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Private Browsing, Better Security

Every browser manufacturer now realizes that one of the prime concerns of their users is their privacy when browsing the Internet. Scandals over the misuse of private data, such as Cambridge Analytica and others, have made consumers very aware of the fact that if they don’t want to be tracked and targeted through their Internet use, they need a high level of security from their browser.

Different companies have different approaches to this issue: Google is forging ahead with plans for the “interactive web”, where machine-based apps will be a thing of the past, with everyone using online applications. Apple, by contrast, which doesn’t rely so heavily on advertising revenue, is being more cautious, fearing that users will resent being targeted by advertising and that greater reliance on the Internet for applications will be damaging to security. Below we explain how to protect your privacy when using three of the most popular apps.

Chrome is the most widely used browser worldwide but in its raw form is distinctly lacking in privacy. However, there are numerous extensions available through the Extension option on the toolbar: applications such as Privacy Badger, Cookie Autodelete, HTTPS Everywhere, and uBlock Origin. All of these applications add extra privacy to your chrome browser. Unfortunately, these are not available for the Android version of Chrome. Chrome also has the capacity to block third-party cookies: you can find the option in the settings >Privacy and Security area.

Safari’s default setting has the Intelligent Tracking Prevention tool switched on, and this works well despite some early problems. The latest version of Safari will be able to inform users of any ad trackers and the websites being visited and provide a 30-day report of the trackers it’s found. Cookies can be managed in Safari through Preferences >Privacy >Prevent cross-site tracking. The Manage Website Data option allows you to view any trackers and cookies on your system and remove them.

Firefox comes with built-in protections that are turned on by default; you can adjust the settings through the Preferences >Privacy & Security option. There are three privacy settings available, Standard, Strict, and Custom. In the Standard option, trackers using private windows, cryptominers, and third-party tracking cookies are cut off. In the Strict setting trackers and fingerprints for all windows are blocked, and the Custom setting allows you to fine-tune the way cookies and trackers are handled.

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