Change your browser privacy settings on Chrome, Firefox, and more, you could be exposed to hackers for all you know

Change your browser privacy settings on Chrome, Firefox, and more–You could be exposed to hackers for all you know

If you use browsers on a regular basis, you might want to check out your privacy settings first.

Security and privacy is of the utmost concern amongst browser-makers right now. Now, more than ever, users do not only want to be protected physically, but also virtually.

Setting your browser’s security is the first step to protecting yourself virtually. However, it may not go as far as you would want in preventing and fighting against pervasive ad industry trackers on the web.

For all you know, you could be exposed to hackers. Experts are now advising users to change their browsers’ privacy settings now.

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Change your browser’s privacy settings now!

Nothing is more frustrating than pervasive ads. There is never a time when you open your favorite browsers and you didn’t see perfectly targeted ads.

Many big Silicon Valley companies have aimed to create richly detailed user profiles to become targets of more accurate, clickable, and profitable ads.

Related: Facebook wants to access WhatsApp encrypted messages for targeted ads, WhatsApp refuses

The bad thing is, browser-makers also will be updating features that will worsen security and make more irritating to use.

Thankfully, there are a few proven tweaks to protect yourself against hackers. All you need to do is to change your browser‘s privacy settings.

And here’s how you can boost your privacy settings to outsmart any online criminals.

Google Chrome

Change Chrome's privacy settings
Change Chrome’s privacy settings

Although Chrome is the most popular browser, it’s not the most private when used straight out of the box. But, Chrome’s flexible and open-source root have allowed developers to release a plethora of privacy-focused extensions to fight off trackers.

Change your privacy settings and follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to Chrome Web Store
Step 2: Click Extensions
Step 3: Type the Extension you are looking for in the search bar
Step 4: Then, click Add to Chrome
Step 5: Click Add extension (this brings the extension into your browser)

See below the list of extensions to get you started:

  • Cookie Autodelete
  • uBlock Origin
  • Privacy Badger
  • HTTPS Everywhere

Unfortunately, if you are on Android, extensions do not work. In this case, you will have to switch browsers altogether. DuckDuckGo’s app is the go-to app for users who do not want to be tracked down. Plus, it is also safe and secure.

Microsoft Edge

Change Edge's privacy settings
Change Edge’s privacy settings

The best about Microsoft’s Edge is that it includes some simplified privacy and tracking blocking options on its Tracker prevention screen. Here’s how to change Edge privacy settings:

Step 1: On the browser, select the three-dot menu icon
Step 2: Select Settings
Step 3: Click on Privacy and services

From the last step, you will be offered three options to choose from: Basic, Balanced, and Strict.

By default, Edge uses the Balanced settings. This blocks trackers from sites that you have not visited, while being lenient enough to some sites to avoid loading problems that you may experience with tighter security.

On the other hand, the Strict setting may interfere with how other sites may behave, but, it will block the most number of trackers. Lastly, the Basic setting will still block trackers that are used for crypto-mining and fingerprinting.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox privacy settings
Firefox privacy settings

Mind you, Firefox’s default privacy settings are more secured than those of Chrome and Edge. Plus, the browser has even more privacy options too.

Follow these steps to change your privacy settings:

Step 1: Click the three-dot menu
Step 2: Select Preferences
Step 3: Click on Privacy & Security
Step 4: Choose between Standard, Strict, and Custom

First, the Standard setting is the default setting. This blocks trackers in private windows, third-party tracking cookies, and crypto miners. Second, the Strict setting may be able to break a few websites, blocks all sites blocked on Standard more as well, and throws in fingerprints and trackers too.

Lastly, the Custom setting is worth looking at for users who want to fine-tune how trackers are being blocked. Then, if you want to apply the tracking setting you just selected, just click the Reload All Tabs button.

Brave browser

Brave browser privacy settings
Brave browser privacy settings

By default, Brave browser’s settings is set to block all ads, trackers, third-party cookies and fingerprinters –– all these while still delivering blazing speed. Also, the browser has a built-in Tor private browsing mode and a heavy-duty tracker blocking option. And iOS users get an added built-in VPN feature.

This is how to change Brave’s privacy settings:

Step 1: Go to Brave’s main menu
Step 2: Select Preferences to get to the Settings
Step 3: Click on select Privacy and security.
Step 4: Select Advanced (this will display the options of which kinds of trackers to block)

When you scroll down, you will be able to block login buttons and embedded content from different social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn.

If you want to further fine-tune your settings, head over to Additional Settings then select Privacy and security.

Always protect your browsing experience…

Protecting your browsing experience does not have to include taking drastic measures. With just a few minor tweaks on your settings, you could be good to go. It’s important that you be vigilant in whatever you do online.

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