Which browser is the most secure? Is there even a distinction? When was the last time you gave your browser some thought? The majority of folks do not. They make use of the software that came with their computer (or smartphone or tablet). Or perhaps they tried a bunch of different ones years ago and settled on one they liked. However, the world has evolved, as have browsers, and it's time to take another look, this time with your cyber security in mind.
Is There Really A Difference Between Browsers
Yes and no. Let's begin with the word "no." Browsers used to be very different, right down to the code foundations they were built on and the speed and functionality they offered. The majority of prominent current browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and even Opera, Brave, and other niche browsers, are based on one of three browser engines: Blink, Gecko, or Webkit.
Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Brave are all built on the open source Chromium browser, which uses the Blink engine. Safari uses the WebKit engine, while Firefox uses the Gecko engine.
Consider the Lotus Evora and the Toyota Camry, two totally different automobiles that share the same engine. The same is true for Chromium-based browsers, and the differences have an impact on your privacy and security.
Yes, browsers differ from one another. Color schemes, tools, and extras aren't the most important features. The following are the two most significant differences in cyber security:
Privacy and security settings by default
How they make use of the information they collect
Default Browser Privacy & Security Settings
Default settings are the settings that would be in place if you downloaded and ran your browser without changing any security settings. Chrome has the least secure default security settings of any of the main browsers. They allow first-party cookies to remember your choices on websites you visit, as well as third-party cookies to track your behavior across several websites. Google intends to phase away third-party cookies in a few years, but this is not yet the case.
Disabling pop-ups, allowing safe DNS lookups, and turning off background refresh (Chrome stays running after you close it) are all default Chrome settings you should disable. These are only a few examples.
By default, Mozilla Firefox prioritizes privacy. Microsoft Edge's default security settings are not as cautious as Firefox's, but they are better than Google's.
How Companies Use Your Data
Even if you spend the time to go through Google Chrome settings to get the exact privacy settings you want, there's still the question of how that data is utilized to think about.
Google and Facebook use the same "surveillance capitalism" paradigm. They provide free products/services since their business model is centered on monetizing data rather than selling products. If you use these platforms, they have access to your data. You are the fruit of their labor. They collect your information and sell it for a profit. They also don't say to whom your information has been sold.
The models used by Microsoft (for Edge) and Apple (for Safari) are fundamentally different. They offer items and utilize your information to improve them or choose what to produce next. There has been no indication that either business sells the data they collect so far.
Mozilla (the company behind Firefox) is a non-profit corporation. They sell a few other things as well, but they don't sell data.
Are There Any Browsers That Don’t Collect Any Data?
Tor is the most private and secure browser. It sends your data to relays all across the world, making it impossible for trackers to figure out who you are and where you are. Tor becomes slow as a result of this procedure, which adds a lot of overhead. Many websites, in fact, do not work properly with Tor. It won't be able to replace a general browser like Firefox for most people, but it might be worth trying if you're looking for anything extremely sensitive or confidential, such as medical information.
Another thing you can do to preserve your privacy is to switch from Google Search to DuckDuckGo as your search engine. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track its users at any point in time. When you use DuckDuckGo with Chrome, Chrome will still monitor what it can, but it won't have access to your whole search history as it would if you used their search engine.
The Safest Browser For Your Privacy & Security
Nobody wants to go back to the days of slow, clumsy browsers that wouldn't work with their favorite websites. However, privacy is crucial.
For the most part, the best middle ground is to use Mozilla Firefox as your browser and DuckDuckGo as your search engine for added privacy and security. Firefox also makes it straightforward to import bookmarks and other data from other browsers like Chrome and Edge, making the transfer for most users simple and quick. While Edge is an alternative, double-check the default settings to ensure that it is as private as possible.
How To Implement Security At Your Business
The personal impact of data security is generally felt first, but it is much more critical for enterprises. Here's a checklist to assist you in making changes in your company:
Make the decision to change. It is simple enough, but most businesses are unable to take this crucial first step toward greater data protection.
Communication with your team about why the change is required and when/how it will be implemented. Assure them that you'll be there to help them if they have trouble learning the new browser or search engine.
Use a password manager such as LastPass. The capacity for browsers to save login information is one of the reasons why people become so connected to them. People can save passwords and access them no matter what browser they are using if they use a third-party program like LastPass to manage them. Before the switchover, have your team load all of their current passwords into LastPass.
Work with your IT team to install the new browser on all company-controlled devices and to delete the old browser and its data.
As your team adjusts to the shift, be there for them. Reiterate why it's necessary.
The Bottom Line
Firefox is, as of this writing, the greatest browser for privacy and security among all major browsers. Edge is more secure than Chrome, but not as secure as Firefox. Switching browsers is a simple and effective way to secure your personal and company information.