Nobody can imagine everyday life without the Internet; it is required not only for fun and exciting weekend entertainment but also for work. The window to the world network is a browser.
What is a Browser
There are a lot of browsers on the market; some of them are preinstalled with PC or smartphone software (like Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge for Windows and Safari for Apple products). A browser is an application on a smartphone, and on a PC, it is an installed program on your disc. A browser typically has a search line at the top of the page, where the user inserts the requested website address (URL, usually starting from HTTP: or HTTPS:).
Then it displays the required content, but the search line in the middle of the website page is not a browser; it is already the website – searching engine. Google Chrome is the most usable browser having 65% of worldwide users. The browsers are different and have different settings and configurations.
User Safety in Browser
All advanced settings aim to better the security of their personal data and decrease digital fingerprint as a browser, the most accessible and most usable way for cybercrime. So, what is a digital fingerprint, and how does it influence the user’s safety?
Most websites use special scripts to collect users’ information: screen resolution, browser settings, time zone, location, installed software, hardware, preferable languages, and many more. All this data is like a coordinate on the map identifying the user out of billions with an accuracy of up to 99%. But, unfortunately, all this information is leaking through the browser and its settings without the user’s knowledge.
The collected information is not used for fun; it mainly provides you with targeted advertisements and personalizes your Internet experience to keep you online in the global network. Also, a digital fingerprint is used for dynamic pricing for airplane tickets and e-commerce, for example.
Unfortunately, there are no laws to reduce Internet tracking, so it is essential to be more educated in browser configurations and other exciting solutions.
All browsers have default settings established for average users, but if you want to have more sophisticated settings, you need to know more about them.
The Most Used Settings of the Browsers for Saving Surfing Are:
- Home page settings (always check for the safe web page)
- Proxy server settings (usage of proxies helps to use websites from restricted regions)
- Restriction for cookies save (additionally, you can block third-parties cookies)
- Blockage of pop-up windows and phishing websites
- Use of ad blocker
- Cache clean
- Unable of autofill (dangerous features that may lead to loss of sensitive information), and it is better not to save website passwords
- Prevention from cross-site tracking
- Auto Clearance of browsing history after exit.
Additionally, many unique extensions add security for each browser, such as Cookie Autodelete, DuckDuckGo, AdBlockPlus, etc.
An additional option is to turn on incognito mode in each browser; it does not protect the user from malware, it will not hide you from the internet provider, and your browsing history will still be saved. For some browsers, the incognito mode automatically turns on some settings described (such as deletion of cookies and erasing the browser history) earlier. Still, it does not work if the user logs into the account. So, it does not actually help.
To route traffic to remote server VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help. Your location will be changed for all websites, but a VPN provider still has information about the user, so it is crucial to find a trustable provider. VPN also does not protect from pop-up advertisements, clean cookies, and generally not about anonymity and safety. If the most important thing for you is to hide location and access the website from banned locations, use VPN. It is essential to change your language and time zone to comply with the chosen VPN fully. The other things that you cannot change are your hardware with a not proper country of origin, which may help the website correctly identify you. Of course, not all websites do such research, so VPN is a good solution in straightforward cases.
Customizing browser settings, you make the browser upon your needs. The most popular request, of course, is not the targeting advertising that appears based on your browsing history but general privacy on the Internet.
Browsers for Advanced Users
As you understand, even using all advanced settings and private or incognito mode and VPN does not guarantee you complete safety. Better solutions are antidetect browsers like Tor, GoLogin, Avast Secure Browser, or other particular browsers. Antidetect browsers can be customized up to 50 parameters for several separate profiles, helping to mask all critical data that sites can see.
Masked parameters will make the user a real user impossible for tracking. For example, Tor Browser has a vast chain of servers around the globe and changes the user location to the approximate location, cleaning the cookies and last sessions. Also, the Tor browser encrypts the traffic when it redirects it, increasing safety.
Although digital fingerprinting is a severe problem, the average user can protect himself by changing browser configurations to save more and turning on incognito mode.
The user should remember that if you are okay with your location, do not need to hide your identity, do not need to access restricted websites, fine with advertising, then you probably do not need such sophisticated features. Just read all pop-up windows carefully, always open only HTTPS websites, do not open emails from unknown people, and do not open unclear links.