Best Safe Browsers for Private Internet Use
The internet opened our eyes to see beyond the confines of our room. It became our large, open window to the world, and every nook and cranny of the world around us became the target of our scrutiny, awe, and curiosity. However, even as our initial vision was myopic, mainly because we still didn’t know its almost infinite potential, it soon expanded and encompassed nearly all of our neighbors and spread to the whole community. Through this, we need a safe browser, to keep others from spying on us.
We are burdened by the responsibility not to overstep each other’s bounds and privacy. We needed to realize that we have to be utterly responsible and not creep each other by our own unwanted and unseen presence on the web.
We use our computers to access the internet through what we know as a web browser. A web browser is a software or a computer application that is used to display the contents in the world wide web, including video, images, documents and other file types from which you get the information you need. You can be the author of such content as you can also retrieve other content created by others like you or by institutions that made it their business to create and access web content. The internet is that one thing we have been seeing or hearing about, ever since we knew of its existence, but what most do not know is that it is normally free from obstructions. There are indeed obstructions, and anonymous network administrators are tracking our activities. Your Internet service provider, for example, that company that installed the components and gadgets that allow you to access the internet allows itself too, to see your web traffic.
Without anything that blocks activities between your computer and the internet, then what you see, post, the message you send, and the web page you read, are all open for others to view. All the ideas, pictures, text, and whatnot, are ready for by those controlling your internet access. All of those, even with or without malice and consent, can access your computer. Without something that could hide you, your identity and internet activities, you cannot be anonymous. Your anonymity is what will guard and protect your presence on the internet. Without that anonymity, you are a sitting duck. You are vulnerable, open to malicious attract, being targeted by all those malintent, curious onlooker, and all. You could be putting your personal at risk, and by extension, you could be targeted for surveillance, censorship. If somebody would gain something with the information they got from you, you could be exploited and victimized through blackmail.
When the internet, with all its various contents, started to become the world’s de facto communication tool, nobody took notice of privacy and security issues accompanying its use. We were was enjoying our time than watching, sharing, and creating content that we all devoured. We started to see it as a Utopian world where all we see were rosy, clean, and fun. And then almost overnight, it rapidly became a dystopian playground when certain people or we started to create content that showed the ugly, dirty, and the sad part of life. With these findings, some sought to separate them and decided that only certain portions of this world wide web can be or should be seen at all. What they perhaps failed to realize is that both the Utopian and the dystopian creations whereabouts in the world wide web were founded from the same reality. It is a double-edged sword reality as it allows anybody to have access and see what is there, but at the same time, it can also hide what you don’t want to see or what others don’t want you to see.
But even as these realities co-exist, no one could separate the two although some have tried, and to a certain extent, succeeded. However, some entities would try to dictate what people should see, put blinders, so to speak to people. Thus in the age of beyond enlightenment, we see blocked content on the internet, where some governments tend to dictate what their people can understand. We have also witnessed the phenomenon of surveillance. Global or local, censorship by the very institution which pledged to protect us from curtailing our free speech and freedom. This is the premise that started the idea of taking back control of internet access so that we can be able to enjoy the ultimate expression of free speech in the world.
However, the idea of free access comes with a universal caveat – that we should also protect ourselves from unwanted intrusions while allowing access to the same information we want to create and share. Towards this end, VPN or Virtual Private Network was created to provide protection and privacy while you are on the internet, surfing the web, creating content, watching videos, sharing information, and all the things you usually do there. You have to realize that without a private web browser or a VPN, your usual connection, whether at home or especially in public networks, is highly vulnerable. This means that your web activity can be subjected to spying, surveillance, identity theft, and insidious hacker attacks.
A built-in VPN is your guarantee that your connected or networked devices are secured from hacker attacks. More than that, you can bypass censorship and access blocked content from countries or areas where administrators there can block or censor content. If you are abroad where they usually allow US shows, a VPN can let you watch shows and other forms of entertainment. VPN’s are used as tools to provide remote access and security to the networks of the organizations that require them to have above the usual security protocols.
VPNs are indispensable for those who value their privacy and who wouldn’t if you knew you are vulnerable every time you open your browser and access the internet. A virtual private network can minimize your exposure and shield you from threats on the web. While they can allow you to get around safely to access censored contents in any country where you might be, it is at home where you need one, if you want to protect your children and the whole family.
