Security and privacy for the most popular web browsers in 2019
How secure is your online browsing activities? Are you confident that the web browser your using at the moment is safe for you to surf the internet? There are numerous web browsers available at your touch, which would be the right one to enable with reference to security and privacy standards?
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Listed below are 9 such web browsers that will give you all the information required to help you choose which browsing experience is better.
Desktop Browser Market share
List of the Browsers
1 . Microsoft Internet Explorer
Prior to the arrival of Chrome, and in spite of steadfast followings for Firefox and Safari, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer once had close syndication on program piece of the overall industry. Presently, the organization is effectively advising individuals not to utilize IE.
2012 was a huge turning point for, Internet Explorer. As the technology market was booming with unique browsers, Internet Explorer was losing its identity among its competitors. It experienced a 30% drop when compared to Google Chrome who was holding over 40% of the market share then.
Internet Explorer had a product in hand which was called ‘Internet Explorer 11’ but with the tough road ahead, they were doubtful of their success. That is when they came up with the idea of launching a campaign which would target millenials, IT professionals and developers as their target audience.
Partnering at the time Microsoft 8 was going to be launched, Internet Explorer gave back with a browser that was ‘built for touch’.
On 20th December 2018 dailymail.co.uk newsletter reported the below flaw of IE,
When Microsoft witnessed a major flaw coming in place, they immediately announced to their users to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer. The cause of the flaw was a memory corruption. Due to this corruption, the memory was being exploited by hackers, which means that unauthorised users could easily take down your PC by just typing in malicious codes.
Microsoft issued an emergency security patch to fix this matter. Due to this fla, Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11 along with the Window version stood at risk, a source from the firm stated
‘’Today, we released a security update for Internet Explorer after receiving a report from Google about a new vulnerability being used in targeted attacks’’, the firm explained.
However Microsoft hasn’t issued any statements claiming the list of users being affected by this flaw.
CVE-2018-8653 | Scripting Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability
A scripting engine which handles objects in the memory of the Internet Explorer has showcased a sense of risk to take place via a remote code execution. In simpler terms, this risk could possibly corrupt the memory where in any hacker could execute arbitrary code in the presence of the current user.
If this happens, hackers could get their hand in many things such as,
- Gain the same user rights as the current user
- Take control of an affected system
- Install programs/ view/ change/ delete data or create new accounts with full user rights.
- In a web-based attack, hackers could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this danger through Internet Explorer. Which means that it could convince a user to view the website ( for instance by pushing the action to be conducted via sending an email).
In order to avoid these dangers, a security update is highly preferred. With such a precaution, it could make changes in the way how a scripting engine should handle objects in the memory of Internet Explorer.
Like Chrome, Internet Explorer enables you to flip spring up blockers and send a “Don’t Track” solicitation to both the locales you visit and the outsiders whose content is included on those destinations. This solicitation, be that as it may, does not need to be respected, and it doesn’t ensure your traffic will stay private.
Rather, IE includes a “Following Protection” highlight that gives you a chance to buy in to following security records. The program will at that point keep recorded locales from dropping treats into your program. That being stated, IE is additionally shut source, so there’s no determining what different sorts of observation gadgets may be bundled into the program itself.
2. Microsoft Edge
Microsoft is quick to make Chromium-powered Edge it’s better than most of the browser for Windows clients. Available for those running Windows 10, this browser has an edge on its forerunner as far as page load speeds. However, how can it enhance Internet Explorer’s security and protection?
Microsoft Edge should have been a big deal for Microsoft. Instead, it’s an awkward half-baked experience that most Windows 10 users don’t bother with. Over four years after Windows 10 and Edge’s release, the browser still isn’t seeing widespread use.
Below are the known issues gathered
1. A Defective Library of Extensions
This below scenario was one of the most widely spread issues to be found in Microsoft Edge. When Microsoft released its 10th anniversary Windows update, they received the opportunity to utilize extensions.
Despite having the support for extensions then, Microsoft Edge couldn’t sustain its quality. Even by holding 71 extensions, 5 were considered to be ad blockers whilst others were strictly accessible by corporate users only and that too only if the company account was signed in. This pulls Microsoft Edge in a dark light since the extension you prefer wouldn’t be available(Google Chrome isn’t available either).
However when compared to the Chrome Web Store, Microsoft Edge fails in front of it. With 8500 extensions in 2010 and sustaining the growth of it for a year, Chrome today has double the numbers since then.
