In today’s day and age, every online activity is being tracked. From cyber-criminals, government agencies and even the tech brands like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon etc. everyone is trying to track your digital footprints.
To explain this with a simple example, when you search for a product on Google search engine, you start seeing ads of the same product everywhere. Be it on Amazon, in your Gmail inbox, or via ads served by Google on any site that you visit, you get reminded of that product 24/7.
A regular inflow of data highlighting your online behaviour helps companies create a user persona. This data then determines what content you see on most of these sites. While, this tracking may seem harmless not only does it affect your internet usage but also exposes your private and sensitive data, without your consent.
So, how do we control cyber criminals, government agencies and these tech giants from stealing our information so easily? Well, to a certain extent you can’t. You’ll still be using Gmail to send and receive emails, post content on sites like Facebook and Twitter, use Amazon for shopping or Google to search for any information you need. While it is impossible to go off the grid totally, you can still limit the information that can be easily gathered from your browsing habits.
And as a first step to secure your privacy, you must replace your internet browser to a more secure and privacy focused one. All we need is a browser that does not track us and lets us stay anonymous while we browse the internet. Here are a few browsers that are available to download for free on all popular platforms like Mac, Windows, Linux etc and can keep you off the radar.
TOR is the go-to browser if you want yourself to be anonymous online. It is reported that several agencies in the USA including the Navy uses this browser for its intelligence gathering. TOR protects users’ location, browsing patterns and personal data from prying eyes by routing data through multiple locations. Though it is not the most visually appealing browser and your browsing may not be fast as well, but it is the most trusted browser.
Brave is a good alternative to all the mainstream browsers. It is visually appealing, less resource hungry, offers fast browsing and downloading experience as well. It is built on Google’s Open source web browser project but has some advance privacy protection features built in.
Brave comes with built-in ad-blocker, script blocker as well as browser fingerprint blocker. Since it is a fairly new browser some useful features are still missing.
Waterfox browser is based on Mozilla’ Firefox, which itself is liked by many privacy focused individuals. It blocks all the tracking, scripts and has other additional features that protect your privacy. It supports Firefox’s add-ons that help in enhancing productivity but has a slightly slower security update cycle.
Epic browser is another browser that you can try if you’re worried about your privacy. It deletes all the browsing history, cookies and trackers after each session. Like Brave, Epic is also built on Chromium Open source project and has its own proxy servers. It also comes with built in ad blockers and lets you surf the internet while staying anonymous.
Firefox is an open source browser and comes from Mozilla foundation. It is one of the most user-friendly browsers which gets security updates regularly. Firefox is a lightweight browser and is less resource hungry than Chrome. It’s a regular browser which shows you regular content but with right usage of add-ons and settings you can easily make it secure and privacy friendly.