The Best top browsers in terms of speed, personalization, privacy, and customization.

When looking for the best web browser for your device, privacy personalization and speed are two of the most important factors to consider. Some require more of your system's resources, whereas others are relatively light.

Some anonymous browsers provide full security suites to protect your online identity and protect against malware, whereas others allow cookies and ads to run unabated.

It's a close race, but we believe Firefox is the best browser. Although it has flaws, developer Mozilla has committed to protecting its users' privacy and developing tools to prevent third parties from tracking you around the web.

Here is the list of most popular web browsers:

List of Best Web Browsers

1- Firefox

The finest best web browser for power users that care about their privacy.

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser. it is available for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, and it has a lot of customization and extension options, so you can truly personalize it.

It is well-known for being a secure web browser, and it is often referred to as the finest browser for computers.

Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is known to be more secure and faster than the most widely used PC browser, Chrome while being in the third position in the global market share of browsers.

Firefox has lately included a new function that prevents you from being monitored when working on the internet. Firefox now shields you against Supercookies, which remain hidden in your browser and continue to follow your data - this is a significant achievement that propels Firefox to the top of the list of top 10 browsers.


  • Incredibly flexible
  • Good privacy protection and an extra layer of protection.
  • Pop a video out of the browser window so that you can stream and multitask.
  • Expanded dark mode.
  • Cross-platform sync
  • Search everything with a unified search bar.
  • Customize the menu or toolbar.
  • Browse fast and free.
  • The new tab page having great content at your fingertips.

2. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the most used browser on the planet, and the second-best web browser yet it can be a memory hog.

Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser that was created by the company Google. It is a web browser that is both quick and simple to use. Turning on Chrome's data saver allows you to browse and navigate the internet while consuming fewer data. It also has an incognito mode that allows you to browse without saving your internet history.

Google's Chrome browser offers plenty of hidden features that you may not be aware of. Read more about Chrome Hidden Features That Make Life Easier.


  • Fast browsing
  • Multiple Profile Setup
  • Hide With Incognito Mode
  • Manage Tab Groups
  • Data saver
  • Allows you to download for offline viewing.
  • When you try to navigate to a harmful site, it displays warnings to keep your phone secure.
  • Option for voice search
  • Text on your screen can be translated.
  • Smart, tailored suggestions
  • Syncing your privacy across devices
  • Open Accidentally Closed Tabs
  • Quick Image Viewer

3. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is also the best web browser for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux coming soon, yet it comes from the old browser bad guys. Start using Microsoft Edge today and sync your passwords, bookmarks, and settings across multiple devices.

In the global market for PC browsers, Microsoft Edge is ranked third. It allows you to browse the internet while also allowing you to customize and style your home page, shop while saving time and money, and remain organized. Collecting, organizing, sharing, and exporting web content to Word or Excel has never been easier.


  • Crystal clear privacy tools
  • Can save sites as apps
  • Add your favorite extensions to make it your own.
  • Available on all platforms
  • Sync allows you to stay connected at all times.
  • On the internet, keep your identity hidden.
  • Browse with caution.
  • Keeping track of preventative
  • You can view, modify, and share PDFs right from your browser.
  • Price comparison might help you save money.
  • Coupons can be used to find bargains.
  • Allows you to remain organized.

4- Opera

A sophisticated web browser that excels at content collection. Opera has been recommended as a tried-and-true Chrome alternative. Opera pioneered features such as speed dial, pop-up blocking, re-opening recently closed pages, private browsing, and tabbed browsing, which have since been adopted by other web browsers.


  • Free VPN. Enhanced privacy and security.
  • Send information between devices.
  • Organize tabs in groups.
  • Adblocker. Block ads and trackers.
  • Chat right in your browsers.
  • Capture and edit snapshots of pages.
  • Video pop-out. Detach video into a floating window.
  • Battery saver, Image mark-up tool
  • Built-in ad blockers and Tracking blockers

5- Apple Safari

Apple Safari – a browsing software built for Apple products, is the fastest browser in the world due to its powerful Nitro engine, with features like no other. It gives you best-in-class browsing with powerful privacy protection and power efficiency.

Safari works seamlessly and syncs your passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs, and more across Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. And when your Mac, iOS or iPadOS devices are near each other, they can automatically pass what you're doing in Safari from one device to another using Handoff.

In macOS 12 Monterey, Apple's native Safari program for Mac gets a big overhaul. The software update, which will be available this autumn, will provide you with new methods to organize your favorite websites while also giving the web browser some much-needed stylistic updates.

Safari's Smart Search lets you search from the address bar, and your Favorites will appear as icons when you click the search field if they're added to your customized start page (more on that in a minute). When the field is empty, click the magnifying glass on the left to look for a previous search.


  • HTML 5 Support
  • Safari Reader allows you to pull out important content from a networking site without having to filter through ads and distractions.
  • Safari Nitro Engine makes it the fastest browser in the world.
  • Safari Extensions
  • Intelligent Tracking Prevention and Powerful privacy Protection.
  • Fingerprinting Protection
  • Speed and battery optimization
  • Safari Reader allows you to pull out important content from a networking site without having to filter through ads and distractions.

6- Vivaldi

Create your own browser with custom docking and tab stacking options. Vivaldi is a PC browser with several unique features that provides users with a quick and safe surfing experience by removing advertisements and trackers. Android, Mac, Linux, and Windows users can use the browser. It can be used in 53 different languages.

Vivaldi was created by former Opera developers, and it, like Opera, does things differently than the other browsers. In this scenario, things are very different. Vivaldi is all about personalization, and you can change almost everything about it, from the way navigation works to the appearance of the user interface.


  • Groups tabs in a stack.
  • A built-in ad and tracker blocker.
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts for everything.
  • Add any website as a web panel.
  • Multiple colored themes to pick from.
  • Notes, Screen capture
  • View multiple pages at once, without switching tabs.
  • Most informative browsing history.

7- DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is the Internet privacy company for everyone who's had enough of hidden online tracking. DuckDuckGo web browser claims that it never collects or stores personal information from its users. It has an excellent rating of 4.4/5 and some extremely intriguing features to lure customers.


  • Calculations
  • Show flight information.
  • Currency conversion
  • Let’s you search for an ID on social media with easy steps, without having to open that particular website.
  • App store search, alternatives to apps.
  • Shorten and expand links.
  • Quick stopwatch
  • Change case and check the number of characters.
  • Checks weather websites
  • Calendar
  • Loan calculator
  • Chinese Zodiac Queries
  • Anagram solver
  • Blood type compatibility

8- Chromium

Chromium is a Google-sponsored open-source browser project that strives to make the web a quicker, safer, and more stable experience for everyone. Because it is designed to be light-weight (both cognitively and physically), this web browser contains fewer functions than Google Chrome.


  • Auto-update capability
  • API keys for some google services.
  • Sync between devices.
  • Do not collect any of your information and deliver it to Google.
  • Features that are later updated on Chrome can be experienced earlier on Chromium.

9- Brave browser

The Brave browser is a fast, private and secure web browser for PC, Mac, and mobile. Brave puts privacy as its number one concern, but it manages to do so without compromising speed or power efficiency. If you’re looking for an alternative browser that protects your data, Brave is one of the best browsers to choose from in 2021.


  • Browse Faster - Load pages 3x to 6x faster
  • Switching Is Easy
  • Import and continue where you left off
  • Support your favorite sites with Brave Rewards
  • Experience unparalleled privacy and security.
  • Ad blocking, fingerprinting prevention
  • Block scripts*
  • Per-site shield settings
  • Configurable global shield defaults
  • Brave Firewall + VPN

10- Epic

Epic is a private, secure web browser that blocks ads, trackers, fingerprinting, crypto mining, ultrasound signaling, and more. Epic blocks fingerprinting scripts and functions like image canvas data access to protect you which no browser extension can do. Epic is the first-ever mobile browser that can read a set of web pages to you. Add webpages or news articles into your audio queue, then Epic uses iOS's text-to-speech to read them to you.


  • Always-On Private / Incognito Browsing No Browsing History.
  • VPN for the Browser. Free. Unlimited. Strict No-Logging.
  • Tracker Count. Granular, Site-Based Privacy Settings Controls.
  • Video Downloading, Audio Queue, Vault
  • Easy Menu-Based "Close All Tabs & Delete Data" Option.
  • AdBlock / Tracker Blocking / Cryptomining Blocking.
  • Epic for iOS blocks tracking via device and browser fingerprinting.
  • Convert webpages to text mode for easy reading.


The main features of the top 10 best web browsers were reviewed in this article to help people decide which one is best suited to their needs.

Firefox, Chrome, or Opera may be the best options for people who want a straightforward, easy-to-use browsing experience. DuckDuckGo and Vivaldi offer some interesting and unique features, while Microsoft Edge may be the best browser for online shoppers.

Epic Privacy Software is the best web browser for people who want to protect their data and information from trackers. Brave browsing software can help someone earn rewards while browsing or writing content, while Epic Privacy Software is the best web browser for people who want to protect their data and information from trackers.

Even though Apple Safari is the world's fastest browser, it costs a lot of money to install and some people find it difficult to use.
Published in Internet Technology

The new standard, called Global Privacy Control, will let you activate a browser setting to keep your data from being sold.

A group of tech companies, publishers, and activist groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and DuckDuckGo are backing a new standard to let internet users set their privacy settings for the entire web.

“Before today, if you want to exercise your privacy rights, you have to go from website to website and change all your settings,” says Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine.

That new standard, called Global Privacy Control, lets users set a single setting in their browsers or through browser extensions telling each website that they visit not to sell or share their data. It’s already backed by some publishers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, as well as companies including Automattic, which operates blogging platforms and Tumblr.

Advocates believe that under a provision of the California Consumer Privacy Act, activating the setting should send a legally binding request that website operators not sell their data. The setting may also be enforceable under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, and the backers of the standard are planning to communicate with European privacy regulators about the details of how that would work, says Peter Dolanjski, director of product at DuckDuckGo. At the moment, the official specification of the standard specifies that it’s in an experimental stage and “currently not intended to convey legally binding requests,” but that’s expected to change as legal authorities and industry groups have time to react to the standard and put it into place across the web, Dolanjski says.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for them to make the modifications and all that,” he says.

If it becomes widely accepted and helps prevent website operators and companies from building cross-site profiles of their users, the new standard could help bring an element of privacy back to the web, advocates say. Global Privacy Control could not only help internet users avoid ads that seem to follow them across the web but also potentially limit some of the other negative aspects of today’s internet experience, from filter bubbles and misinformation to discrimination based on people’s behavior and perceived demographics, says Weinberg.

“It’s all traced back to the same behavioral data profiles,” he says.

While the exact details may vary based on future regulations, the standard was designed to allow some sharing of data with service providers such as analytics companies that track web visits for individual sites—but not for building aggregate profiles of how people behave across sites. Those profiles are used by search engines, social media companies, and ad networks to discern people’s interests and demographics and target them with marketing accordingly. While that can result in people seeing more relevant ads on the internet, it’s also been a way for propagandists and fraudsters to find people they believe are vulnerable to receiving particular types of misinformation, from misleading election information to work-from-home scams.

The new setting can be activated through the configuration menu of DuckDuckGo’s browser extensions and is expected to be present in future versions of Mozilla’s Firefox browser as well as other browsers and privacy-focused extensions. Users wanting to test if the setting is activated can visit the Global Privacy Control website, which has a banner indicating whether the setting is enabled.

The concept is similar to Do Not Track, a similar feature introduced in web browsers about a decade ago but never widely observed by website operators. The difference, Weinberg says, is that Do Not Track never really had any legal teeth behind it, while Global Privacy Control is expected to be backed by California authorities under the state privacy law. It’s unclear whether people still using Do Not Track in their browsers would have the same result. Companies could argue that the setting, which some browsers turned on by default and which predates the California law, wasn’t necessarily turned on with the intention of giving notice not to sell data under the law, he says.

Even if that law only covers California residents, the builders of the standard hope that as more jurisdictions put such rules into place, website operators will choose to observe Global Privacy Control user intentions even in the potentially shrinking number of places where they’re not legally bound to do so.

“We hope that this is just a stepping stone to federal legislation,” says Weinberg.

[Source: This article was published in By Steven Melendez - Uploaded by the Association Member: Wushe Zhiyang]

Published in Internet Privacy

Mozilla Firefox commonly called Firefox is free to use web-browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation along with its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. The web browser remembers all the pages you have visited, files you have downloaded and more. This information is known as the history of the Mozilla Firefox browser.

You can choose to delete this history in order to not let the browser remember all your search details.

Deleting history will delete:

  • Browsing & download history: Browsing history consists of the list of websites that you have visited which is visible in the History menu, the Library window's history list and the address bar autocomplete list. And the download history contains the list of files that have been downloaded, which is shown in the download window.
  • Form & search history: Form history contains the items you have entered into web page forms for ‘form autocomplete’. Search history consists of items that have been entered into the search field on the new tab page or into the search bar of Firefox.
  • Cookies: It stores information about websites that you visited, such as site preferences or login status. This has information and site preferences stored by the Adobe Flash plugin.

Here is the step-by-step guide to delete the history.

How to clear my history?

Step 1: Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: Then, click on the three horizontal lines at top-right.

Step 3: Then tap on the ‘library’ option on the menu.

Step 3: Go to ‘history’ and choose ‘clear recent history’.

In order to select the timeline of history you want to clear:

Step 4: Click on the ‘ok’ button.

Now, the window will get closed and the selected items will be deleted from your history.

How to make Firefox clear history automatically?

You can switch on the automatic settings to clear the search history every time on exit.

Step 1: Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: Then, click on the three horizontal lines at top-right.

Step 3: Select ‘preferences’ on the menu.

Step 4: Then, choose the ‘Privacy & security panel’.

Step 5: Go to the ‘history’ section.

Step 6: Now, choose ‘use custom settings for history’.

In the drop-down menu next to ‘Firefox will’,

  • Check the box for ‘clear history when Firefox closes’.
  • In order to clear a specific type of history, click the ‘settings’ button next to ‘clear history when Firefox closes’.
  • In the ‘settings for clearing history’ window, check the items you wish to get deleted automatically each time.

Step 7: Once, you have made a selection, click ‘ok’ to close the ‘settings for clearing history’ window.

Step 8: Now, close the about: preferences page.

Any changes you have made will be saved automatically.

Note: In certain circumstances, the performed function will not be successful:

  • Firefox did not shut down normally. If Firefox gets crashed, you will need to restart Firefox and exit/quit normally to make sure that this function runs successfully.
  • Firefox is set to use automatic private browsing. History stored from normal sessions can be deleted from a regular window only.

Clear cookies and data for a specific website

How to remove a single website from your history?

Step 1: Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: Now, click the ‘library’ button at the top-right on your toolbar.

In case you cannot find the button, then click the ‘menu’ button (three horizontal lines at top-right) and then click the ‘library’.

Step 3: Go to ‘history’.

Step 4: Then, click the ‘show all history’ tab at the bottom to open the library window.

Step 5: Now, look for the website you wish to delete from your history by entering the name of the website in the ‘search history’ area in the top-right corner.

Step 6: Then click ‘return’.

Step 7: Now, in the search results, hold down the 'Ctrl' key while you select the site you wish to delete.

Step 8: Then, choose ‘forget about this site’.

Please note that all history items (browsing and download history, cookies, cache, active logins, passwords, saved form data, exceptions for cookies, images, pop-ups) for that site will be deleted

Step 9: Finally, close the library window.

(Source: Mozilla Firefox help)

[Source: This article was published in indiatoday.i  - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Published in Search Engine

A recent research paper has reaffirmed that our internet history can be reliably used to identify us. The research was conducted by Sarah Bird, Ilana Segall, and Martin Lopatka from Mozilla and is titled: Replication: Why We Still Can’t Browse in Peace:On the Uniqueness and Reidentifiability of Web Browsing Histories. The paper was released at the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security and is a continuation of a 2012 paper which highlighted the same reidentifiability problem.

Just your internet history can be used to reidentify you on the internet

Using data from 52,000 consenting Firefox users, the researchers were able to identify 48,919 distinct browsing profiles which had 99% uniqueness.

This is especially concerning because internet history is routinely sold by your internet service provider (ISP) and mobile data provider to third party advertising and marketing firms which are demonstrably able to tie a list of sites back to an individual they already have a profile on – even if the ISP claims to be “anonymizing” the data being sold. This is legally sanctioned activity ever since 2017 when Congress voted to get rid of broadband privacy and allow the monetization of this type of data collection.

This type of “history based profiling” is undoubtedly being used to build ad profiles on internet users around the world. Previous studies have shown that an IP address usually stays static for about a month – which the researchers noted “is more than enough time to build reidentifiable browsing profiles.”

It isn’t just our ISPs and mobile data providers that are siphoning up browsing history and using it for fingerprinting purposes, though. The authors noted in the abstract:

“[…] we observe numerous third parties pervasive enough to gather web histories sufficient to leverage browsing history as an identifier.”

These third parties include obvious players with a lot of insight into internet traffic such as Facebook and Google. All hope is not lost, though. In their user-facing recommendations section, the researchers commented:

“Until the state of the web has improved, the onus of ensuring privacy often falls on the user.”

Reidentification is a provable, real problem on the internet that internet users need to prepare for. It’s unfortunate that the internet infrastructure isn’t set up to respect privacy, and it’s unclear if it ever will be.

[Source: This article was published in By Caleb Chen - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jasper Solander]

Published in Internet Privacy

[Source: This article was published in By Shane Tews - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jennifer Levin]

Mozilla announced last week that its Firefox browser will begin using the DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol by default in late September. Google plans to begin testing DoH in an upcoming version of Google Chrome in October.

To provide some context, it’s important to note that there are multiple pathways through which internet traffic runs across the world that are supported by numerous back-up structures managed by ISPs and enterprise systems.

The strength of these networks and the internet as a whole has been in the decentralized system of global servers that manage the ever-growing amount of internet traffic. Multiple servers provide redundancy and eliminate single points of failure, and the decentralized process allows many users to use the internet infrastructure without having just a few companies own the routes for the internet’s traffic.

Companies that provide these underlying services are responsible for the transport layer that gives the internet its robust nature. They are the navigators of web traffic from consumers to endpoint providers. These networks mitigate cybersecurity risks for web traffic by deploying cybersecurity tools, detecting and mitigating malware and botnet attacks, and more. They also deploy site blockers mandated by the governments for schools and libraries, and parental controls on home networks.

DoH was designed to encrypt web-lookup traffic as part of a new privacy setting, and fundamentally changes how traffic moves on the web. Under DoH, the Chrome or Firefox browser will send all search traffic to a preferred DNS resolver by default, not by the user’s request. This enhances the browser’s knowledge of a user’s habits and interests. It will also obfuscate details about web traffic, breaking many of the Domain Name System (DNS) based controls around malware and monitoring which will no longer be visible or detectable to the network operator passing the traffic directly to Google (in the case of Chrome), or Cloudflare (in the case of FireFox).

The re-engineering by Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers is thus looking to change the architectural structure of how their users resolve internet queries making the browser the top of the pyramid, rather than the traditional endpoint. This means Google and Mozilla are working (again) on making network operators such as internet service providers (ISPs) “dumb” pipes whose job will be to transmit and receive encrypted information that only the Google browser, Chrome, or the Firefox browser served up by Cloudflare will be able to see.

As I explained in a previous blog, there are significant concerns around changing the way traffic flows from the current decentralized-by-design process, to a company-specific, centralized process that pushes consumers’ web queries directly to a specific search engine. By nature, browsers are designed to serve up ads to users, not monitor or filter traffic for security concerns.

This change to the usual path of internet traffic will enhance the browsers’ consumer data collection and create security concerns regarding the operation of the network. Google sees the change to its Chrome browser and Android mobile operating system as a method to centralize all traffic and have it flow to their network first. This ensures that it runs under Google’s control, moving from Google’s search engine to the next stop, the actual web address the user wants to go to.

The security concerns arise from the fact that DoH in its current design disables many cybersecurity tools on user devices. Due to the fact that web query traffic will go directly to the application layer of a specific browser through the chosen path of the browser company, not the choice of the enterprise IT system or ISP, the monitoring filters on ISPs or enterprise network servers will no longer see the DNS query traffic. DoH-enhanced encryption means only the browser sees the traffic, bypassing standard security management tools.

This plan has network operators concerned about what will be affected, modified, or broken once this change takes place. What are the trade-offs? What one group calls “surveillance” another calls ad traffic for revenue. DNS was designed to be a decentralized network for efficiency. Now its engineers are concerned about concentrating so much traffic through an edge provider’s browser.

Why does this matter?

The advent of internet governance was meant to ensure a multi-stakeholder audience of the technical community, businesses, law enforcement, and advocacy groups for end users was engaged in any discussion around a change of the network architecture, as well as changes in policies for the use of the internet.  It was always the expectation that the networks comprising the backbone infrastructure would be a significant part of these discussions to ensure operational integrity and security for all internet users.

Allowing a few companies to gain control over even more internet traffic by making a simple change in how users request and receive data could be a game-changer for the entire system. Paul Vixie, one of the original engineers of the Domain Name System, recently stated that “DoH is incompatible with the basic architecture of the DNS because it moves control plane (signaling) messages to the data plane (message forwarding), and that’s a no-no.”

Now is an excellent time to hit the pause button on the DoH proposal and let internet operators do what they do best. It would be better for all internet users to ensure no harm to the underlying network will be done before making a significant change to the architecture of the digital economy’s engine.

Published in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in written by KATHARINE SCHWAB - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Wushe Zhiyang]

You’re probably sick of hearing about data and privacy by now–especially because, if you live in the United States, you might feel like there’s very little you can do to protect yourself from giant corporations feeding off your time, interests, and personal information.

So how do you walk the line between taking advantage of the internet’s many benefits while protecting yourself from the corporate interests that aim to use your data for gain? This is the push-and-pull I’ve had with myself over the past year, as I’ve grappled with the revelations that Cambridge Analytica has the personal data of more than 50 million Americans, courtesy of Facebook, and used it to manipulate people in the 2016 elections. I’ve watched companies shut down their European branches because Europe’s data privacy regulations invalidate their business models. And given the number of data breaches that have occurred over the past decade, there’s a good chance that malicious hackers have my info–and if they don’t, it’s only a matter of time.


While the amount of data about me may not have caused harm in my life yet–as far as I know–I don’t want to be the victim of monopolistic internet oligarchs as they continue to cash in on surveillance-based business models. What’s a concerned citizen of the internet to do? Here’s one no-brainer: Stop using Chrome and switch to Firefox.

Google already runs a lot of my online life–it’s my email, my calendar, my go-to map, and all my documents. I use Duck Duck Go as my primary search engine because I’m aware of how much information about myself I voluntarily give to Google in so many other ways. I can’t even remember why I decided to use Chrome in the first place. The browser has become such a default for American internet users that I never even questioned it. Chrome has about 60% of the browser market, and Firefox has only 10%. But why should I continue to use the company’s browser, which acts as literally the window through which I experience much of the internet, when its incentives–to learn a lot about me so it can sell advertisements–don’t align with mine?

Firefox launched in 2004. It’s not a new option among internet privacy wonks. But I only remembered it existed recently while reporting on data privacy. Unlike Chrome, Firefox is run by Mozilla, a nonprofit organization that advocates for a “healthy” internet. Its mission is to help build an internet in an open-source manner that’s accessible to everyone–and where privacy and security are built in. Contrast that to Chrome’s privacy policy, which states that it stores your browsing data locally unless you are signed in to your Google account, which enables the browser to send that information back to Google. The policy also states that Chrome allows third-party websites to access your IP address and any information that the site has tracked using cookies. If you care about privacy at all, you should ditch the browser that supports a company using data to sell advertisements and enabling other companies to track your online movements for one that does not use your data at all.

Though Mozilla itself is a nonprofit, Firefox is developed within a corporation owned by the nonprofit. This enables the Mozilla Corporation to collect revenue to support its development of Firefox and other internet services. Ironically, Mozilla supports its developers using revenue from Google, which pays the nonprofit to have Google Search as Firefox’s default search engine. That’s not its sole revenue: Mozilla also has other agreements with search engines around the world, like Baidu in China, to be the default search engine in particular locations. But because it relies on these agreements rather than gathering user data so it can sell advertisements, the Mozilla Corporation has a fundamentally different business model than Google. Internet service providers pay Mozilla, rather than Mozilla having to create revenue out of its user base. It’s more of a subscription model than a surveillance model, and users always have the choice to change their search engine to whichever they prefer.

I spoke to Madhava Enros, the senior director of Firefox UX, and Peter Dolanjski, a product manager for Firefox, to learn more about how Mozilla’s browser builds privacy into its architecture. Core to their philosophy? Privacy and convenience don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Instead, Firefox’s designers and developers try to make the best decision on behalf of the user, while always leaning toward privacy first. “We put the user first in terms of privacy,” Dolanjski says. “We do not collect personally identifiable data, not what you do or what websites you go to.”

That’s not just lip service like it often is when companies like Facebook claim that users are in control of their data. For instance, Firefox protects you from being tracked by advertising networks across websites, which has the lovely side effect of making sites load faster. “As you move from website to website, advertising networks essentially follow you so they can see what you’re doing so they can serve you targeted advertisements,” Dolanjski says. “Firefox is the only [major] browser out of the box that prevents that from happening.” The browser’s Tracking Protection feature automatically blocks a list of common trackers in private browsing mode and can be enabled to run all the time, something you need a specific, third-party browser extension to do on Chrome.

The “out of the box” element of Firefox’s privacy protection is crucial. Chrome does give you many privacy controls, but the default for most of them is to allow Google to collect the greatest amount of information about you as possible. For instance, Google Chrome gives users the option to tell every website you go to not to track you, but it’s not automatically turned on. Firefox offers the same function to add a “Do Not Track” tag to every site you visit–but when I downloaded the browser, the default was set to “always.”

Firefoxs privacy protection

Because Chrome settings that don’t encourage privacy are the default, users are encouraged to leave them as they are from the get-go, and likely don’t understand what data Google vacuums up. Even if you do care, reading through Google Chrome’s 13,500-word privacy white paper, which uses a lot of technical jargon and obfuscates exactly what data the browser is tracking, isn’t helpful either. When I reached out to Google with questions about what data Chrome tracks, the company sent me that white paper but didn’t answer any of my specific questions.

One downside to using Firefox is that many browser extensions are built primarily for Chrome–my password manager luckily has a Firefox extension but it often causes the browser to crash. However, Mozilla also builds extensions you can use exclusively on Firefox. After the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica firestorm, Firefox released an extension called the Facebook Container, which allows you to browse Facebook or Instagram normally, but prevents Facebook from tracking where you went when you left the site–and thus stops the company from tracking you around the web and using that information to build out a more robust personal profile of you.

Mozilla Firefox released an extension called the Facebook Container

Firefox isn’t even Mozilla’s most private browser. The nonprofit also has a mobile-only browser called Firefox Focus that basically turns Firefox’s private browsing mode (akin to incognito browsing on Chrome, but with much less data leakage) into a full-fledged browser on its own. Privacy is built right into Focus’s UX: There’s a large “erase” button on every screen that lets you delete all of your histories with a single tap.

Firefox’s private browsing mode also has a feature called “origin referrer trimming,” where the browser automatically deletes the information about which site you’re coming from when you land on the next page. Focus also blocks any analytics services that would take this information. “The user doesn’t need to think about that,” Dolanjski says. “It’s not heavily advertised, but it’s the little decisions we make along the way that meant the user doesn’t have to make the choice”–or even know what origin referrer trimming is in the first place.

Firefoxs private browsing mode

Many of these decisions, both in Firefox and in Focus, are to guard against what Enros calls the “uncanny valley” of internet browsing–when ads follow you around the internet for weeks. “I buy a toaster, and now it feels like the internet has decided I’m a toaster enthusiast and I want to hear about toasters for the rest of my life,” he says. “It’s not a scary thing. I’m not scared of toasters, but it’s in an uncanny valley in which I wonder what kinds of decisions they’re making about me.”

Ultimately, Firefox’s designers have the leeway to make these privacy-first decisions because Mozilla’s motivations are fundamentally different from Google’s. Mozilla is a nonprofit with a mission, and Google is a for-profit corporation with an advertising-based business model. To a large degree, Google’s business model relies on users giving up their data, making it incompatible with the kind of internet that Firefox is mission-bound to build. It comes back to money: While Firefox and Chrome ultimately perform the same service, the browsers’ developers approached their design in a radically different way because one organization has to serve a bottom line, and the other doesn’t.

That also means Firefox’s mission is aligned with its users. The browser is explicitly designed to help people like me navigate the convenience versus privacy conundrum. “To a great degree, people like us need solutions that aren’t going to detrimentally impact our convenience. This is where privacy is often difficult online,” Dolanjski says. “People say, go install this VPN, do this and do that, and add all these layers of complexity. The average user or even tech-savvy user that doesn’t have the time to do all these things will choose convenience over privacy. We try to make meaningful decisions on behalf of the user so we don’t need to put something else in front of them.”

When GDPR, the most sweeping privacy law in recent years, went into effect last week, we saw firsthand how much work companies were requiring users to do–just think of all those opt-in emails. Those emails are certainly a step toward raising people’s awareness about privacy, but I deleted almost all of them without reading them, and you probably did, too. Mozilla’s approach is to make the best decision for users’ privacy in the first place, without requiring so much effort on the users’ part.

Because who really spends any time in their privacy settings? Settings pages aren’t a good UX solution to providing clear information about how data is used, which is now required in Europe because of GDPR. “Control can’t mean the responsibility to scrutinize every possible option to keep yourself safe,” Enros says. “We assume a position to keep you safe, and then introducing more controls for experts.”

Firefox doesn’t always work better than Chrome–sometimes it’ll freeze on my older work computer, and I do need to clear my history more frequently so the browser doesn’t get too slow. But these are easy trade-offs to make, knowing that by using Firefox, my data is safe with me.

Published in Internet Privacy

Mozilla has unveiled a new browser called Firefox Quantum, which is supposedly twice as fast as the older version of the program as it uses a new core engine, coupled with the significantly reduced use of memory space. Firefox Quantum represents the largest upgrade Mozilla has made to its web browser since it rolled out version 1.0 of Firefox thirteen years ago. The new version of Firefox is now rolling out to desktop and laptop computers running Windows, Linux or Mac, as well as mobile devices powered by Android and iOS.

One of the most noticeable upgrades that comes with Firefox Quantum is that opening a website or web page happens very quickly, with the current tab no longer showing the rotating icon for page loads in most cases. The non-profit organization boasts of Firefox Quantum as the fastest browser compared to all other browsers it produced in the past. As well as the improved speed, the new Firefox browser also includes a fresh user interface called Photon, which gained its new look based on the way internet users surfed the web, thanks to Mozilla’s user research team which conducted the study. Mozilla said a lot of work has been brought into play as part of the development efforts for Firefox Quantum. For instance, over 700 authors have written code for Firefox since its initial release in August, with contributions from some 80 other code authors from across the globe. A beta versionof Firefox Quantum went live in September, having already demonstrated significantly improved performance. In fact, Mozilla backed its claim with a web test benchmark called Speedometer 2.0 as well as a video clip showcasing that Firefox Quantum performed better than Google Chrome.