2. Cannot sync mobile applications
Microsoft Edge is trying its best to pull Chrome and Safari users towards pulling its identity in smartphones via Android and iOS apps. The reason for such a plan is because since Windows mobile applications are no longer available, this move could help them to draw more gazes. However, this is another failure because the new to sync Windows 10 to the mobile is essentially difficult.
At the moment, Microsoft Edge is readily available on Android and iOS apps in the form of a beta app which means that the no sync issue still remains intact. In simpler terms, you could send your tab information to your phone or to your desktop but that doesn’t mean that the sync option will always be on. Due to this flaw, installing Microsoft Edge is still doubtful amongst users.
When compared to Chrome (Android) or Safari (iOS) being installed, the process becomes very much easier. Your data gets synched immediately as you sign up alongside you can view the tabs you left opened from your previous usage. There is also no need to retype passwords due to its autofill feature. In the case of Microsoft Edge, you would have to start all over.
3. Additional Features
Even if you don’t use extensions or find it unnecessary to install Microsoft Edge on your mobile phones, it still lacks the basic primary features which its peers has,
The most obvious features required are still being added in Microsoft Edge with its fall creators update. The features include
- Full screen mode
- Showcasing websites to your Taskbar
- Editing URLs for bookmark
Talking about competitors, Internet Explorer 11 which was released in 2013 had all of these three features.
As I had mentioned, Microsoft Edge lacks the most basic features such as,
- You can’t middle-click the Back button to open the previous page in a new tab. There isn’t any option of muting individual tabs as well .
- When you click the info icon to search a website, it provides very little security information.
- Favorites and History slide-out panels don’t let you search or view the information when using the whole screen.
4. The Stigma of Being Internet Explorer’s Successor
The question arises, Why did Microsoft Edge have a hard run so far? Is you see the statistics, Microsoft Edge had replaced Internet Explorer as the default web browser in Windows. Sadly the last version of Internet Explorer (IE 11) didn’t go well with the users due to its constant appearing issues.
The problems which Internet Explorer gave such as the lack of modern web standards, security issues or the force of using it at work or at home, many users couldn’t wait to push Internet Explorer down away from them. Despite Microsoft Edge replacing this tool, it still had a huge problem amongst its users which was ‘slower updates’. When other browsers retained a minimum of monthly updates, Microsoft Edge would release its update when Windows 10 came up with a new version. Even the idea of a new thought process, emotional image of the logo and the offer of a default browser still couldn’t put Microsoft Edge in the good books.
An update makes things faster but in the case of Microsoft Edge, the updates would visit users only in a time frame of six months which is a very long period.
Opera began 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company. Opera was first released publicly with version 2.0 in 1996 which only ran on Microsoft Windows. Opera came for mobile platforms was started in 1998.
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Updates : This Chromium-based browser slacks a little in its updates, which gets updated every 4 to 6 weeks. Preferably, the updates ought to be executed every 3 to 4 weeks which limit introduction to vulnerabilities fixed by the most recent Chromium update.
Privacy: Likewise, with Chrome, Opera’s default window will store your information, and its private one wants—in spite of the fact that you can change this in your settings to upgrade in the default browser window.
Security : Opera boasts major security includes that make your surfing experience more secure. From its misrepresentation and malware insurance to blocking contents and additional items that are unbound, Opera gives a vigorous, secure browsing experience.
While Opera provides approaches to alter your protection and security, the quit technique for verifying and privatizing your surfing experience may not be appreciated by those more comfortable with browsers that provide it by default. In addition to this opera has a free built-in VPN. It’s a disturbing expansion to the browser, as it tracks bandwidth usage and logs utilization.
4. Google Chrome
Google’s browser is the most loved and popular one amongst the crowd. Due to its multiple extensions library and straight focus on the content, it is widely gaining a huge customer base for itself.
Google Chrome is a user friendly tool. All it includes is an extension space bar, bookmarking icons, tabs and an Omni Bar( URL bar).
Despite the above, Google Chrome still manages to group all the likeable features inside the browser which also includes the integration services with Google. This adds on a lot of pros such as:
- Sync your bookmarks, passwords, open tabs, and many others across your devices
- A multi-account support when necessary
- Built in PDF viewer and Google Translate
- Task Managers for instant help
- Paste and Go context menu option
Weeks between updates: Chrome offers variant updates consistently, at precisely every 42 days. This positions rather profoundly among browsers, and Chrome likewise discharges daily forms. Chromium and more current browsers still dependent on beta testing like Brave update more oftentimes, but just with incomplete forms.
