Most browsers access your geographic location via your IP address to view local search results. Your browser may also have permission to use the device’s built-in camera and microphone. It is certainly convenient, but it is a huge security risk.
Here is a list of browser security settings you need to check now.
Browser cookies, extensions, and software errors can slow down the speed of your Internet connection to a crawl. Use these proven tricks to speed up Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge.
A web browser is the gateway to the web and cybercriminals who want to take advantage of you. If you’re ready to move to a more privacy-focused browser or see if your stock my list, keep reading.
Best overall browser for privacy: Brave
If you are tired of trackers, ads and data-hungry codes that follow you over the internet, the Brave browser is for you. Brave̵
Your browser’s default settings block malware such as malicious software, phishing and malicious advertising, and plug-ins that could harm your computer.
Advertising and trackers are blocked by default. Because of all that stopping, Brave says it’s three times faster than Chrome in general and loads large sites up to six times faster than its competitors.
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Brave is free to use, but you can turn on Brave Rewards to give back to the sites you visit the most. When enabled, privacy ads will appear to support the content you see. Your browser history remains private.
What about user experience? It runs on the Chromium source code, which runs Google Chrome, so it’s likely to feel familiar.
Download Brave for free here. It is also available as an app on Apple and Android devices.
Best browser for customizable privacy: Firefox
Mozilla’s Firefox bills itself as a fast browser that “does not sell you out.” Do you discover a theme here? Firefox collects very little data, and you do not even have to enter your email address to download it.
It also blocks trackers by default, so you have no settings to change.
The customization features make Firefox stand out. You can use global protection levels, such as “Strict” or “Standard”, or go the custom route. You can choose exactly which trackers and scripts Firefox blocks to get the experience you want.
When it comes to privacy, it has many bells and whistles: a built-in password manager, website alert breaches, private browsing mode and secure form autofill.
Firefox is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and smartphones to make it easy to sync across all your devices. Take Firefox for a test run on your computer by clicking here. Or click to download for Apple or Android.
RELATED PRIVACY FIX: How to delete cookies from your phone
Best browser for maximum security: Thurs.
If you’m super security focused, you’ll probably already be using a virtual private network or VPN. Do you want even more anonymity? Turn to Tor. This name started as an acronym for “The Onion Router”, and it is popular among computer-ready circles.
Tor runs your connection via multiple servers around the world before you reach your goal. Your data is encrypted between each “node”, adding layers of protection – hence the onion logo.
Tor has been used for illegal activity online, but the software itself is completely legal and should not pose any problems. It is often the route into the dark web. You can read about how to access it and what to find.
Tor is running a modified version of the Firefox browser. You can download Tor here.
Best privacy browser on Mac: Safari
Many people use the browser that came with their computer to make it easier. If you have a Mac, this is a good thing. Safari blocks cross-site tracking that allows you to enjoy the sites you use the most without worrying about being tracked.
Safari uses Google as its default browser, which blocks malicious websites and protects you from malicious software and phishing scams. It also blocks pop-ups.
Safari’s built-in password management (keychain) tells you if a website you saved was involved in a data breach, and helps you change your password. Download Safari here, directly from Apple.
Alternative option: Microsoft Edge
Microsoft said so long to Internet Explorer, and the new Edge is a robust browser with many built-in privacy features. It also runs on Chromium and feels a lot like Google Chrome.
Edge offers protection against trackers and blocks ad providers from monitoring your activity and learning more about you.
Choose the restriction level you prefer from three settings, and you can decide which sites you want to block or not in each case. Want to know what Edge is blocking for a particular site? Click the lock icon to the left of the URL, then click Tracker to see a list.
Edge’s built-in password monitor will alert you if you visit a compromised website and ask you to change your password to a stronger one. You can create your own or use a suggested password.
If you are running Windows, there are five tips to make you a pro. You probably have Edge installed on your computer. If not, click or click here to download it.
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Learn about all the latest technology at The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest radio show this weekend. Kim takes conversations and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to privacy and online hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.