After Firefox's recent improvements - namely the introduction of multi-threading allowing the use of multiple processes, even though their number is currently limited to 4 - it is no surprise to see the Mozilla Foundation is trying to market the new, faster version of its browser.
The latest Firefox ad campaign effort includes a giant billboard featuring the words "Big Browser is watching", a clear reference to George Orwell's dystopia, 1984. The twist here is that the phrase 'big brother' has been replaced by 'big browser', written in the usual colors of Google : red, blue, yellow and green.
A photo of this billboard went viral on Reddit's PCMR community, with the title 'shots fired'. Indeed, this is a attempt to raise awareness about the built-in data collection of Google Chrome.
Mozilla claim they are the only independent browser, the only browser that has your back. While they are other privacy-centric browsers, it is true most browsers are not made by non-profits like Firefox is:
- Edge includes Cortana, and Microsoft collects data about your internet usage. Fortunately, you can switch off several telemetry settings.
- Chrome belongs to Google, the online advertising champion. Google can see 70% of credit card transactions in the US.
- Opera is now part of a Chinese conglomerate, and privacy is not exactly Qihoo 360's prime directive.
However, if you don't like Firefox, there are still other solutions for a more private browser that doesn't sell your browsing habits to the highest bidder:
- Waterfox is a 64-bit fork of Firefox engineered for performance, removing addons that may seems unnecessary such as the read-it-later app Pocket and all telemetry.
- Vivaldi is an open-source project that aims to create a customizable browser that you can adapt to your unique needs.
- Brave aims to solve the issue of malvertising by replacing bad ads by more ethical ones.
- Tor Browser, the Firefox-based browser with the built-in access to The Onion Router.
Your web browser is your window to the web, but another important aspect of your experience is the search engine you use. It has been known for years that Google shapes your search results according to your profile with its filter bubble. But several search engines refuse to bubble you:
- DuckDuckGo does not collect personal information, and includes a clever !bang system.
- StartPage brings you search results, without the tracking. They run your searches through a proxy.
- Disconnect Search, the current default search engine in Tor Browser.
VPN and tunnels
You may say : 'My ISP can sell my internet history without my permission!' This is where VPN services come into play.
A way to protect your browsing history from prying eyes is using a commercial VPN service that you trust, or a custom one you've deployed on a server.
Basically, a VPN encrypts your web traffic between your device and a remote server, preventing eavesdropping by your ISP.
If you don't trust VPN services, you can create your own VPN server with a leased server, either virtual or dedicated. But can you trust your hosting provider?
Moreover, if you are the only person using that server, you will not benefit from the noise generated by other users anymore, and your actions may be more easily linked to your profile.
What do you think about this never-ending tracking? Would you be ready to switch browsers to protect your privacy?
Source : Reddit