Why You Need a Secure Browser
As we have shown, accessing the internet turns you into a vulnerable and defenseless individual if you will only rely on your computer’s standard defenses. This is more true with children who are curious and always ready to jump to any kind of web-based adventures without realizing the danger they are going through. While you as a responsible adult knows what you are getting into with virtual private network, your children don’t have that wisdom or knowledge to distinguish what is right for them and what could harm them. Most kids and many teens are quite savvy with technology and can perhaps access the internet on their own with or without VPNs. Still, they most certainly are clueless as identifying real threats and risks in their behavior on the web. If you have kids under your care, you must include internet safety in educating them in protecting themselves from all kinds of online harm.
One severe flaw that any browser can have is to be vulnerable and susceptible to any number of real threats that hackers create and propagate on the internet. Hackers thrive by updating the virus and malware they made so they can do further damage. Consequently, your web browsers too must be updated and armed with the latest versions of their defense systems so the users can remain safe and untouched by that malware.
A browser needs to have the ability to neutralize those threats and they can usually do that through security patches as soon as such virus or malware is identified. There were times in the past that a threat infected millions of computers around the world before security experts realized what happened and initiate countermeasures. A virus can, quickly or in time, damage your computer’s organic parts. Malware can be used to spy on you and make copies of the information you have guarded in it and thought secure and impregnable. A secure browser can protect your computer connected to the internet and make sure that your data is not is subjected to breach of privacy thru malware and the virus they carry.
Many browsers like google chrome, tor browser, brave browser, safari, apple, and even open-source ones, vie for your attention, and it’s easy to get anyone of them. With a simple click of a button, you can install one, and you can get instant access into your favorite website to view, read or listen to its contents, whether they are documents, videos, or music files. But knowing you need to download, install, and use one for your purposes is not even half of the problem since there are dozens of web browsers around. So among those options, how do you know which one of them applies to your purpose, where you want one that is the most secure browser.
The Most Secure Browser
The best browsers can be defined as one that seriously protects your precious privacy and secures the data you have stored on your computer. But that is only a small part of the whole ecosystem of programs, applications, and codes that are in your computer and network. A critical feature of the best browsers is its ability to protect from phishing attacks. The browsers should also allow URL filtering to prevent users from accidentally accessing malicious sites.
Moreover, it also should be able to warn all those who can access your computer when the website they are trying to open is unsecured. The best browsers or best private browser should also give you tracking options when you choose not to allow it.
There are several categories of threats brought about malware, such as a rootkit, keylogger, denial of service, and flaw exploits. Each of them can wreak havoc in your system, and hackers can use them to gain information and use that information to take advantage of your position. Web browser without built in adequate security measures can leak your essential data.
However, you can protect yourself through intelligent behavior when you are online, such as avoiding suspicious content, activating the firewall and spam filters, deleting spam mail, and closing pop-ups. There are additional steps that can enhance the security of your chosen browser, such as updating the browser itself, its accompanying plug-ins, and antivirus software. The best secure browsers will give users tracking protection regardless of operating system. You can use windows macos linux android or open-source platforms and still be protected.
The best web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari,Mozilla Firefox, as well as extensions of the Firefox browser, have become more intelligent and indeed, are smarter now than the computer geniuses’ best web browsers made during the early days of the internet. Speed was a non-issue then, and so was compatibility. But now that we have rates that fly off the WiFi and they have found ways to make our gadgets compatible with each other, we have indeed no reason to be connected. But this vaunted speed and compatibility are for naught if the best browsers you are using are not able to protect your privacy so you can stay safe and keep your data away from prying eyes. Any interested third party armed with the right hacking tools can collect and exploit the private information from a browser based program. They can obtain data from your computer like:
- browsing history of all the websites you have accessed at a given period;
- auto-fill information that makes it easy to type in your name, phone number, and address;
- login credentials which you use to sign-up with the services you have availed of such as usernames and passwords;
- cookies and trackers that websites embed in your browser for any number of reasons they can think of.
All of these can lead to exposing your identity since you are not anonymous to them. And if your character is there for everyone to see, we know that can be a severe problem due to the lack of security features in these browsers.
Choosing secure browsers that have proven itself capable of protecting your privacy and security is of utmost importance. The amount of information you store and websites you access are allowed to get from you should not be compromised by using an unsecured web browser and browser extensions.
Privacy and Security with a Private Web Browser
Computer hackers have one thing in common, and that is to exploit what they can get from you through the virus and malware they try to install in your computer in whatever illegal way they can.
Any internet browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari, can collect a lot of information about you: what files you view and download on any websites you have visited. If you entered certain personal information, they would be there for cybercriminals to see, copy, download, share, or even sell to others who are willing to buy such information. Therefore, if you want to remain protected from identity theft or if you are concerned about information security, then your chrome browser and all browser extensions should be secure and have tracking protection.