Security : Google has dependably been known as a pioneer for browser security, for good reason. Notwithstanding driving its rivals in update recurrence and checking for harmful downloads, Google by default updates Chrome to the most recent update, making sure its users are continually getting a charge out of the most recent perusing highlights.
Chrome gloats the most astounding Browserscope security test scores, and Google itself has long encouraged hackers to find vulnerabilities in its own browser so the company can identify loopholes and improve the product.
Chrome 72 additionally presented another Web Authentication API that enables users to utilize security keys and Trusted Platform Modules as an authentication method. All stated, Google’s driving position in program security is undisputed.
Privacy: Here’s the place Chrome loses many focuses. While the program offers the typical spring up blocker and enables clients to send a “Don’t Track” demand alongside their program traffic (which, incidentally, does next to no to prevent locales from following you), one just can’t disregard that Chrome has a place with the organization that makes millions from knowing every little thing about you.
From naturally marking you in to the program to a fishy area history strategy, Google is by all accounts building up the propensity for taking off something disliked before reeling it back in another update. In spite of the fact that there are ways around this, Google is as yet utilizing Chrome to find out about you and afterward adapting that data.
Chrome likewise brags a broad library browser augmentations, which offer a scope of extra functionalities however at the expense of diminished protection. Moreover, since Chrome is a closed-source browser, nobody can break out it to perceive what (on the off chance that anything) is covered up in the code. All things considered, this is no issue on the off chance that you confide in Google’s position on security, and there is additionally a free of cost released variant of Chrome available.
Know Bug : If there’s one complaint people have about Chrome is that the browser eats up available memory.
5. Apple Safari
The name Safari might be unfamiliar to most Windows clients, however, Apple’s very own internet browser was really included on PC until 2012, after which it wound up accessible just on Apple gadgets. Also, despite the fact that Safari is the default program for Mac, it has to a great extent endured a similar destiny that came to pass for Internet Explorer on Windows as Chrome detonated in ubiquity.
Weeks between updates: Safari updates at extremely unpredictable interims, which is astounding given that the world’s biggest technological organization makes Safari. At the point when contrasted and its adversaries, Safari refreshes substantially more gradually.
While Mac users are ostensibly presented to less web vulnerabilities than PC clients, the lower recurrence is as yet disturbing. Safari’s latest update came two months after the last one, so if Apple keeps on updating its program all the more every now and again, we’ll consider adding more stars to this section.
Security: Safari doesn’t get upgraded frequently, yet it completes a nice job of ensuring you while you use it. Safari keeps suspicious destinations from stacking and cautions you to the potential threat. By running website pages in a sandbox, Safari likewise keeps malicious code on one page from influencing the whole browser or getting to your identity.
One of Safari’s most current highlight features is a password generator and administrator, intended to deter clients from over and over utilizing old, weak passwords. Safari stores these passwords, so relying upon whether you share your browser with your family, you might need to keep a different secret password manager of your browser.
Privacy: Safari’s most recent update has truly polished its security highlights, from disguising digital fingerprinting to another clever following assurance administration. The browser forestalls third-party destinations from leaving information in your cache by default, helping you remain mysterious on the web. Moreover, Safari offers a scope of valuable extensions to safeguard your anonymity.
Chromium is an open source web browser which is developed and taken care of by the ‘Chromium Project’ itself. It was brought into attention in 2008 and all its relevant parts are issued under multiple free software licenses such as (BSD License, MIT License, LGPL and many others.
Weeks between updates: Chromium’s steady builds update each 14-21 days, despite the fact that it has daily forms that turned out, well, each and every day. The huge disadvantage for Chromium here is that it doesn’t refresh the update automatically, leaving you helpless to bugs and vulnerabilities on the off chance that you don’t set an everyday caution to refresh your browser.
Security: The Chromium browser is much similar to an incomplete version of Chrome, however with less code required to coordinate outsider applications like Flash—decreasing the complexities that accompany more code. As it’s open-source, Chromium clients can check for themselves if vulnerabilities are fixed, which can’t be said of the more cleaned Chrome. As referenced above, you’ll need to check for the update manually, so you must be careful. Make sure to download from the source—there’s a ton of malware disguising under the Chromium name.
Privacy: Neither Chrome nor Chromium gives you the permission to disable WebRTC, which leaves users powerless against WebRTC spills—in spite of the fact that you can fix this issue with the WebRTC Leak Prevent add-on, or a VPN.
