These days, many of us spend a huge amount of time online browsing the worldwide web.
This could be for business or personal use and we go onto a wide range of websites on a typical day. Given the amount of time we spend browsing on a computer or mobile device, online privacy has become a prime consideration for many people.
This is why more and more consumers are becoming interested in finding the best browser for privacy. In addition, many take steps such as hiding their IP address to stop companies and organizations from tracking their online activities.
In this guide, we'll discuss private browsing and why it is so important. First, we'll suggest our top picks for Internet browsers devoted to keeping your information private and secure. We'll then demonstrate how you can set up private browsing across a number of different common web browsers. Lastly, we'll explain the limitations of private browsing.
The Best Internet Browsers for Privacy - In This Guide
What is Private Browsing?
You leave a digital footprint every time you are online. The websites you visit, the searches you conduct through Google, and even the games you play form the backbone of your online persona. If you want to keep this away from the eyes of nosy roommates or protect your data when using public computers, private browsing can help you achieve this.
Private browsing mode is a feature found on most web browsers you use like Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox. How it works is when you enable the feature, it won't keep track of items like your temporary internet file(s), cookies, and form data.
What are Cookies?
Cookies are text files containing your user ID and the site you visited. How it works is when you visit a website for the first time, it downloads a cookie onto your browser. Each time you visit the website thereafter your browser recognizes you've been to the site before.
Companies love cookies because they can use them to market services to you based on your browsing behaviors. To demonstrate, say you were shopping at Amazon for a watch. You declined the purchase but then after visiting another site, you see that same watch advertised.
Related: Learn more about cookies and how to clear them.
What is Form Data?
Form data is inputs made by you when online. A great example is you are wanting to make a cherry pie and need a recipe. When you conduct a search on Google, your web browser will save this data. In the future, if you go to the search bar on Google, you can see the items you researched in the past. This is also called a cache, which is a part of your browser history that can be used by Google and other companies. Although they are indeed using your information, it isn't always for nefarious purposes. Having data stored in your cache allows for web pages and search results to load faster.
Related: Learn how to clear your cache.