Additionally, Mozilla also introduced a new CSS engine to the browser called Stylo, which uses hardware with multiple cores that work best for tasks that require less power. Additionally, although subtle, Firefox Quantum prioritizes a tab that a user is on above the rest by optimizing system resources. As to the default search engine for the browser, users in the United States and Canada will have Google as the automatic search tool once they launch Firefox Quantum. This is after Mozilla teamed up with Google to provide its search engine as the default option for Firefox in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, though users can also browse with other search engines of their choice as usual.

Source: This article was published By Manny Reyes

Published in Search Engine

What’s that thing Bill Gates said? “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” When Robert Kahn and Vincent Cerf laid the bedrocks to what we call the modern cyberspace in 1973, they envisioned the Internet to be a storehouse of information, a massive, decentralized library that housed the collective brainchild of every great thinker in the free world. It was supposed to be the one solution to every problem. Have a question? Well, here’s your answer. Unfortunately, though, the reality has never been that simple. The internet is no magic wand, it can offer no single solution to all of life’s problems. Instead, just like all of humanity’s greatest inventions, it’s a very complicated and highly precise mechanism. One with exceeding capability and admirable outreach. However, as with any other mechanism, the internet is shaped by the people who use it, for better or for worse. In the last decade, we saw this beast take center stage in much of the world’s greatest events, socially, economically and politically. From human rights crusaders to advocates of political reform, from scientific visionaries to cancer patients in need of funds, everyone made use of the internet as a podium for sharing concerns and asking for assistance. In inventing the internet, we unleashed a hydra. What remains to be seen is whether we can control it.

“It’s not honest to roll that answer off as saying we didn’t have any idea what we had done, or what the opportunity was.” - Vincent Cerf in an interview with Wired Magazine, 2012.

“The internet is deep waters,” said Cassandra, mother of three and my next-door neighbour for the last six years, “I could never trust my kids around it until they are older”. She is a good parent, Cassie, but her concerns for her children’s safety sometimes extend to the point of paranoia. In this case, though, her concerns are quite genuine. From pedophiles lurking behind false social media accounts to cyber-bullies looking for easy prey, the last few years showed us just how dangerous certain places on the internet can be for the underaged. The keyword here is ‘certain places’. “This is something I think about every day as a parent”, said Denelle Dixon, Chief Business and Legal Officer at the Mozilla Foundation, while also making known that her own approach was that of teaching her children to use the internet responsibly rather than having them shut out of the system altogether. The reason? As parents, we often think it best to keep our kids away from the web until they are a certain age. The problem with this attitude, however, is that teaching someone to use the internet sensibly while they are still young goes a long way towards making them responsible netizens when they are older. By shutting them out of the cyber-scenario altogether, parents raise ignorant children who have no idea how the internet works and are unfit to participate in it even when they are old enough. In fact, as evidence would suggest it, a recent report found that two-thirds of teenagers in the UK can’t even tell the search results away from the advertisements on Google.

The aforementioned is one of the many points brought forth by the Internet Health Report released by the Mozilla Foundation on January 19, a comprehensive document that chronicles the failing health of the internet as we know it. A quick web search reveals that the number of websites currently live on the internet is as many as 1.1 billion. While that sounds like a great victory for free speech champions, dig deeper and you will find that about 60% of the traffic that goes into these 1.1 billion websites is essentially directed towards behemoths such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, while only 40% of the web traffic goes to the rest of the internet. For the average user, ‘surfing the internet’ consists of nothing but performing a search on Google, updating their status on Facebook and uploading a picture on Instagram. It is sad how the internet, which is supposed to be a gladiator of free speech, is essentially controlled by a few large content providers with their own corporate agendas. What’s more, content providers aren’t the only ones fighting to take control over the internet. Network companies such as AT&T and Verizon have long opposed the free and open environment that has made the internet such a great medium of communication.

When I spoke to retired FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, now a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, he expressed clear concerns over the imminent collapse of the structures and regulations that he put in place during his tenure at the FCC to keep the internet free from the grasp of network overlords. The new administration’s largely corporate outlook, combined with their public dissent over the current ‘net neutrality’ regulations, are a strong indication of troubled times according to Mr. Wheeler. He expressed his obvious distaste for the duplicitous ways of net neutrality opponents such as AT&T, going above and beyond to say that the free internet is something that must be protected at all costs. As for reducing the corporate hold over the internet, Mozilla Director Mark Surman recommended implementing open source standards for programming and design on the web, something that his organization has already taken great interest in lately.

