For any user, there are functional requirements of a browser as well as certain privacy and tracking requirements (certainly for the “Haves” accessing the Internet!!). Some functionality can be added as Extensions or Add-ons and some is built into the browser.
I wanted to share how I surf the Internet so that others might benefit.
Most of the browsers in use today use the Chromium engine – it’s a mature and excellent basis for a browser.
For many years, I used Chrome and then Brave – largely until a mainstream browser delivered a native implementation of vertical tabs. For that reason, I moved from Brave, an excellent privacy-based browser, to Microsoft Edge. In basic terms, the way vertical tabs were a necessity for me and that’s my chosen browser. Yes, there are annoyances with Edge but you can turn them off.
Brave is a close 2nd choice with privacy features and ad-blocking.
No matter which browser you choose, there are a small number of Extensions you want.
- uBlock Origin
This excellent extension will block many things; scripts, adverts and other annoyances. It is strong on anti-tracking features too. The Internet looks very different once it is installed with adverts reduced, load times improved and less chance that you’re being tracked around the Internet. Dig into the settings to see what suits you over the default settings.
- Cookie AutoDelete
This extension might take some tuning as you increase the privacy it offers you. It will delete cookies on a scheduled basis (this needs to be enabled) but then you will be logged out of websites you log into – so you may need to white- or grey-list them. The advantage of this will be that you are hard to track around the Internet.
That’s it…..! You will now be blocking scripts and cookies while you surf.
There are other Extensions that will enhance your web browsing, protect your privacy and make the Internet a cleaner, safer place.
- DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
If you’re reading this, you have likely changed your Search Engine to DuckDuckGo. The Extension adds some protection and will bring new functionality that DDG offers
- Don’t F*** With Paste
One annoyance is when sites block the use of paste for certain fields. With this Extension, you win!
- Bitwarden Password Manager
Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that is free to use, works on most platforms and browsers and protects your passwords while making them easy to use.
Keep It Updated
One important thing to keep in mind is to allow or encourage your browser to update. Most update automatically – make sure you know how the process is running. Google Chrome, for example, patched 8 zero-day bugs in 2022 – this should give an indication of what your update frequency needs to be as a minumum.
For non-Windows platforms, I can only recommend using the DuckDuckGo browser. It’s available as an App for iOS and Android and is in beta for MacOS.