One-half of our life (or even more now) is happening inside the browser. With the expansion of web and cloud-based services - be it for fun and leisure, or for business - using the right browser has become extremely important. Have you ever wondered how much personal data your browser collects? The fastest answer is - a lot.
Modern browsers can collect all kinds of information about you - from your local physical address, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), even your place of work or employer's company name when you access the internet from your workplace. They are capable of knowing your default language, your cookie ID, your internet speed, plugins and even fonts that you installed on your PC. Quite a lot of information, isn't it?
To combat this overreach into your digital privacy, the team behind Avast Secure Browser built a free browser privacy test tool to help you determine what data your browser leaves behind as you navigate the internet. Available on Safer.com, this comprehensive web app tests your browser against several privacy threats providing easy-to-understand explanations and solutions to help you safeguard your digital identity.
Just how private is private browsing?
When most people talk about “private browsing,” they’re usually referring to the “private” or “incognito” function on one of the major browsers. Despite the name, “private” browsing isn’t really all that private. It’s not completely misleading, however - there’s some degree of privacy. When you use private browsing on one of the big browsers, it’s not recording your history as you browse. It’s also not tracking you for ad purposes.
That's great for simple situations like trying to keep your info private on a computer you share with your family, or if you're just sick of social media sites like Facebook tracking you for advertising purposes. But that’s really the only form of privacy “private” browsing gives you. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can and does still track what you’re doing. Any cyber criminals who have gained access to your device or network can, too. And, of course, there’s always government and corporate spies to think about.
Fortunately, with Avast Secure Browser you have additional privacy and security tools such as Anti-Tracking, Anti-Phishing, and Adblock which are turned on automatically in Private Mode. Making sure you stay protected while browsing online.
Avast Secure Browser: Getting smart about internet browsing
Avast - the international cybersecurity software company behind the incredibly popular Avast Antivirus software - has the solution for all of your secure browsing needs. Avast Secure Browser incorporates the company’s three decades of experience into a single seamless browsing experience. By combining all the browsing features you want and all the privacy and security tools you need, you can start browsing securely whether on your computer or mobile device.
Avast Secure Browser offers a variety of different security and privacy features all found in one place, the Security & Privacy Center, which you can open by clicking on the green shield icon:
- Adblock: Although ads are necessary to fund most websites, no one enjoys a flood of giant, flashing ads that cover up content and hurt the eyes. In addition to being unpleasant to look at, ads can consume your mobile data, slow down your browser, and even lead to pages crashing. Avast’s Adblock is built directly into the browser, specifically designed to prevent pages from breaking, and works like a charm.
- Anti-Fingerprinting: While cookies and an IP address can be used to identify you, many companies have come up with new ways to track users directly through their browsers called fingerprinting. This digital fingerprinting can provide all sorts of information, like your timezone, the language settings on your device, and even what sort of device you’re using. If you’ve ever seen a warning pop up on a website that included your device type or browser, it was likely the result of digital fingerprinting. Avast Secure Browser employs a number of methods to help you blend in with the crowd and avoid fingerprinting.
- Anti-Phishing: Scripts, iframes, trackers, and more can all infect your computer with viruses, spyware, and ransomware. What’s worse, this all happens in the background while you think you’re enjoying a seemingly safe website. Backed by Avast’s threat intelligence network and powered by AI, Avast Secure Browser protects you from phishing and malware.
- Anti-Tracking: Since your digital data is incredibly valuable, most companies have a vested interest in tracking your online activity. But they’re not alone. This treasure trove of data also attracts cyber criminals looking to abuse and exploit such information. Avast Secure Browser protects you from both by blocking external requests from third-party platforms, as well as removing web bugs and tracking scripts.
- Bank Mode: We all want a little extra security when money is involved, especially with more banks and retailers suffering data breaches. With Bank Mode, Avast Secure Browser creates an isolated desktop session, protecting your financial information from keyloggers and prying eyes.
- Extension Guard: While browser extensions can be helpful and powerful tools, they can also be a major security weakness when created by untrustworthy or malicious sources. Avast Secure Browser’s Extension Guard protects you by allowing only safe and trusted extensions to be installed.
- Hack Check: You’re probably already monitoring your credit report for identity theft and fraud, but with Avast you’re protected from digital identity theft. If your information is involved in a data breach, Avast Secure Browser will let you know exactly which login credentials have been compromised.
- Password Manager: Nearly every website wants you to create an account and you’re supposed to use a strong, unique password each time. Keeping track of all those passwords challenges even the best of memories. Avast Secure Browser allows you to install any password extension from Avast Addons and Chrome Web Store, including popular extensions like Bitwarden, LastPass and 1Password.
- Private Mode: If you’re on public wifi, you’re going to want an extra layer of security. Using Avast Private Mode enables Anti-track, Adblock, and Anti-phishing. Once you close the window, it also deletes your entire Private Mode session history.
- Webcam Guard: Whether you’re going into a video conference or just taking a picture for your profile, there are plenty of times when you’ll want to grant a website access to your webcam, but it should always be your choice. Webcam Guard lets you decide which websites are allowed to use your camera and when. You can even grant temporary permissions. So when you let Facebook take your picture for your profile image, you won’t need to dig through the settings to remove that permission afterwards.
- Integration with Avast Antivirus*: Although Avast is at the top of the game in protecting against cyberthreats, new methods of hacking and compromising security pop up all the time. Fortunately, the Security & Privacy Center can scan your computer for new viruses, ransomware, and other malware with Avast’s incredibly popular antivirus programs. Avast Free Antivirus or the paid options, Avast Premium and Ultimate work hand-in-hand with Avast Secure Browser to give you all the protection you could possibly want.
* Avast Free Antivirus, or Avast Premium and Ultimate paid services are optional.
In addition to a wealth of privacy and security features, Avast Secure Browser comes with a number of productivity tools built right in. Its performance manager optimizes your RAM and CPU usage ensuring a smoother and faster experience. And encrypted synchronization allows all of your browser history and bookmarks to sync across multiple devices. Because Avast Secure Browser is available for PC, Mac, iOS and Android, you can enjoy the same, secure browsing experience on your computer, laptop, and mobile device.
Avast Secure Browser: give it a try, it does what it says
So much of our world is now contained in our computers and phones that changing browsers can feel like a really big and overwhelming decision, but you deserve online security. With that in mind, Avast has made switching a quick and painless process. You can import all of your browsing history, saved passwords, and bookmarks from your old browser with the push of a button. Best of all, it’s free!
If you value your online privacy, you owe it to yourself to switch to a browser that has your back. Download Avast Secure Browser today and take back control of your digital privacy and security.