hops, expect that the download speed with Tor browser is a bit slow. The default version also can crash websites because of script blocking. There are also problems with the Tor network alone, such as dragging speeds, spiteful exit nodes, connections to the US government, and other extremely compromising vulnerabilities.
With these risks in mind, it is much better to utilize Tor browser with a reliable VPN service, disabling the Tor network. You can check out the browser fingerprinting guide to do this alternative method. Be cautious when you alter the settings in your Tor browser since it can impact and change its security and privacy, putting your safe browsing sessions at risk.
5. Epic Privacy Browser
Epic offers an incredible secure browser with a complicated mechanism. It takes privacy to maximum height, living up to the standard of its developer: Hidden Reflex, a software company.
It eliminates URL tracking and address bar, while also using a one-click activated encrypted proxy that covers your true IP address and hides your browsing, making it completely invisible to third-parties or the government. It also prevents all sites that you visit from tracking you. This last feature works through request, which is common in most browsers.
Epic asks websites not to monitor you but reinforces it by actively blocking them from doing so. Aside from this, the secure browser doesn’t save your passwords, use auto-suggest, and log your history. It offers privacy to the highest level, which is what every user is looking for.
Why Private Browsing is Not Enough
The main issue that is always associated with browser security and privacy is that users want to keep their accounts logged in while browsing on the internet. This is a dilemma because it gives sites permission to monitor and pry on your browsing activity and expose your true identity.
One effective solution to resolve this issue is by using browser compartmentalization. This involves the process of using different browsers for each browsing activity. Take this example:
- Use browser #1 for opening your online accounts that have a password.
- Use browser #2 for safe browsing online. You have to incorporate several configurations to carry out this browsing activity such as private mode and no history or cookies recorded on the browser.
- Use browser #3 when you want to execute safe browsing with optimum security and privacy.
Furthermore, you can also use numerous browsers, configured just how you want it, for a specific use, depending on the threat that you wanted to avoid or the activities you wanted to execute. The key to successful and effective browser compartmentalization is powerful security for every browser. You should also be consistent with using each browser for their specific purpose only.
Under browser compartmentalization, you can also use virtual machines since they work great in offering security and privacy. To do this, you can run Linux VMs via VirtualBox on your main computer. Lastly, you should use a reliable secure password manager, just like LastPass, KeePass, or Bitwarden.
Another thing to consider when altering the settings of your browser is that you can install plenty of different extensions or add-ons to upgrade your browser’s security and privacy.
Below are the options that you can utilize to improve the performance of your browser, just take note that not all of them might be compatible with the browser that you are using.
- HTTPS Everywhere – this add-on was developed by the team behind Electronic Frontier Foundation. This will reinforce the website to use private HTTPS encrypted protection.
- Privacy Badger – another add-on from EFF that prevents trackers and malicious ads.
- Cookie Autodelete – this automatically removes cookies that are not needed in the browser.
- uMatrix – this gives you overall control of all the requests that are monitoring you as you jump from site to site. This requires intensive configuration.
- uBlock Origin – this is one of the most effective browser-based ad blockers out there. It also safeguards you against unwanted tracking.
- Decentraleyes – this offers security against tracking through content delivery networks.
- NoScript – this lets you personalize the scripts that you want to run on the sites you visit. Just like uMatrix, this one is intended for users with advanced knowledge of the configuration.
Pro-tip: be extremely careful when using browser extensions and third-party add-ons. Make sure you perform extensive research first. This is because add-ons can act as data collection equipment and spyware for third parties.
This is the case with browser proxy add-ons and VPN services, even if they are recognized by legitimate sources such as Apple and Google Play stores.
Conclusion (And What You Need To Know!)
An expertly-customized browser is vital for the security and privacy of your data since it enables safe browsing on the internet. Aside from this, you should also consider utilizing the following:
- Adblocker – if you think ads are simply ads, think again. Today, ads are widely-used as a means to collect data or track your browsing whereabouts. It spies on your activity, which is how third-parties acquire your data profile and send you personalized ads – smart but creepy.
- VPN (a virtual private network) – VPNs are engineered to encrypt and maintain the anonymity of your internet traffic, while also concealing your true location and IP address. Since the majority of internet providers pry on your browsing activity, having a trustworthy VPN service is a must.
Also, you may want to safeguard yourself from device or browser fingerprinting, which can reveal your true identity even if you are subscribed to an excellent VPN service. If you want to hide your shopping activity for a family member’s birthday present, you can always rely on private mode. It is also dubbed as porn mode – which also makes sense.
However, its perks end there. Switching to private mode won’t give you deeper privacy against the prying eyes of third-parties. You’ll still need the services of a VPN to cover your IP address and restrict web tracking. All the secure browsers mentioned in this article are open source and they deliver optimum security and safety that’s more reliable than Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer.