In 2014, Yahoo was hacked. This has affected at least 500 million user accounts. This kind of data breach is concerning because we have so much personal information in our browsers. Now, in 2022, what are the best secure browsers for Android to prevent this from happening again?
Before we discuss in detail the browsers that will give us a secure browsing experience, let’s discuss a few things first. Let’s start with the difference between security and privacy.
Table of Contents
- Security vs Privacy
- Definition of Terms
- Browser Fingerprinting
- Third-Party Cookies
- Best Secure Browsers for Android
- Microsoft Edge
- Key Takeaway
Security vs Privacy
Before we start our discussion on what are the best secure browsers for Android, we need to first understand the difference between secure and private browsers.
Not a lot of users know the difference between the two. They usually get mentioned often when talking about browsers since they seem to be a big deal in the tech world. But are they really that important? And can’t they be used interchangeably?
When we talk about security, this is how your browser protects you from malware or targeted attacks.
If a hacker tries to access your personal data or cookies, will the browser be able to keep it safe? Will the browser be able to inform you if the website you want to visit has potential malware?
Now, when we talk about privacy, this is how a browser can be able to limit the information you leave behind while browsing. This means that the browser will take multiple measures to make sure that other people won’t be able o track you online.
If you’re browsing, will your browser sell your information to the government or a tech company? Will they sell your information so ads can better target you?
It’s important to get a browser that can do both as these 2 features keep you safe while you’re online.
Definition of Terms
In discussing the best secure browsers for Android, you’ll be running into a few very technical words. To help
Chromium was principally developed and maintained by Google. It’s an open-source web browser project. This means that anyone can take this web project and tweak it to their preference. This Chromium codebase is excellently made and is widely used by a lot of other browsers in the market.
This is a specific tracking process that happens in browsers. While you’re browsing, the website you visit collects data about you and your device. This is done not only by websites but also by third parties.
They do this for a lot of reasons but all of them focus on identifying you based on your computer and your browsing habits. This lets them know who you are when you revisit the website. It also lets them know if you’re a new user who is logging into the website. They can then know how to accommodate you or which ads to show you.
These are cookies that are created by domains that are not the websites that you’re visiting. It’s a different domain from the domain of the website you’re in.
These cookies are usually used for advertising purposes and they are placed on a website by adding scripts or tags. Any website that loads the third-party server’s code will have these third-party cookies.
Best Secure Browsers for Android
We will be discussing these browsers in detail as to what features they have that keep our browsing secure.
Brave is one of the best secure browsers for Android because of how secure it is by default. Unlike other browsers that need to be configured for security, Brave is automatically secure once you start using it. It helps users who are not that well versed in tech to browse the web safely.
For example, by default, brave blocks tracking, ads, and other resources. This limits all the eerily-specific ads from following you. It also protects you from browser-fingerprinting-based tracking by default. This is done by randomizing your fingerprint, therefore, making it harder to track you online.
When it comes to cookies, Brave makes sure to block third-party cookies and third-party storage by default. This will make sure that the data you leave behind while browsing is limited.
Brave is also built on top of the open-source Chromium project. This means that it’s built on top of an already excellent foundation. It has been tweaked to prioritize privacy and security.
When it comes to security, Firefox has lots of features to make sure that your browsing experience is safe. But it’s important to note that some of these must be configured in the settings to make sure that they’re turned on.
For example, Firefox makes sure to visually show you if a website is safe or not. Firefox has a security indicator to the left of the web address in the address bar. When you see the green lock, that means that the website is using HTTPS and is secured. If you see a grey world icon, then the website is not using a secure connection.
Firefox also offers you an option to block third-party cookies. All you have to do is configure them in the settings and you’ll be able to reduce the data you leave behind.
Containers are available to keep your browsing segregated. Firefox helps you stay organized through Containers. It’s used to separate identities for your work websites and your personal interests. It will then help keep the trackers confined to one area.
For example, Firefox has a Facebook Container. This is for users who are worried that Facebook is tracking their browsing so the ads on Facebook feel so personalized. This container makes it hard for Facebook to use third-party cookies to track your activity.
Finally, Firefox has Firefox Monitor. It’s a tool that keeps watching on your account and notifies you if there are any suspicious activities.
Tor Browser keeps you safe by isolating the websites you visit. This will then make it harder for third-party trackers and ads to track your browsing. Once you’re done browsing, all cookies and browsing history are automatically cleared.
Another layer of security to keep your browsing secure is by preventing anyone else from seeing the website you visit. If someone tries to monitor your browsing habits, all they’ll be able to see is that you’re using Tor and nothing else.
Tor also makes sure that you’re safe from fingerprinting. To do this, Tor makes all users look the same, therefore, making it hard to identify you, your browsing history, and device information.
Finally, Tor makes sure that your traffic goes through multi-layer encryption. It’s relayed and encrypted 3 times as it passes over the Tor network.
Vivaldi is another browser that is Chromium-based. This means that it has a great foundation when it comes to its coding.
Vivaldi functions just like any browser. But if you’re looking to secure your data while browsing, you’ll need to switch to a Private Window.
When you’re in a Private Window, all of the cookies and temporary files will not be stored. All of the private windows share the same session while they are open. To delete the data you’ve accumulated while browsing, you need to close all of the private windows.
To help segregate your cookies or cache, Vivaldi makes sure to store it elsewhere. This helps keep your regular browsing free from the cookies of your private browsing.
To increase your security, Vivaldi blocks third-party cookies by default in Private Windows. If you’re interested in removing this feature, it’s available in the Settings. Aside from that, Vivaldi also doesn’t record your History in Private Windows.
Epic is also a browser that is powered by Chromium. This lets you know that it was founded on quality coding. It’s a browser that is dedicated to protecting your privacy and keeping you secure while you browse.
Despite being powered by Chromium, Epic removes all Google services from Chromium by default. As a result, your browsing data doesn’t have to go through Google’s servers. This makes your browsing more private and secure.
To help secure your data, Epic’s proxy encrypts it, making it hard for people monitoring your browsing behavior to track you. Each tab on this proxy also gets a separate process to maximize security.
When it comes to third-party cookies, Epic makes sure to always block these cookies and send a do-not-track-me signal. It also makes sure not to collect any data from your browsing or search queries. The only data it collects are basic data tallies like bandwidth passing through the servers or the number of searches performed in a day.
Epic is always in private browsing or incognito mode. This means that after you close Epic, your browsing data will always be deleted.
According to Microsoft, this browser is more secure compared to Google Chrome.
An independent study was conducted by CyberRatings.org to compare Microsoft Defender SmartScreen and Google Chrome’s Safe Browsing. It was found that Microsoft Defender SmartScreen was able to block more phishing and malware attempts than its competitor.
Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a feature that is built into Microsoft Edge. It’s designed to help protect you from websites that are fraudulent and try to steal your personal information.
Microsoft Edge is also the only browser on Windows 10 that has hardware isolation capabilities. Whenever you’re faced with an untrusted site, Microsoft Defender Application Guard runs it through an isolated “container.”
This is isolated from your local device and internal network. It’s then run inside this container so if an attack happens, it’s contained and sandboxed from the rest of the corporate network.
The internet can be a dangerous place if you don’t know how to protect yourself. Hackers are always looking for unsuspecting victims who are browsing the internet unprotected.
This can be very dangerous because we are always leaving different kinds of data on the internet. When we’re making transactions, we are even disclosing personal information online like our address, credit card information, and lots more. If this kind of information falls into the wrong hands, they can use it to make purchases on our behalf.
This is why it’s important to always protect yourself while you’re browsing. You can do so by using the best secure browsers for Android. The browsers that we’ve covered are all very efficient in making sure your browsing is secure.
What are other secure browsers that you know of? Comment them down below so we can cover them in the next article!