A browser’s privacy features allow users to prevent your default browser from storing your history, form data, and cookies that your browser usually store, although not ultimately. You may know this private browsing mode as Incognito Mode or In Private Browsing in other popular browsers and extensions.
Bear in mind that not all browser based systems and extensions have security features. Cookies permit your websites to track your visits to their sites. But when you are in private browsing mode, you are protected from people from snooping at your website visit history as the browser will not leave any identifying tracks in your system. It will also prevent your visited sites from storing cookies they used to track your visits.
In a private browsing mode, your internet session is isolated from your data and the web browser’s session. All the local data that you accessed during your browsing is cleared after you end and close your browser. However, let us reiterate that this does not mean total protection from privacy and security issues. It is possible that your ISP can be the source of a security breach to happen due to a previously undetected security flaws in your operating system, or in the browser itself and some extensions that you might have installed.
While we can enumerate all the possible private web browsers that feature the best privacy and security, the real test will be your criteria, special needs, and threats you experience or encounter online. These browsers will be excellent for their secure privacy and security features, customization options, and regularly scheduled updates through their active development. Most of them will come out of the box already ready to function, but some may still need a bit of tweaking to make sure that they conform to your requirements and needs.
There is a need to worry in this regard as they usually provide guides that will tell you precisely what you need to do to modify more settings to fortify your web browser of choice. If you want a web browser in steroids, well, it is indeed available, and you will not be disappointed. Some of these fortified browsers are by default capable of blocking scripts, ads, and trackers and have built in protection against browser fingerprinting. Some have removed telemetry, sponsored titles, startup profiling, and data collection. However, to fully take advantage of protection, you need to make sure that the web browser you chose has an active development and they regularly issue security updates.
Best Private Browser
Every time you browse the internet, you are exposing yourself to prying eyes through programs designed by cyberhackers to get the information they need obviously for their advantage, maybe entertainment or surveillance and other nefarious activities. A private browser can help you protect yourself and avoid such attacks and have your anonymity preserved, which in turn helps protect your data. But to avail of this online protection, you should treat all of your data as very important and should be guarded at all times. Identity thieves forever lurking in the world wide web are waiting to pounce on your naivete while browsing. You need to have a safe browser that can protect you from such attacks through private browsing. However, as we have said, not all browsers have that this very crucial features. But you can still avail of other equally important features that they provide for free.
Most, if not all, internet users have always known about Google and how the people there have helped us in one way or another to find what we looked for, from lost wallets to wayward chihuahuas. They can do that as their reach has penetrated almost all aspects of our daily existence, from sunup to sundown, and yes, 24/7. They do that by tracking all our transactions and storing that data and analyze you and your activities. With other collated information from other users like you, they can combine and develop algorithms that can help them predict your behavior.
Would you like this to stop? Consider these scenarios: Have you ever gone shopping but wish your purchase to be secret because you want it to be surprised or simply because you just want the spouse to find out? As a student or a research person, have you been reading on delicate topics that, if it were to be known to your friends and families, will cause you embarrassment, like let say, “How to pop your zit”? Health information is a protected piece of information, and revealing this to the world wide web can cause you to lose a job or insurance coverage. You could be a frequent traveler, and this might not be a good thing to let the world know because interested parties could see that and target you with low-budget hotel bookings or cheap airline tickets. These are all too frequent and common knowledge around the world, but the truth is, very few take advantage of the private browsing feature of their browser.
Google may act as big brother to us, but if you want to get away from its shackles, you can try using duckduckgo, an alternative to help you accomplish what we have mentioned just a few lines above. We might be going into Duckduckgo vs Google mode here, but let us say something more about this.
Some years ago, when it was still starting, a billboard in San Francisco by Duckduckgo dared to challenge Google’s dominance by stating that “Google Tracks You. We Don’t.” According to Duckduckgo founder Gabriel Weinberg that it “doesn’t collect any personal information.” This information includes your IP address and other personally identifiable user information. With duckduckgo, you stay anonymous and under the radar. How ideal could be that?
However, not revealing your IP address could be either a blessing or not, depending on what you are looking for online. Google can show results based on your geographical location, and this is especially useful if you are looking for a locally based service, banks, restaurants, or hotels. After all, that is what you want to find out. Duckduckgo will not give you location-specific results as it doesn’t track your IP address, which is the basis for location purposes. The search results you get from it are not tailored according to your location. You might not find what you are looking for with DDG and see it in Google, But don’t be surprised that the reverse is true as well.