“If we have proper legislation in the networks, the rest will fall into place on its own.” - Tom Wheeler, Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute and Retired Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

When it all started out, the Internet was heralded as the one platform where everybody could open up to each other secured by a veil of anonymity. However, the way corporate interests have been using the internet as a weapon for surveillance has presented it as a threat to the very privacy it was supposed to defend. Just last December, the widely used note sharing app Evernote made a seemingly innocuous change to their privacy policy, one which basically allowed its executives to snoop around people’s private notes in order to improve its machine learning technology. In the meantime, almost every website that you visit today inserts a delicious cookie into your web browser that allows it to track your every moment, from the sites you visit to the location you are in, and in some extreme cases, even the sensitive data you share online. Adwords, the interest-based advertising giant from Google, is especially known for its behavioral targeting technology, which now uses personally identifiable information in an attempt to shove more lucrative advertisements down your throat as you surf the web each day. When it comes to safeguarding user privacy, the internet clearly lacks the necessary legislation and infrastructure required to secure the activities that occur as a result of the myriad new opportunities offered by the infobahn.

The last five years haven’t been all bad for the internet. Several educational programs such as the EU Code Week and the New York Public Library TechConnect have sprung up in support of web literacy. Intense activism has led to the formulation of net neutrality laws in the US, UK and India. More and more instant messaging applications are offering ‘end-to-end encryption’ technology as an initiative towards securing privacy. However, if we were to just sit down and compare the ups and downs, we would find that the bad greatly outweighs the good for the internet in the last half-decade. The internet may be the ultimate platform for personal expression, but it isn’t entirely self-sufficient. Every now and then, it requires careful guidance to shove it in the right direction. While the last few years have clearly shown us that such guidance has been inadequate, it may not be too late to get behind these issues while there is time, at least, that is what I would like to believe.

Author : Harold Stark 

Source :

Published in Internet Ethics

As it turns out, Microsoft did not oversell its replacement for Internet Explorer. The Microsoft Edge browser has recently been found to live up to its tagline as the “faster, safer browser for Windows 10.” In fact, the relatively new program from the Redmond giant was found to be the safest browser when compared to its biggest rivals, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. 

NSS Labs, the leading information security company in the world, published a report about web browsers this week. The report focused on how malware could penetrate computers through the program. As such, the company emphasized how the web browser should serve as the first line of defense against malware. The study was conducted in a span of 14 days — from Sept. 26, 2016 to Oct. 9, 2016. The main goal was to identify the competency of the web browser’s security. 

Based on the report, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox were all subjected to the same set of malware. The study involved the use of 304 unique suspicious samples. Out of the three, Microsoft Edge managed to block 99 percent of the suspicious samples. Google Chrome came next after blocking 85.8 percent of malware, while Firefox finished last by blocking 78.3 percent of malware. 

According to How To Geek, the main reason why the Edge browser did better was thanks to its SmartScreen feature. The feature was first introduced to consumers in Internet Explorer 7. Previously, it was referred to as “Phishing Filter.” It is responsible for showing users a red page that notifies users about the threat of accessing a website with malware. 

When time or the readiness of a web browser to counter the threat is considered, Microsoft Edge still remained triumphant. NSS Labs stated in the report that Microsoft’s browser block the malware in less than ten minutes on average. Following behind is Chrome with two hours and 39 minutes. As for Firefox, it took more than three hours and 45 minutes for it to block malware.

Despite the positive news, users are still advised to obtain a good antivirus program if they want to boost their line of defense against attacks and malware. After all, having a safe browser is not enough at a time when online attacks have become rampant. 


Source :

Published in How to

Mozilla has once again taken a vow to fight for internet user’s privacy and net neutrality.

The company unveiled it 2015 annual report Thursday, which stated that the company will continue to protect, and fight for online user’s privacy and rights. It stated that they have strong beliefs in transparency, user control, and trust when it comes to advocating for online rights.

Their report mentions several key issues for privacy related initiatives. Among them was the company’s action in the Apple Vs. FBI court proceedings in which the FBI demanded that Apple unlock the cellphone of a terrorist shooter in California. Apple protected the privacy of its customer regardless of terrorist actions, but in the end the FBI was able to get into the iPhone without help from Apple.

Mozilla was among the tech giants that argued in court that the government has no right to take over a company, and their engineers to “undermine” their security features. Mozilla also stated that it will work to help keep the net neutrality rules that were passed last year by the FCC. They may face big obstacles from the incoming Trump administration. The rules stop broadband service providers from blocking or bottlenecking traffic, as well as stopping them from charging higher fees to “prioritize” the delivery of their material.

Any new administration can reconsider the issue. We hope they don’t. But, if the issue is revisited, we are all still here, and so are others who supported and fought for net neutrality.

Making the bulk of its revenue last year by funding work through various research partnerships, the nonprofit was able to raise $420 million dollars, no small number.

From fighting court battles and lobbying for the little man, to actively finding and patching security flaws and exploits, Mozilla wants you to know they have your back. While it’s not Mozilla per se, that is under attack or a target of the government; The Tor Project and Tor Browser however, are. Security flaws in Firefox most certainly spell security flaws in Tor as well. Since October we have heard Mozilla and Tor have been working together to find, and fix security flaws, exploits, as well as develop ways of protecting users against Malware attacks.

The most famous of cases has to be the FBI’s takeover of Playpen using a Firefox exploit to target, and unmask Tor users. When questioned about how exactly it was done, the FBI was very, very hesitant to give up any information at all. Mozilla once again went to bat for the little man, and tried to make the FBI give up the information on how exactly it all went down. After a lengthy court battle, the verdict decisions were both ways. Some judges were ruling for the FBI, some weren’t. When you think of online privacy fighters, Mozilla should be first, or in the very least second, only to organizations such as the EFF and The Tor Project.



Published in News & Politics
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