Browser & Privacy: Who Can You Trust?

list web browser

Everyone (no matter how much they might deny it!) has looked up something online that can be classified as any of the following:

  • Gross
  • Obscene
  • Weird
  • Strange
  • Nasty
  • Dirty
  • Embarrassing

You get the point; this list can be a million words long and at least one of those words will have applied to someone’s internet keyword search, even yours. With Congress voting to allow internet providers to sell your browsing history to the highest advertising bidder, those mortifying terms you look up in private, free of judgement, will be made public.

In an interview with NPR, Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, a non-profit, explains that “for the average consumer, just about every site they visit online is sharing data with other ad networks, with other third parties, for the purpose of either measuring or targeting ads.”

In effect, the things we look up online are shared. The difference now is that internet service providers (ISPs) can get and sell your data; cross-distributing private records including browser history and financial information.

Imagine having your SMB’s private assets shared with large corporations; how is that anyone’s business but your own? How will the data be protected from cybercriminals now that it’s transferred between several hands?

Fortunately, small business owners have a safety blanket: network security insurance. Network security insurance covers the financial damages incurred by SMBs after a cyberattack. If a cybercriminal steals your company’s data, network security insurance will cover the cost of its replacement, the damage to equipment, business interruption and court fees, should a client decide they want to take your company for what it’s worth too. Network security insurance not only protects your company, it’s affordable too!

Still, to keep our data private, especially as it seems that Congress doesn’t have our backs on internet privacy, maybe there’s a web browser that does.

Google Chrome

Tech Radar lists Google Chrome as 2017’s best browser. Created by Google, Google Chrome is “cross-platform, incredibly stable, brilliantly presented to take up [a] minimum [amount] of screen space, and just about the nicest browser there is to use.”

Despite how wonder Google Chrome is for users with an easy-to-use interface, it’s largely ad-driven. The banner ads you see online using Google Chrome have all been expressly tailored for you. As Google Chrome does such a fine job of keeping track of your searches, purchases and likes on social media, you can guarantee that internet service providers will make Google Chrome their favorite web browser when it comes to mining consumer data.

Opera

PC Magazine gives the Opera web browser an ‘Excellent’ rating. The browser has VPN protection and a built-in ad blocker. If a cyber hacker were to try to get into your network via Opera, they would have a heck of a time accomplishing the feat. It’ll also be more difficult for companies to try and advertise their wares to you, making your ISP’s selling of your online data unprofitable.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, as you probably already know, is the butt of every web browser joke. Because web users demand speed online (no one has time to wait for a page to load) the slow load speed on Internet Explorer has drawn the ire of internet users everywhere. Despite being slower than other web browsers, Internet Explorer does have something to offer: Protected Mode.

Internet Explorer’s Protected Mode protects web users from cyberattack and “significantly reduces the ability of an attack to write, alter or destroy data on the user’s machine or install malicious code.” Not bad for a web browser mocked for its slow speed, is it?

If you’re still concerned about your data being sold off to the highest bidder, remember than you can go incognito.

Though our data is still likely to get sold off, there are certain web browsers that’ll help us better secure our privacy, all you have to do is click and download—just don’t do it indiscriminately!