What Does Your Browser Know About You? | Hacker Noon

@avastAvast Secure Browser

Avast Secure Browser is a fast, feature-packed private browser that makes protecting yourself online easy.

According to the latest Digital 2021 report, the average internet user spends almost 7 hours per day online, either on a mobile device or on a desktop — equating to roughly 42% of their waking lives. It’s not really a surprise though; we use the web for work, shopping, entertainment, education, and social media. In fact, more than 60% of the world’s population is online.

With so much of our time spent in front of our screens, browsers have become goldmines of data. Companies can, and do, use that valuable information to provide you with a customized and convenient user experience on their sites and platforms. It’s also used to power the internet’s business model — targeted advertising, which is when advertisers use your browsing data to follow you around the internet and serve you ads they think are relevant to you. However, if that data falls into the wrong hands, it can be exploited by malicious actors. 

If you’re concerned about your online activities and information being collected, stored, sold, or exploited, it’s time to get smart about your browsing habits. The first step towards smart browsing is understanding your vulnerabilities. The second step is knowing what to do about it, namely, switching to a private browser.

How to Test Your Browser Privacy: Use the Free Tool on Safer.com

Your browser knows more about you than the average internet user realizes. It knows not only your browsing history and cookies, but your physical address, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your Domain Name System (DNS) server, your internet speed, the plug-ins and fonts you’ve installed, hardware details, and even seemingly innocuous information like your screen resolution and color depth. 

To call attention to how this data can be used to track your online activities, the team behind Avast built a free browser privacy test tool to help you determine what data your browser leaves behind (known as a Digital Footprint) as you navigate the internet.

Available on Safer.com, this comprehensive web app tests your browser for several privacy threats, providing easy-to-understand explanations and solutions to help you safeguard your digital identity.

How to Enhance Your Web Security with Avast Secure Browser

If the first step toward protecting your online privacy and security is knowing how large your digital footprint is and how much of it is exposed by your browser, then the next step is knowing what to do about it — using the best private and secure browser that fits your needs. There’s no shortage of browsers available, so make sure to pick one that you trust to keep your browsing data secure. The most convenient private browsers will have security and privacy tools built right in, so you won’t have to research and install additional extensions and tools.

For a good example of one such secure browser, we’d recommend checking out Avast Secure Browser. Developed by Avast, the international company behind the popular Avast Free Antivirus, it combines all the browsing features you want with the privacy and security tools you need. The result? A lightning-fast, convenient, and easy-to-use private browsing solution. 

Avast Secure Browser offers a variety of advanced built-in security and privacy tools to make sure you are safe and protected online. Found in the Security & Privacy Center, some of these tools include:

  • Adblock: Browse faster by blocking ads that follow you around and slow you down.
  • Bank Mode: Browse in an isolated desktop session, protecting your financial information from keyloggers and prying eyes.
  • Anti-Fingerprinting: Websites and ad networks are getting smarter. Instead of relying only on cookies and your IP address to identify you, they’re also using your unique browser configuration to keep tabs on you. Anti-Fingerprinting hides your browser information from sites to help protect your privacy and limit online tracking.
  • Anti-Phishing: Block malicious websites and downloads from infecting your device with viruses, spyware, and ransomware, or stealing your data.
  • Anti-Tracking: Protect yourself from online tracking by blocking external requests from third-party platforms, and removing web bugs and tracking scripts.
  • Extension Guard: Avast Secure Browser’s Extension Guard adds another layer of security between you and the bad guys by allowing only safe and trusted extensions to be installed.
  • Hack Check: Get notified if your login information has been involved in a data breach, or if your passwords are too weak.
  • Password Manager: Generate and manage multiple, safe passwords, and automatically log into your accounts with a single click. You can install any password extension from Avast Addons and the Chrome Web Store, including popular extensions like Bitwarden, LastPass, and 1Password.
  • Private Mode: Using Avast Private Mode prevents your browsing history from being stored and dumps any tracking cookies or web cache you pick up during your browsing session, as well as enabling Anti-track, Adblock, and Anti-phishing.
  • Webcam Guard: Giving a website permission to access your camera is putting a significant amount of trust in that website. Webcam Guard lets you decide who you want to give that access to, when, and for how long.
  • Integration with Avast Antivirus*: Scan your device for new viruses, ransomware, and other malware with Avast’s popular antivirus program.

The Android and iOS versions of Avast Secure Browser feature additional tools for safe browsing on the go:

  • Built-in VPN*: Automatically encrypt your mobile device’s internet connection and unblock the internet with a built-in VPN
  • DNS over TLS: Add another layer of security by encrypting your DNS queries.
  • Advanced tab grouping: Avast Secure Browser’s advanced tab grouping feature, called Modes, allows you to group tabs and browser data in multiple sandbox environments, each with their own rulesets.
  • PIN lock / Fingerprint unlock: Limit physical access to the browser app and your data with a PIN code. Your PIN is never stored on any servers, which means no one, not even Avast, knows your secure PIN.
  • Encrypted Media Vault: Encrypt downloaded files automatically, then store them locally on your device with the Media Vault. You can also move files from your device’s local storage to the browser’s Media Vault, encrypting and securing the files along the way.
  • Private media players: Built into the mobile browser app so you don’t need to decrypt your files to view them on third-party players.
  • QR reader: Quickly scan QR codes.
  • Voice search: Use your voice to enjoy fast, hands-free searching.
  • Search widget: Manage your VPN connections and perform search queries on your homescreen.
  • Web Shield*: Block malware and malicious phishing sites from stealing personal data.
  • Security Scan: Check for browser vulnerabilities and protection gaps on the go.

* Avast Secure Brower’s built-in VPN is free with no bandwidth limitations for browsing-only traffic.

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 by syncing your browser history and bookmarks across multiple devices.

Take control of your online safety

Now that you have the Safer.com browser privacy test tool and information on what features to look for in a private browser, it’s time to make the switch and get moving toward a safer, more secure browsing experience. Avast Secure Browser makes 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. 

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 let us know what you think!

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