Best Private Browser for 2022

Online privacy is a major concern in the tech world, and the biggest privacy issues arise as you browse the Internet. Why? Because online marketers of all stripes are willing to monetize you by following you on the web to track your browser activity and browser cookies, Your IP address, and other device-specific identifiers. The best private browsers reduce their ability to do this and make your online life a little more private. Private browsers are different and in some ways better than the so-called incognito or private browsing mode in a typical browser.

Here we’ll explain how online tracking works and what benefits you get from using a private browser, and end with a list of the best private browsers and details about how well they do their job. We do.

How are you being tracked now?

Cookies are small pieces of data that websites store in your browser’s storage to track where you’ve already logged in and other site activity, such as when you have items in an online shopping cart. . They are essential to make the web more useful. Privacy issues arise Third-Party Cookies-which are dropped in your browser not by the site you are visiting but by a third party, often Google, Facebook, or an advertising service. Other websites have access to that information, allowing them to use your Internet trail.

cookies are not the same Threat to privacy. There is a more recent threat fingerprinting, A way to use web page headers and JavaScript to create your profile based on your system configuration. Your browser fingerprint can include your browser type and version, operating system, plug-ins, time zone, language, screen resolution, installed fonts, and more. This means that even if you turn off third-party cookies (Google has said it plans to remove support for them in its Chrome browser in 2023), sites can often identify you via fingerprinting. Huh.

In fact, fingerprinting is a more pressing privacy concern than cookies. You can delete cookies at any time, but you cannot save your digital fingerprint until you get a new device. Another problem is the long string of characters that some sites add when you copy a web address. They also identify you. A browser extension called ClearURLs can help protect that kind of tracking.

How can you stop web tracking?

A browser can take measures to protect you from these privacy violations, but note that private browsing mode—also called Incognito mode, InPrivate, or simply private mode—usually doesn’t protect you from tracking. Private browsing mode usually just hides your activities from the local machine’s history so that people with access to your device can’t see where you are on the web.

Some browsers do more to protect your privacy. Edge and Safari, for example, block known fingerprints based on blacklists, and Firefox is working on a behavior blocking system that alerts you if a site tries to perform actions that look like fingerprinting. For example, trying to extract your hardware specs using the HTML canvas feature. That experimental Firefox tool removes the identity of the data used by fingerprints.

The Brave browser, Avast Secure browser and Apple’s Safari already have features that obscure data like “device and browser configuration, and the fonts and plug-ins you have installed,” according to Apple’s site.

Another privacy protection landing recently in browsers like Firefox and Edge is support for the more secure DNS protocol. It is the system of servers that your browser contacts to translate the text web addresses that web servers use. By default, your ISP’s DNS servers provide this translation, but secure browsers now use DoH (DNS over HTTPS) to encrypt the connection and prevent your ISP from sending you unsubstantiated browsing requests to their search providers . To learn more about all of this, read How (and Why) to Change Your DNS Server.

How do you know you are trackable?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) publishes a Cover Your Tracks webpage to test your browser’s tracking and fingerprinting sensitivity. It uses an actual tracking company for its tests – whose name it does not reveal. Be warned: it almost always reports that your browser has a unique fingerprint. Other tools you can use to view your digital fingerprint include AmIUnique and Device Info. The latter has a section indicating whether any fingerprint protection is detected.

If you still want to use Chrome or another browser that doesn’t offer as much tracking protection, you have access to plug-ins that can help protect your privacy, such as Decentraleyes, DuckDuckGo, PrivacyBadger, or uBlock Origin. DuckDuckGo has also announced a standalone private browser, which we’ll add to this roundup when it becomes available. It currently offers a mobile browser and a browser extension, but does not yet have a desktop browser.

Like everything in life, there is no such thing as absolute security or privacy. But using one of these browsers can at least make it difficult. For entities to track your Internet browsing to varying degrees.

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