While DDGs strength lies in its ability to hide you and have you remain anonymous as long as you stay online, it is also the source of its weakness. However, there are shortcuts to go over this limitation and still allow you to remain cloaked while using Google. People frequently search online for images, maps, and why not, information from Wikipedia. If you still want to use Google for this purpose but want to enjoy the privacy provide by DDG, you just need to start by typing “!” followed by “gi” for Google image, “gm” for Google maps and “W” for Wikipedia results, in Duckduckgo’s search box. You can also apply the same shortcuts for searching for other terms.
Which Web Browser is the Most Secure?
The most popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge all have problems with security. These browsers all have features which make them popular with the general public. Unfortunately, these features depend on mining personal information from the users, which data is used to customize and personalize the user experience.
There are safe browsers you have not heard of that are available for download, but these are not popular because they don’t personalize the user experience. The following are the most secure internet browsers:
Made by the Brave Software Inc., it is based on Chromium, but with a lot of vulnerable features removed. It takes privacy seriously. It doesn’t log any user or browsing data. By default, it blocks trackers and ads, and plugins are disabled. It prevents browser fingerprinting and it has a builtin script blocker. And when in use, it upgrades to HTTPS. The result of all of these security precautions is a faster browsing experience.
Another browser based on a stripped down Chromium, Iridium incorporates several improvements resulting in very tight security. Users can view its Git repository to check out the changes of every build. It is easy to use, and can be deployed over the corporate network. Because it is stripped down for safety and security, it is another fast browser.
Based on a Firefox fork, Waterfox is another web browser with a Git repository. For their own peace of mind, users can view the changes in the Waterfox code through Git. Unlike Firefox, WaterFox does not collect user data, and does not monitor browsing history.
Is Tor the Safest Browser?
Based on the tor network, the tor browser uses several hops and additional encryption as its regular operations. These features ensure the safety and privacy of the user, as much as the tor network can. However, due to the use of the tor network and its underlying technology, the tor browser is significantly slow. It suffers from dragging speeds, faulty exit nodes, connections to the United States government, as other security vulnerabilities.
You can use the tor browser, but for safety purposes you should use it with a VPN software and with the tor network disabled. However, changing the settings can create other problems in using the tor browser. In the end, it may not be worth the trouble to use the tor browser.
Using a VPN and a Secure Browser
Using a VPN and a secure browser hand in hand will go a long way in providing privacy and security while doing your online chores. The type of browser you use to access the internet, however, might not count much at this point since it is the VPNs primary purpose to encrypt all full world web traffic coming to and going from the computer. From this, we can say that any kind of browser that catches your fancy is just right just as long as the VPN you are using does its job. However, the VPN you want is one that should be compatible with a secure browser that you might be using. Although we have it in utmost confidence that VPNs are virtually unhackable, in theory, it is possible. Your safety is guaranteed 99.90% of the time, which means that VPNs can completely stop hackers from breaching their security. With that stats, you will always be on the safe side with VPNs.
For beginners in the game, it is essential to know why use a VPN. A VPN for all intents and purposes should have powerful encryption protocols that can handle tough jobs such as shielding, therefore, protecting your anonymity online. Cybercriminals will always be on the lookout for vulnerabilities and exploit them as soon as they get a hold of them. Take note that even your ISP could be in it too.
A VPN service works by having your internet traffic pass through their servers where these are cloaked or masked, thereby disabling them from identifying you and keeping your information with them. The VPN has several servers that mix all your traffic with those from other users, making it quite hard for that intent on discovering your traffic and identity.
Our internet access used to be confined to personal computers back on those days when cellphones were not as smart as they are these days. Now we can access the world wide web across multiple devices and platforms. Our gadgets can talk to each other without our interference and human action. But this interactivity and compatibility are also subject to the same vulnerability across all devices and platforms. For Android users, fortunately, you have several available VPN apps that you can use to protect yourself while using your smartphone. You should install a VPN app that can give you the same protection and security online just as you protect and secure your computer at home and the office.
Every Internet user should use a VPN and a safe browser, and this should be non-negotiable if we want to protect our identity, information, and all files stored on our computer. This should also apply to all those who use our network, whether at home or the office. At home, our children could be exposed to cybercriminal activities. We must install both so that they can work together more effectively. And now that our cell phones have become smart ones, they should also be equipped with VPN apps that allow users to have the same protection online on their gadgets, including tablets and minicomputers. You wouldn’t let hackers access to our computers yet deny the equal protection to your mobile devices. Almost all children in all families now have mobile devices. While they provide connectivity and instant communication with them and their parents, online activities should not be let without appropriate security.