Some cybercriminals are so sophisticated they can target information stored on your computer that you may not even know exists. For instance, a simple malware attack could expose all data stored in a web browser — including your browsing habits, online purchases and bank information.
It’s no secret that internet service providers collect detailed user data. But what many people don’t realize is that there is also information stored locally in a user’s web browser.
If you don’t think that’s a big deal, think again. As Barry Shteiman, director of research at cybersecurity firm Exabeam, put it, “All of a sudden, I know where you go, at what time, what you’re buying. I know a lot of things that I, the attacker, should not know about you.”
Using software that is readily available to purchase online, criminals can access information left in your browser and learn exactly what you do online with very little effort…
How many times have you gone to a website and been asked to enter some piece of personal information such as your email address or name? Typically, once you start typing, your browser will automatically fill in the rest. In order to be able to add this information, your browser would have to store it somewhere, right?
Perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that researchers were also able to recover bank account numbers from web browsers. Coupled with other personal details, a criminal can get a good idea of a person’s daily routine, including when they are at work or home and when they are logged in to their computer.
As you’ve heard me mention before, using a VPN (virtual private network) will reduce the likelihood of your personal data being compromised. However, another thing you can do to protect your privacy is use a more secure internet browser.
Here are a few browser options to consider in helping you safely surf the World Wide Web.
When it comes to privacy, Tor has become a leader in the tech world for keeping your information private. Tor uses a platform similar to Firefox. It is free and open source for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux/Unix and Android.
Tor’s software protects you by bouncing your communications around a network of relays all around the world. It prevents somebody from watching your internet connection and learning what sites you visit. It also blocks the sites you visit from pinpointing your physical location.
According to the National Security Agency, “Tor stinks.” That’s because the NSA is unable to completely circumvent the anonymity provided by Tor, which is a good sign for those wanting to keep their information secure. The only drawback to Tor is that it has slower speeds than other browsers.
Click here to download Tor for your machine.
This browser is based off Google’s Chrome platform. It comes with a built-in ad-blocker, tracking protection, script blocker and HTTPS Everywhere functionality. If you are a big fan of Chrome but want a more secure browser, then Brave is the best option for you.
Brave is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux and Android. However, Brave does have a few drawbacks. The biggest is that it promotes “Ads from network partners,” which can be frustrating since the point of using the browser is for privacy and security.
Click here to download Brave for your devices.
If you like using Firefox but are looking for a more secure browser, then Waterfox may be your best bet. Waterfox syncs with your Firefox account to provide tracking protection when browsing the web.
Basically, Waterfox is just like Firefox except it removes data collection and startup profiling and eliminates sponsored tiles on the New Tab page. Since Waterfox operates on Firefox (which is an older platform), it runs slower for some users.
It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android — but not iOS. Click here to download Waterfox.
The fact is company-owned browsers such as Chrome, Edge and Safari all pose privacy concerns. It’s public knowledge that Google fully cooperates with the NSA mass-surveillance program.
In other words, many of the biggest tech companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft cannot be trusted to protect your privacy when browsing. This is why I recommend downloading one of these other browser options today.
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