Your browser is your first line of defense against malicious software, privacy-invasive trackers, annoying ads, and many other cyber threats.
But how can you be sure that your browser is waiting for you? Here are five free tools you can use to test your security.
Privacy Analyzer runs a variety of tests to measure your browser’s security. Press to launch it Start the test Button. Within seconds, you’ll get five detailed reports on what the website you’ve visited knows about you.
If you’re on mobile or using a laptop, Privacy Analyzer shows that the sites you visit frequently collect information about your operating system, screen resolution, and battery levels.
The tool checks if your browser is auto-fill enabled, if it discloses information about the accounts you’re logged in, checks its capabilities and settings, and participates in fingerprint analysis.
Qualys has been a household name in the cloud security space for over two decades. Its browser checker is free and easy to use, but gives you a good idea of how secure your software is.
Qualys BrowserCheck checks the browser for any vulnerabilities and other security issues and notifies the user to uninstall plugins, install updates, and more.
For more in-depth analysis, you can install the BrowserCheck plugin, which is also free. In addition, it will perform automatic checks from time to time, which will definitely help to identify any anomalies if they appear.
Created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit advocacy group, Cover Your Tracks is a powerful tool that checks if your browser is protecting you from being tracked.
To start the analysis, click Try your browser button and activate Try with a real tracking company Function. In less than a minute, the tool will show if your browser is blocking tracking ads, invisible tracking, and fingerprints.
After completing the tests, Cover Your Tracks will display a chart and detailed report detailing how and why you are being tracked by advertisers and data brokers. Also, it shows a brief guide on how to read and interpret the report.
As the name suggests, AmIUnique determines whether your browser has left a unique fingerprint online and thus makes it easier for advertisers to target you. It’s more detailed (and more technical) than covering your tracks.
The tool will scan any extensions and plugins you’ve installed, and make sure they don’t interfere with your browser’s security or violate your privacy in any way.
Like Qualys BrowserCheck, AmIUnique has its own browser extension. It allows the user to view their fingerprint history and make adjustments based on that. The timeline feature is especially useful because it allows you to check if and how your fingerprint has changed over time.
Cloudflare’s Browsing Experience Security Checker is perhaps the most unique tool of the bunch, as it focuses on testing Domain Name System (DNS) queries.
After pressing the orange Check my browser button, Cloudflare’s tool verifies that you are using DNS resolution, and checks that your browser can be attacked.
For more detailed explanation, you can click. know more button (located below each result) and find out if there are steps you can take to increase your security and privacy.
What to do if your browser fails these tests
If your browser passes the above tests, it is as secure as the software. However, if some or most of them fail, you should replace them with a reliable alternative. If the one you’re currently using doesn’t meet these criteria, here are three safe and private browsers to consider.
Brave in 2010 It was released in 2019, but has established itself as a secure alternative to Chrome and other major browsers, mostly because it does everything on its own.
Brave automatically blocks ads and trackers, obscures your online footprint, converts all websites to HTTPS, blocks scripts, and has built-in access to the Tor network.
Brave is based on Chromium, which means you can install any extension available in the Chrome Web Store. Plus, it’s super fast and intuitive, so you don’t have to compromise on performance to boost your security.
Firefox was launched more than 20 years ago, but it remains one of the most popular web browsers among technology enthusiasts, primarily for its security and privacy features.
Firefox is fast, open source, receives regular security updates, is chock-full of useful extensions and add-ons, and can sync across multiple devices.
Unlike many other browsers, Firefox is highly customizable. This can make a real difference when it comes to security and privacy, as it’s possible to manage tracking and cookie permissions, disable or enable certain updates, control downloads, and more.
3. Tor browser
Tor (The Onion Router) is an open source technology that allows users to browse the Internet privately by routing traffic through an overlay network.
The best way to connect to this network is through the Tor browser, which is the most secure and most private browser today, because it is built to hide all the information that helps identify you online.
This comes at a cost, at least in terms of performance: Tor is much slower than other browsers. However, it is still an important privacy tool that you should have installed on your devices.
Upgrade your browser security to protect yourself.
Brave, Firefox, and Tor may be more secure than other browsers, but none of them are perfect. The good news is, you can strengthen the security of any browser by adjusting settings, installing and updating privacy-focused extensions.
But no matter how secure a browser is, you’re at risk if you don’t follow basic security protocols. This includes installing reliable anti-malware software, staying away from websites, using strong passwords, and checking every suspicious link before following it.
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