On the distinguished side, Chromium gives the user more security than Chrome, as none of the information is sent to Google. Assembles that utilization Chromium’s open-source code is additionally not exposed to the organization’s default information gathering.
Brave contains the essential factors which proves its successful growth such as:
- Data Safety
- Immediate data control such as save or delete
- Built in ad tracker and blocker
- Lastly, the most crucial, tackling phishing and malware scenarios
Brave is as yet working towards v1.0 for desktop browsers, so beta forms turn out more regularly than its version builds, yet despite everything it figures out how to beat the vast majority of the challenge around there. It is maybe expected, as the program is rapidly advancing to turn into a full formed browser when it comes to v1.0. 4
Brave’s security settings enable you to choose what information you need to erase at whatever point you close the application, including that from HTTPS Everywhere, blocking fingerprinting attempts, and keeping scripts from loading. Brave settings give a lot of approaches to modify your perusing knowledge to be as secure as you need it.
In December 2018, Brave completely transitioned to the Chromium codebase, making it simpler for users to persist their Chrome extensions—however should be wary of what data third-party extensions gather. Among the additional items upheld are password manager combinations for LastPass and 1Password
Privacy : Brave has a few highlights that keep your surfing action private, with a default promotion blocker that likewise prevents advertisements from following your online conduct, as well as a function to secure unencrypted sites with HTTPS when essential.
Despite Brave’s new Tor tab, it reduces the likeliness of its security. For instance, Tor has a customizable window which uses fingerprints to access your browsing activities which could put users at risk again.
Apart from this Brave is also diving into new experiments such as establishing its own coin called, Basic Attention Token (BAT). If this begins to take place then it could allow users to pay publishers for their content whilst remaining anonymous in the whole process. The payment would take place via small donations where in return you receive a percentage amount.
8. Mozilla Firefox
An ideal choice for browsing and intensive research, Mozilla Firefox is a well versed browser to be used in such cases. With an easy setup pace of less than a minute (in-house researches prove) you can easily scroll through multiple pages containing huge contents(news sites) within an average of 4.2 seconds. Along with its fast speed, it also plays a role in blocking phishing and malware downloads.
The browser is notable for its customizability and has for quite some time been a favored option in contrast to its brethren from Google, Microsoft, and Apple. The newest version, Quantum, has been advertised to be Firefox’s most protection situated update yet.
Weeks between updates:
When compared to Google Chrome, Mozilla conducts regular updates to safeguard its users privacy. Being a non profit venture ( doesn’t sell users data) it prioritises security always. This is evident in its recent addition when it included a password free login and eliminating ad blockers.
How does Mozilla Firefox ensure their superior performance?
The answer lies in their creation of lists which helps them take the right actions at the right time. Mozilla ensures that its time and performance management never walks away from them.For example, in their latest release, they showcased a time management strategy called ‘procrastinate on purpose’ where Mozilla will perform better tasks in the right time frame.
Another scenario where Mozilla falls likeable in the eyes of its users was last year when they launched specially designed privacy features one being ,Tracking protection in desktops. These updates are evident to prove that Mozilla is working towards its core values of safeguarding the modern users privacy online.
9. Tor Browser
Tor browser is a browser that lets your surf the general and the deep web. Popularly referred to as the ‘Onion Router’ , it was developed by U.S military and Navy for the purpose of protecting the U.S intelligence in 2002. Later on, this browser was released as an open source software to ensure high level privacy measures.
With Tor’s browser, it becomes easier to hide your location details or track your traffic activities. It doesn’t even leave any trace marks of your online activities. However, the way it states, it doesn’t come under as a fully secured browser. It has few issues and since it works on a volunteer basis, it leaves you unsure of what you do.
This ideally shouldn’t be an issue since the volunteers can only access previous and the next locations, leaving out on the exit node. Exit nodes removes any last layers of encryption on your data hence it cannot access your current location nor the IP addresses. But despite this pro, exit node falls back with a con since it can spy whenever you visit an unsecured HTTP websites.
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To remain anonymous in Tor browser, switch off the plugins and scripts so that you avoid information such as your IP addresses to be revealed. This move is better because just like other browsers, Tor too falls under the same risk.
Despite the above move, the law enforcement and ISPs can view who are the TOR users. To remain more secure, try connecting to a VPN before you start.
Want more privacy? Add a VPN to the mix!
As we’ve seen, every one of these browsers has its respective strengths and weaknesses—including potentially following your web traffic and pitching it to third parties.
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