Nowadays, cybercriminals are finding more innovative ways to get around security protocols and steal your personal information. As the frequency and scale of data exploits and attacks increase year after year, it’s hard to feel secure online.
Over time, a popular browser feature emerged — private browsing mode — to address this perceived lack of security. However, despite the name, this feature isn’t really all that private. Private browsing mode will prevent your browsing history and cookies from being saved.
Plus, any ads you see won’t be tracking you. But in terms of actual online privacy, that's as far as private browsing mode goes.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), network administrator, employer or school, and any cyber criminal who has access to your device or network can still track what you’re doing.
While this is certainly preferable to unsecured browsing, private browsing mode really only protects you from anyone who has physical access to your device.
You’re still vulnerable to other kinds of online surveillance, which is often the most nefarious. For private browsing that’s actually private, people can’t just rely on their browser’s built-in private modes: they need something more.
Here are three reasons why you need a private browser, regardless of what you’re doing online, and where to get one.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is tracking every move you make online, even when you’re in “incognito” or “private browsing” mode. To curb ISP spying, you need more than private browsing mode. A private browser with built-in VPN encrypts all the data going in and out by creating a tunnel between your device and the internet.
But there’s another crack through which your ISP can spy on you - your DNS requests, which are usually revealed to your ISP provider by default. Switching to a secure DNS alternative adds a layer of encryption over your DNS requests, keeping your ISP from seeing which websites you visit.
Public Wi-Fi — also known as “hotspots” — are never secure, even if they’re password protected. Although it’s convenient to connect at airports, cafes, hotels, and the like, public Wi-Fi is a veritable treasure trove for cyber-criminals. They can either infect the network with malware, intercept your specific data stream, or grab a whole bunch of data and then sort through it for valuable pieces later.
The best way to protect yourself on a public network is to use a VPN. By using a private browser with VPN, like Avast Secure Browser, everything you do while connected to the internet is protected from third-parties who might be attempting to track your movements on the web.
Ever search for something only to have it show up later as an ad on Facebook or Instagram? It’s a little creepy. This happens because advertisers track you via advertisements or social media widgets. Don’t have social media? They can still track you even when you’re not signed up, so not being a member won’t protect your privacy.
Even if you don’t have anything to hide, you probably don’t like the idea of all this information being collected, stored, and sold. And rightly so. It’s a good idea to take a minute and consider how much information advertisers have on you and what you want to do about it.
A good place to start is switching to a browser with ad-blocking software. Not only do ad blockers stop those intrusive ads from following you around the internet, they also speed up your browsing by improving website loading time.
There are a few private browsers to choose from, but many offer little more than a private browsing mode and a diluted ad blocker packaged into a single browser. While this is better than nothing, it still leaves you open to online privacy threats.
Any secure browser that’s truly on board with protecting your privacy should keep your information safe and private by default. It should feature a built-in privacy and security suite, complete with automatic encryption, ad blocking, anti-phishing, and anti-tracking - and it should automate these processes so there’s no need to set it all up yourself. This is no easy task. It requires a completely different philosophy and approach to building a browser, but we believe it's the best way to offer a complete solution that you actually enjoy using.
If you’re concerned about your online privacy (hopefully you are, as you came this far!), it’s time to switch to a browser that has your back.
Avast Secure Browser, our offering to the private browsing landscape, streamlines the browsing features you love with the privacy and security tools you need into one fast and convenient solution.
Start using Avast Secure Browser today, completely free, and enjoy the peace of mind of a properly secure and private browser.