When we surf the internet, we usually fire up our browser of choice, or the one that came with the operating system and surf away. The browser we use could offer very little or no security protection while online. It may even harvest your data on purpose to earn a few bucks, looking at you Chrome. However there are two web browsers that work on most computers that don’t spy on you.
Security is a key issue for tech users of all kinds, especially small businesses. Nobody likes the idea of someone looking through your stuff and selling what it learns but that’s what happens every day. Use Internet Explorer and Microsoft gets to see everything you do. Use Chrome and Google can learn where you go, what you do and a lot more besides.
But there is another way. Use Brave or Tor Browser.
Brave is a relative newcomer to the browser scene but is rapidly growing in popularity. It is based on Chromium but has no links to Google. It is fast, very secure and does not harvest your browsing data. While based on Chromium, which is the backbone of Chrome, it has none of the data capturing or phone-home abilities of Chrome.
- It blocks ads and trackers by default.
- It blocks autoplay videos by default.
- It has a script blocker built into it.
- Automatically switches to HTTPS wherever possible.
- It has browser fingerprinting blockers built in.
I have switched from Chrome to Brave and haven’t looked back. It was originally to block autoplay videos but I soon found all the extensions I used previously work n Brave so stuck with it. For small business use without commercial security, this adds an extra layer of security that could prove useful.
Tor Browser is a different beast altogether. It is based on Firefox which is also more secure but has extra security and uses the Tor network. This is a distributed network that makes it very difficult (but not impossible) to track you while online. It is slower than Brave because it uses other people’s internet connection but offers much more protection.
You can use Tor Browser without the Tor network over a VPN though if you like the idea of a hardened Firefox browser without the slow downloads.
- It doesn’t track anything you do.
- It uses three hops across the Tor network for decent anonymity.
- It is based on the reliable Firefox browser.
- It works with Firefox extensions.
- It can be used with a VPN instead of Tor.
I use Tor Browser sometimes when I’m testing security as it is very secure. It can be slow at times because of the way Tor works but offers as much security as most home users need.
Just because you use the internet doesn’t mean you have to agree to surrender all your business data. These two browsers and others like them are changing the way we surf the web. Try them and see what you think!