In this article we look at how to secure your web browser and protect your online privacy.
Which browser is the most secure?
When choosing a web browser to use, many of us consider which one is the fastest or is recommended by our favorite websites, but which one is the most secure?
According to a report by Cyber Security Blog, no browser stands above the rest in terms
of security. Over an 18 month period all 5 major web browsers had hundreds of vulnerabilities discovered. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox all had a similar number of vulnerabilities–over 200 each–while Safari and Opera had less than 200 combined. Does this mean Safari and Opera are more secure browsers? Most likely no; the best explanation is found in market share. These 2 browsers combined only account for 5% of all web traffic. Lower market share means less opportunity for profit. Opera and Safari are targeted less often by hackers, so fewer vulnerabilities are discovered.
Does it matter which browser I use if they are all vulnerable?
All web browsers are vulnerable to security flaws. We at IWKYS recommend using browser extensions to beef up security and protect your online privacy. Two browsers stand out as the most friendly to extensions: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Stick with either of these browsers and install the following extensions.
Our recommendations for the best browser extensions in three categories: Ad Blocking, Security and Privacy.
Ad Blocking Extension – AdBlock Plus (Firefox, Chrome)
AdBlock Plus blocks ads on webpages such as pop-up ads, video advertisements on youtube, flashy banner ads and more. It does not require any configuration and works well out of the box.
Not all ads are blocked by default; they allow ads on webpages considered acceptable to be charitable, or websites that rely on advertising revenue, but you can change this setting and block ALL ads. Adblock Plus has a couple more features that are optional: you can disable social media buttons, prevent websites from tracking you, and block websites that are known to have malware.
Security Extension – HTTPS Everywhere (Firefox, Chrome, Opera)
This extension will encrypt your traffic to major websites so that your web traffic cannot be spied upon. As long as the website you are visiting supports encryption this extension forces that website to connect to you through an encrypted channel called HTTPS. This extension does not require any configuration but you will on rare occasions need to whitelist web pages that do not run properly with this extension.
Privacy Extension – Ghostery (Firefox, Chrome)
Ghostery protects your privacy by blocking tracking cookies and other third-party trackers such as facebook widgets, advertisements, hidden tracking elements and more. By default Ghostery does not block any trackers; when you visit webpages it will show you the trackers on that page and allow you to block them. In the settings you can also tell Ghostery to block whole categories such as advertising or analytics across all web pages.