💻-🖥️ Setup a Secure Browser

Preparation 🧑 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🧑🧑 🆓 2021-06-15

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Browsers are the applications by which we access the internet. By using a browser which excels in both security and privacy, our online activity and data are protected from third-party monitoring and theft. Brave or Firefox are two of the best performing browsers in these aspects, in addition to having great usability. That is why we recommend using either of them, and Removing Google Chrome (which collects your data), Disabling Microsoft Edge (trailing in security and features) and avoiding Apple Safari (trailing in security features).


What you should prepare

Choose which browser you will setup to be secure - Firefox and Brave. Read our guide to 💻-🖥️-📱 Choose Firefox or Brave to help make that decision.

What you should do

1. Install the browser

Follow the "Install the browser on a computer" instructions at 💻-🖥️-📱 Install Brave or Firefox.

Once you've installed the browser, please load this guide in your new browser! That way you can just click on the links in the sections below!

2. Private and Secure DNS

Protect your site visits from being monitored by following the instructions to 💻-🖥️ Setup a Private DNS in your Browser.

3. Don't Record Sensitive Browsing History

If your site visits are sensitive... best not to keep a record of it! Consider your options to 💻/🖥️/📱 Prevent your Browsing History From Being Stored.

4. Shields up!

Both Browsers come with different levels of protection against tracking and undesirable content. Follow the instructions to 💻-🖥️-📱 Block Trackers in Browsers.

5. Security Extensions

Though the default security and blocking functionality is already the best available on the market, you can 💻-🖥️-📱 Enhance Browsers with Security Extensions. Follow those instructions if you want to have even stronger protections than what we have introduced so far (including ad blocking on Firefox).

6. Optional: Replace Google Search with Brave Search

If you don't want to 🌐 Destroy Google Activity History, we suggest that you use a private browser which doesn't record your searches and 💻-🖥️-📱 Replace Google Search with Brave.

7. Optional: Turn off Social Media & Telemetry

Social Media Blocking in Brave

Depending on who you need to hide your internet activity from, it could be wise to also block Social Media companies from tracking you across the internet. They do this by providing login buttons and embedded content which can 'see' who you are and report back to the Social Media companies that you are visiting these pages. If this is problematic for your case:

  1. Go to brave://settings/socialBlocking
  2. Toggle all the Social Media trackers to "off" that you wish to hide your (off-site) activity from.
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Telemetry in Firefox

Mozilla collects data about its users for quality assurance and testing purposes - but if you are trying to minimise that number of places that keep records of your online activity, then you should also turn off Firefox's telemetry:

  1. Go the about:telemetry
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  2. Check whether the "Telemetry is collecting release data and upload is" disabled
  3. If it is enabled, click on "enabled" and turn all the checkboxes under "Firefox Data Collection and Use" off
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8. Remove or disable alternative browsers

The other popular browsers aren't bad, but if you've come this far you will know how much additional configuration it takes to actually secure your browser! On the other browsers these steps would have taken even longer or have lead to worse results. So to avoid the chance of using other browsers, accidentally or out of habit, we recommend that you remove them from your computers:

If you need a browser to fall back on, we recommend setting up Brave if you've setup Firefox, and the other way around. If you follow this guide for your secondary browser as well, you'll be secured regardless of what your use!

9. Set as your Default Browser

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the "Start" button, and then type "Default apps".
  2. In the search results, select "Default apps".
  3. Under "Web browser", select the browser currently listed, and then select "Brave" or "Firefox".

10. Install your secure browser on your phone

If you haven't done so yet, consider to 📱 Setup a Secure Browser on your phone to receive the same benefits and protection while browsing there. The steps are very similar, so it'll be much faster the second time around!

Sources : Microsoft