Defending your online privacy and security.
You may want to do this for compatibility reasons—there may be sites or services you use that Safari doesn't handle correctly—or because you use a different browser at work; if you want to be able to sync bookmarks and history from your work browser to your personal browser, then it can be useful to use the same app on your computers in both locations.
But another thing to consider is web browser security and privacy. Not all browsers handle your data optimally, and few are developed with privacy and security as a primary focus. In this article, we'll discuss the three main web browsers for macOS—Safari, Chrome, and Firefox—and look at several alternatives, from a privacy and security perspective.
You may also want to check out our companion article about which iOS browser is best for security and privacy. The most obvious advantage of using Safari on a Mac is that it's already there when you set up a new Mac, so you can use Safari immediately, without needing to download anything. As Apple's default browser, Safari has its advantages, such as built-in functionality to store your bookmarks and browsing history in iCloud, along with your usernames and passwords in iCloud Keychain, making it easy to log in and synchronize your browsing across all your Apple devices associated with your iCloud account.
However, if you work on a Windows computer, then you won't be able to access all your iCloud data in your browser. Many years ago Apple used to develop a version of Safari for Windows, but Apple silently abandoned the Windows version in Apple claims to be all about privacy lately, and it's nice to imagine that this might theoretically give Safari some advantage versus the other major browsers.
Safari includes what Apple calls Intelligent Tracking Prevention technology designed to limit the amount of uniquely identifiable information that sites can use to track you, although there remains room for improvement as you can see four yourself by testing your browser with sites like AmIUnique.
In early , Apple removed Do Not Track functionality from Safari , claiming that the feature ironically made it easier for sites to uniquely identify users, even though the feature was originally intended as a way to increase privacy. The Do Not Track standards, which have yet to gain universal adoption amongst advertising and tracking companies, are currently maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Chrome and Firefox still allow users to enable the feature. Google Chrome is a fast web browser, and it commands a 69 percent desktop and laptop browser market share worldwide, according to NetMarketShare. But it's a Google app.
As such, it's designed to suck up your data and send it to Google's servers so Google can better serve you targeted advertisements. Sure, Chrome's extension library is second to none thanks in part to Firefox having abandoned its traditional browser extension format in favor of Chrome's format , and the browser is compatible with most websites. But you'll have to consider whether it's really worth giving away that much of your data to Google.
- How to enable Chrome's Do Not Track option - CNET;
- Is “Do Not Track” Legally Enforced?;
- Chrome Browser Tips.
Firefox is cross-platform, available on Mac, Windows, and Linux as well as mobile platforms , and is developed by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. Firefox is actually a descendant of the Netscape browser that was popular in the early days of the web. For those who find this problematic and miss the advanced functionality of some older Firefox add-ons, there's hope; see the Waterfox section below.
In theory, the abandonment of legacy extensions could in some cases have positive side effects from a privacy standpoint by reducing the depth of control extensions can have over your browsing data, although at the same time the switch to the new extension format also means that certain security- and privacy-enhancing add-ons can no longer offer some of the unique features that they used to.
Mozilla has a "Protect your privacy" page with information about how to improve your browsing privacy when using Firefox. You can also review a Firefox privacy configuration guide published by Restore Privacy. Google Chrome Canary is the bleeding-edge version of Google Chrome. It allows developers, security professionals, and curious users to try out new features before they are rolled out to the general public. However, you may not want to use Chrome Canary as your primary browser unless you really need to.
FAQ: What Google's 'Do Not Track' move means
It's much less stable than the normal Google Chrome app, and on very rare occasions you can even get stuck being unable to use the browser until an update is released. But on the bright side, users do occasionally get to try new features related to privacy whether those changes are for good or for ill before mainstream Chrome users, so it's a tradeoff worth considering if you're heavily entrenched in the Google ecosystem or if you run a web site.
Chrome Canary has the same privacy concerns as the mainstream Chrome browser; it's developed by Google, a mega-corporation that makes the majority of its money through advertising, and that loves to track and gain insights into its customers' browsing habits. Brave is a web browser that focuses on security and privacy, and that includes an ad and tracker blocker. Its rendering engine is based on Chromium, so it works like Chrome on the back end, but by blocking ads and trackers there's less data downloaded and your privacy is better respected.
However, you can't choose which country the VPN connects you to, and some web sites like Google search load in the default the language of the country where you appear to be located, which can make browsing a bit of a hassle. While many know that Safari has the feature on the Mac and for iOS too , but fewer people seem to know that modern versions of the popular Chrome web browser also supports Do Not Track request sending, which may interest some users and privacy buffs.
DNT is disabled in Chrome by default, but if you want to use the setting for the browser on your Mac or Windows PC you can enable it by going through Chrome Advanced Privacy settings as follows:. Any effect depends on whether a website responds to the request, and how the request is interpreted.
Many websites will still collect and use your browsing data — for example to improve security, to provide content, services, ads and recommendations on their websites, and to generate reporting statistics. As mentioned already, this is simply a request and not every web service honors the request at the moment, but many individuals like to use it as a method of adding some privacy to their general web habits.
Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox!
What Is "Do Not Track" and Does It Protect Your Privacy?
Enter your email address below:. Yes correct, a Do Not Track request gets sent with your browsing. For true privacy you have to use private browsing and start a new session every time. Dump caches and cookies once a day too. Name required. Mail will not be published required. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. Ed says:.
- What is 'Do Not Track' And How do I Use It??
- replace dvd drive mac mini!
- mac os 9 desktop printer utility.
- Apple to remove “Do Not Track” feature from Safari.
- Ranked: Security and privacy for the most popular web browsers ()?
- How to enable Chrome's Do Not Track option?
Related do not track chrome mac
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved