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Wushe Zhiyang

Wushe Zhiyang

Saturday, 25 March 2017 07:54

New FBI Wanted App

Making It Easier to Find Fugitives and Missing Persons

You’re watching your local news on TV when you see a story on a wanted fugitive in your community. The person looks like someone you’ve seen living a few blocks away. You grab your cell phone, open the FBI Wanted app, search your city name, and quickly locate the individual’s profile with additional pictures and information. The similarity is striking. So you tap the “Call the FBI” button in the app and report what you know.

This situation illustrates exactly the kind of technology-driven crime fighting that is now possible—thanks to a new FBI Wanted mobile application launching today.

The app allows the public to view, search, sort, filter, and bookmark the full range of information issued by the FBI. That includes pictures and descriptions of wanted fugitives, missing persons, crime suspects, deceased victims, and others the Bureau is seeking to locate or identify.

The app is free and works on Apple and Android devices, including smartphones, iPads, and iPods. Depending on your device, it can be downloaded from the Apple App store or Google Play. 

“Since the earliest days of the Bureau—when wanted flyers were tacked to post office walls—the public has played a vital role in helping the FBI and its partners locate criminals on the run and solving cases of all kinds,” says Christopher Allen, head of the Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit in the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs. “This app is designed to put another digital tool in the hands of concerned citizens so they can help protect their families and communities.” 

The information in the app is also posted on the FBI website, but the app includes several features and capabilities that make it especially fast and easy to use. For example, with the app you can:

  • Access information in one user-friendly interface, with a single tap of the app icon bringing up all Wanted profiles;
  • Take advantage of a suite of search and filtering options (see sidebar);
  • Easily report information by using buttons that either call the FBI or link directly to the Bureau’s online form for providing tips;
  • Bookmark individual profiles with one touch, adding them to a favorites page so you can easily access them later; and
  • Customize your home screen to display the information that is most relevant or interesting to you.

Along with the TV news scenario described above, the app could be useful in a number of situations. You might see someone who is acting in a suspicious or dangerous manner and wish to determine whether that person is wanted by the FBI. Or you might be interested in which cases the Bureau needs help with in your area.

FBI Wanted is the third mobile app built by the Bureau. The Child ID app, introduced in 2011, allows parents to electronically store their children’s pictures and vital information in case their kids go missing; it has been downloaded nearly 350,000 times. The FBI Bank Robbers app was launched in August 2016, publicizing unknown violent and serial robbers sought by the Bureau.

“Thousands of cases have been solved over the years thanks to the watchful eyes of concerned citizens, and that has made the country a safer place for all of us,” said Allen. “The FBI Wanted app will help carry on this tradition of partnership. We encourage everyone to download it and report any pertinent tips to the FBI.”

Download

Search and Filtering Capabilities

The new FBI Wanted App provides a range of search and filtering options to browse information and locate specific individuals or cases. The app enables you to:

  • Quickly scroll through the entire list of Wanted profiles (currently more than 500);
  • Use the search function to locate individuals by name, alias, city, state, country, or any other terms mentioned in the descriptions;
  • Sort information alphabetically by the FBI field office working the case;
  • List data chronologically according to when it was published or updated;
  • Filter profiles by status (deceased, located, etc.);
  • View listings by subject or crime categories, including Case of the Week, Ten Most Wanted, Fugitives, Terrorism, Kidnappings/Missing Persons, Seeking Information, Parental Kidnappings, Known Bank Robbers, Endangered Child Alert Program, and Violent Criminal Apprehension Program; and

Use the search and filtering tools in various combinations—for instance, you can sort all terrorism profiles by field office or list the most recently published kidnappings.

Digital Technologies Help Find Fugitives

Since 1996—when the FBI began posting wanted flyers on its new website—the Bureau has used a number of digital technologies to enlist the public’s help in locating and identifying various individuals. These tools include:

  • Social Media: The FBI publicizes information about fugitives, missing persons, and other individuals through more than 60 separate social media pages or sites, including a dedicated FBI Most Wanted Twitter page with 50,000 followers.
  • Digital Billboards: Since 2007, the FBI has partnered with outdoor advertising companies to place urgent public safety messages—including notifications on wanted fugitives and missing children—on approximately 6,700 digital billboards around the nation. The result has been nearly 60 captures and rescues. 
  • Audio and Video Podcasts: The Bureau publishes a regular series of podcasts in its Wanted By the FBI series that are available for download on iTunes and FBI.gov. Video podcasts—or vodcasts—can be viewed on YouTube or the FBI website.
  • RSS Feeds: On FBI.gov, you can subscribe to 170 different feeds that deliver Bureau news and information. More than 70 of these feeds involve Wanted information.
  • Mobile App: Based on the Bank Robbers website, the FBI Bank Robbers App maps the location of robberies locally and nationally and enables people to sign up for new listings. 
  • Widgets: The FBI has created various widgets or modules that can be incorporated into other websites or blogs, including four related to the Wanted program: Ten Most Wanted, Wanted By the FBI, Predators and Missing Persons, and Most Wanted Bank Robbers. 

“Thousands of cases have been solved over the years thanks to the watchful eyes of concerned citizens, and that has made the country a safer place for all of us. The FBI Wanted App will help carry on this tradition of partnership.”

Christopher Allen, FBI Office of Public Affairs 
Trifold brochure describing usage, benefits, and features of the FBI Wanted mobile application for iOS and Android devices.

Videos

Source  : fbi.gov.com

WHATSAPP Web users are being warned after a vulnerability is discovered that allows hackers to access personal data - luckily there is a very simple fix that everyone should follow.

Users of the popular  Web service are being warned to restart their web browsers after a terrifying vulnerability was discovered.

The serious security flaw can allow cyber criminals to access personal data including photos, contacts and videos in a matter of seconds.

Worryingly, it appears the simple hack can be performed without the user ever knowing.

According to security firm Check Point, the flaw can be exposed by the hacker sending a single fake image to WhatsApp users.

Although the shared snap might look innocent enough, hackers can use it to mask a piece of malicious code buried within.

Once the image has been downloaded, the code gets to work infiltrating the computer - granting hackers full access to the WhatsApp account.

To matters worse, once the criminals have accessed your account, they can use your log-in to forward further fake images to all of your contacts, spreading the malicious code wide and gaining access to hundreds of further accounts.

The vulnerability, which was discovered by Check Point, was found to trouble those who use the desktop WhatsApp service.

It also affect those signed up to the rival messaging platform, Telegram.

Fortunately, having discovered the problem, the security firm alerted WhatsApp of the problem on March 8 and the messaging behemoth has already patched the problem.

“This new vulnerability put hundred of millions of WhatsApp Web and Telegram Web users at risk of complete account takeover,” said Oded Vanunu, Check Point’s head of product vulnerability research.

“By simply sending an innocent looking photo, an attacked could gain control over the account, access message history, all photos that were ever shared, and send messages on behalf of the user.”

WhatsAppWABetaInfo

WhatsApp users could soon get a landscape mode

How to enable or disable WhatsApp's new security feature

WhatsApp now telling users that they must restart their browsers immediatley to avoid being targeted by the scam.

Speaking to technology website, The Verge, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: "“We build WhatsApp to keep people and their information secure,

“When Check Point reported the issue, we addressed it within a day and released an update of WhatsApp for web. To ensure that you are using the latest version, please restart your browser.”

This latest update comes as  to its hugely popular smartphone app.

One of the features currently being trialled in beta is the addition of a landscape mode.

Code for a landscape has been hidden in the latest beta software release on iOS.

Screenshots of the landscape layout have been tweeted by the reliable WABetaInfo account, although beta testers will not find the new feature enabled in the latest update.

As the feature is included in the latest beta, it's not difficult to imagine the new layout rolling out to users in the coming weeks and months.

Author : DAVID SNELLING

Source : http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/780802/WhatsApp-Web-hack-warning-Google-Chrome-Safari-Edge-restart

Google's Chrome browser is one of the most popular ways of browsing the world wide web - but did you know it's also chock full of clever features?

From hidden games to quick shortcuts, there are a rang of different ways to use the Chrome browser. And it doesn't matter whether you're on a desktop PC or a smartphone as many of these tips carry across .

What's more, if you want to customise the browser to your liking, it's surprisingly easy to do so.

Mirror Tech has compiled a handy list of tricks that you can use to make browsing the internet even better.

Use Google Chrome as a media player

Google lets you access your music account on up to ten different devices

All you have to do to unlock the multimedia capabilities of Google Chrome is drag and drop a media file into a new tab.

Google's browser has all the necessary tech to play a wide variety of formats. And, if you're on a laptop on your home WiFi, you can cast to any Chromecast device you have plugged into the telly. Just tap the Cast icon in the corner of the window.

Play some games

Both Pac-Man and Breakout can be played on your desktop computer and there's also a secret game for when you don't have an internet connection.

To find Breakout, just type "Atari Breakout" into Google Image Search and watch what happens.

You'll be able to use your computer mouse to control the moving platform.

Meanwhile, the classic chomping Pac-Man game was actually the basis of a playable Google Doodle a few years back.

One of Google's most popular doodles ever, it's been preserved in the search engine's archives for you to call up and play at a moment's notice.

Just go to Google and type in "Pacman" and it will appear at the top. Use your keyboard to gobble up all the dots and avoid the ghosts.

Lastly, Google's offline game appears when you've lost your mobile or WiFi connection and involves the tiny digital dinosaur.

Video thumbnail, Did you know there's a secret game on Google Chrome?
CLICK TO PLAY

Tapping on the T-rex will load a Flappy bird-style game that you can play during your internet down time.

The dinosaur will be transported to the desert and begin running - your job is to help it jump obstacles by tapping the screen. On the desktop version of Chrome, you can jump by pressing the space bar.

Write an email from the address bar

Google Chrome a new way to multi-task April fools

Google Chrome a new way to multi-task April fools (Photo: Google Chrome)

Can't be bothered to open up your inbox to send an email? Typing mailto: and the email address of your recipient cuts the time in half.

It will automatically launch your email client of choice with the email address already entered.

Locate your lost Android phone

The Google logo is displayed on the Nexus 5X phone

The Google logo is displayed on the Nexus 5X phone (Photo: Getty Images)

Apple has a popular "Find my iPhone" app - but Google can harness the power of the web itself.

Typing "Find my phone" into Chrome will take you to a page where you can locate your lost Android phone. You'll have to be logged in with the same account you use on your phone, but it's a handy way to locate a misplaced gadget.

Re-open a lost tab

Frustrated woman (Photo: Getty)

How many times have you tried to clear up your tabs only to accidentally delete the wrong one?

Thankfully, Chrome will let you re-open your previously closed tab. Just head to File > Reopen Closed Tab to get it back again.

Personalise your browser

Google+

Google+

Thousands of developers spend their time building addons and modifications for Chrome. You can find them all at the Chrome Store .

Whether you want to add a particular look or function (called plugins) to your browser, you'll find it here.

Author : EFF PARSONS

Source : http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/science-technology/revealed-secret-chrome-google-search-10062434

What's the best web browser for Windows? Find out with our in-depth testing.

The web browser is one of, if not the, most-used applications on your computer. Where once Internet Explorer was synonymous with the web, now many people just fire up Chrome without a second thought.

But why should Google enjoy a monopoly on such an important program? There are plenty of alternatives, all of which bring their own innovations to help you make the most of your time online. We test the top six browsers to help you decide which is best for the way you surf the web.

We've tested them for performance using both real-world and benchmarking tests, battery consumption using Netflix. We've also evaluated their privacy features and extra goodies so you can easily choose for yourself which is the best for you. Let's get started.

Best web browser 1

6 / 6

OUR SCORE:

MICROSOFT EDGE

Key features:
  • Low power consumption
  • Cortana integration
  • Web notes
  • Good performance
  • Sync is half-baked
The days when Microsoft’s browsers ruled the roost are long gone. Despite Windows 10 now being installed on nearly a quarter of computers worldwide, only 5% of users prefer Edge – the default Windows 10 browser. 

We have to admit that, faced with a fresh Windows 10 installation, the first thing we normally do is load up Edge and use it to install Chrome. This is a little hasty, since Edge actually has plenty to offer. 

INTERFACE

Edge’s interface is clean to the point of being bland. The only hint of colour comes from the favicons on the left of each tab: everything else is just two shades of grey. The rest of the design is browser business as usual, with tabs on the top, then toolbar and optional bookmarks bar. The Home button is off by default, but can be enabled in Settings. 

One thing that may immediately annoy is the lack of a title bar for the Edge window. This means that if you want to drag an Edge window around your desktop, you need to use the blank bit on the right of the tabs bar, which isn’t always convenient. 

STARTUP PAGE

You have four options for what loads when you start the browser: your previous session, a web page you specify, the Start page, or the New Tab page. The Start page is in danger of being a huge time-sink. 

Along with a search box at the top and a weather, sports and stock market sidebar, the page contains a newsfeed of stories from various publications, from the Mirror to Cosmopolitan to Autocar. It’s definitely a cut above your usual clickbait, and it’s easy to get sucked into: we went from a story about Debra Messing to reading about Alfonso Arau to watching Three Amigos clips on YouTube. There's also some horrible sponsored content links that feel a little out of place.

By default, the search box uses Bing. It isn’t immediately obvious how to change this. First, you go into Settings and Advanced, and scroll most of the way to the bottom to find the Change Search Engine box. If you’ve only just started using Edge, you won’t see any search engines to change to, or any way to add your own. You first need to visit the homepage of the search engine you want to add, which will make it mysteriously appear in Edge’s Settings marked as “discovered”.

Adding a search engine in other web browsers can be a confusing process, so we actually welcomed how simple it was to do in Edge – once we’d worked out how. It’s a shame there’s no way to temporarily change search engine using a drop-down menu, however.

NEW TAB PAGE

The only difference between the Startup and New Tab pages is that New Tab has a Top Sites section. This has thumbnails for some sponsored content, such as the Windows Store and Amazon, but will chiefly fill up with your most-visited sites. If a website (Facebook or Netflix, for example) has its own Windows 10 app, an Install app link will appear under that site, which you may find useful.

There’s no way to change what the New Tab page does, and no extensions available to change its behaviour, either – if you like your new tabs to go straight to a homepage, you’re out of luck. You can at least customise the page, selecting from six areas of interest to customise your newsfeed, or turn off the feed and the weather, sports or stock market sidebars entirely.

TAB HANDLING

Edge’s tabs worked as we expected. They’re dead square for space efficiency, and we particularly liked the dropdown thumbnails that appear as you hover over each tab. There’s no option to bookmark all open tabs and save them to a Bookmarks folder, which is something we’re used to seeing. The New Tab page opens instantly and is ready for your searches straight away, and there’s no hesitation when flicking between open tabs. 

BOOKMARKS AND HISTORY

Apart from the lack of a “bookmark all open tabs” option (see above), we like the way Edge deals with your bookmarks. Clicking the star button provides a dropdown menu with the option to add the bookmark to one of your Favourites folders or your Reading List. The Reading List is like a Bookmarks folder, but provides a thumbnail and a short description of the page, so you can see which entry is which at a glance.

You access your bookmarks using a tabbed sidebar that also contains your history and downloads. Bookmarks are arranged in collapsible trees, which is neat, but there’s no option to open an entire folder at once in separate tabs. Likewise, the History sidebar’s collapsible tree view is easy to use, but there’s no way to add a page from your history to your bookmarks directly – another missed opportunity. We do like the option to delete all pages from a particular subdomain, though.

CORTANA AND WEB NOTES

As you’d expect, Microsoft is keen to use Edge to point you towards its other services, as is Google – if you visit its web pages using Edge, they nag you to install Chrome, which doesn’t happen with Opera, Firefox or Vivaldi. If you select a word on a web page and right-click, there’s no option to search for that word with your current search engine – you can only “Ask Cortana” (or Bing if you’ve disabled Cortana). 

Cortana does come up with some interesting info, but you may prefer to use Google or DuckDuckGo for your searches – you should be given the choice. Another feature we feel is too Microsoft-orientated is Web Notes. These could be fantastic: scribble all over a web page, highlight things, make notes, then send to others to look at. However, the recipient won’t receive your annotations on a live web page. Instead, when you click the “share” button you receive only a screenshot of the annotated web page, which you can send using Windows’ official Mail or Twitter clients, or store with Cortana Reminders or OneNote. 

There’s no way to send the Web Note with a program of your choosing (such as your own email client), save it to Dropbox, or use another Notes application such as Evernote – even if you install the official Microsoft Evernote app. It’s a limited feature that you may find useful only occasionally. 

READING VIEW

Next to the Favourites button is one for Reading View. After a page has loaded, you can click this to strip out all adverts and page furniture, leaving you with an easy-to-read body of text and pictures. It’s a great way to make web news stories more pleasant to read, while still making sure the page gets some revenue from adverts. However, it only works on a limited number of pages (such as those in your newsfeed). On sites such as BBC News and The Guardian, the icon is simple greyed out and listed as “unavailable”. 

SYNC

Most major browsers have a built-in synchronisation service; you sign up for a Google/Firefox/Opera account and your history, open tabs, favourites, passwords and so on will remain synchronised between browsers on different machines. Edge has a sync service, but will only sync your Favourites and Reading List; and, crucially, only if you’re signed into Windows 10 with a Microsoft account. 

You may prefer to have a local account for Windows, so no sync for you. We’d rather you could sign into a Microsoft account just for Edge.

Best web browser 4

PERFORMANCE

Edge feels like a seriously quick browser. Although its time of 5 seconds to load www.trustedreviews.com is one of the longest we measured – and identical to Firefox – it has the smoothest scrolling of any browser we’ve used, which makes browsing around web pages a pleasure. Its MotionMark graphics and Speedometer web application benchmark scores of 193.42 and 47.99 are below average, but 225.56 in the JetStream JavaScript benchmark is a huge score. 

Edge feels fast, but its benchmark performance is a mixed bag. It’s also a memory hog, requiring nearly 1.4GB of RAM with our six test tabs open – 500MB to 900MB more than the competition. It’s easy on your laptop’s battery, though: one hour of Netflix used 23% of battery, compared to between 26% and 32% for the competition. 

EXTENSIONS

Extensions are only a recent addition to Edge, and there are very few: only 20 in the Microsoft Store at the time of writing, including several ad blockers, LastPass and the Pocket save-it-for-later tool. One extension, called Turn off the Lights (below), darkens the entire screen while you’re playing a video, with the exception of the video itself. It’s a cracking alternative to full-screen mode. 
Best web browser 3

VERDICT

There are many things to like about Edge. It feels fast, we love its super-smooth scrolling, and it’s generally easy to use. Microsoft needs to add some extra features to keep up with the competition, though, such as the ability to save all open tabs as a Bookmarks folder and then open that folder’s bookmarks all at once. The Sync function is also limited, and being restricted to Bing when right-clicking to search is annoying. If Microsoft would just loosen its grip a little, Edge could be great. For now, those after a no-nonsense browser should stick with Chrome.
Best web browser 2

5 / 6

OUR SCORE:

MOZILLA FIREFOX

Key features:
  • Detailed privacy settings
  • Customisable
  • A little slow
  • Relatively high battery usage
Ten years ago, Firefox was the browser to beat, dwarfing Google’s upstart Chrome. Now the picture is rather different: Chrome is dominant, and Firefox is slipping towards a mere 10% market share. 

Firefox is far from dead, though, and still has some tricks up its sleeve. It’s serious about privacy, with technology to stop companies tracking the pages you visit even if they ignore a “Do not track” request. It has a library of extensions to rival that of Chrome, and while it’s no Vivaldi, it’s still possible to customise the interface to a certain degree. 

INTERFACE

Nowadays, Firefox looks very much like Chrome: tabs at the top, a combined address and search bar, and an optional bookmarks bar. The interface is busier than Chrome’s, but as we discuss below, Chrome’s clean look can come at the cost of functionality. 

By default, there’s a home button and a dedicated search box – although we’re not quite sure why this separate search box is necessary. In Vivaldi, it’s a privacy feature; you can turn off search suggestions for the search box, so text you enter isn’t sent direct to the search provider’s servers before you even press enter. In Firefox, you can’t configure the address bar and search box separately – both either have search suggestions enabled or disabled. 

Fortunately, Firefox makes it easy to customise the interface and remove such clutter. By right-clicking on the toolbar and clicking Customize, you can drag and drop various interface elements around and add or remove shortcut icons to suit your way of working.  

Best web browser 5

The customisation is limited to which shortcut buttons you require, and whether you want them on the left or right of the address bar, but we still appreciate being able to add one-click buttons for History and Private Browsing, as well as the ability to remove the redundant search box mentioned above. Having History or Bookmarks on the toolbar also provides you with a much wider, easier-to-use menu than when you access them through Firefox’s main menu button. 

The customisation section is a good way to add the Firefox “Forget” button. This is another signature privacy feature: with a click Firefox will close all windows and tabs and delete your cookies and history from the past five minutes, two hours or 24 hours. Other browsers let you delete you history selectively, but not with a single click.

Best web browser 6

STARTUP AND TABS

By default Firefox opens with the Mozilla Firefox Start page, which has a Google search box and a selection of shortcut buttons to various program features. It isn’t particularly useful, but it’s easy to change. The New Tab page is simple but effective: it features a search box for whatever provider you have chosen in Settings, and thumbnails for your most-visited sites. 

We hunted high and low in Settings for a way to change what happens when you open a new tab, but to no avail. We eventually noticed the cog icon at the top-right of the New Tab page itself. This provides you with a choice of a blank page or a page with suggested sites, but an extension such as New Tab Homepage will sort that out. 

Right-clicking on a tab displays the usual close/mute/pin tab options, and you can save all open tabs to a specific Bookmarks folder. Firefox doesn’t have a menu to let you see at-a-glance which tabs you have open, but pressing Ctrl-tab flicks between the two most recently used tabs, and keeping the control key held down after you press the tab key brings up an Alt-tab-style thumbnail view of all open tabs.

BOOKMARKS AND HISTORY

On the whole, we like the way Firefox’s bookmarks and history work. Clicking the History button offers a dropdown menu with recently closed tabs, your most recent history and the useful option to restore the entire previous browser session. Clicking Show All History brings up a pop-up resizable window with all your visited web pages, and you can open them in new windows or tabs, or add history entries to your Bookmarks folders. 

You can also bring up a sidebar with your history arranged in a list, and it will stay open as you click through the entries trying to find the right page. It all works fine, but we wish Firefox used a less compressed font to make things easier to read. 

The Bookmarks button provides quick access to your bookmarks toolbar, and clicking Show All Bookmarks brings up a window that’s similar in look to the All History window – it isn’t pretty, but it works. There’s also a Bookmarks sidebar, with all your saved pages arranged in a tree format. 

PERFORMANCE

Unlike Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi, Firefox doesn’t use the Chromium project’s Blink engine. Instead, it uses Mozilla’s Gecko engine, and it just doesn’t feel quite as fast. It takes the browser 5 seconds to render www.trustedreviews.com, compared to 2.8 for Chrome and Opera, and Firefox lags behind Chrome, Edge, Opera and Vivaldi in the MotionMark graphics benchmark and JetStream JavaScript benchmark. It’s also the second-slowest browser we tested in the Speedometer web application test, behind Edge. 

These slow benchmark scores are reflected in general use. There’s a very slight delay when flicking between tabs, and things become rather jerky when you drag tabs to rearrange them. Scrolling through pages can sometimes feel like there’s something clogging up your mousewheel, too. It isn’t terrible, by any means, but if you’re used to the smoothness of Chrome and Opera then you may feel your browsing experience is compromised. 

We did notice that Firefox gradually became slower over time as we filled its history and loaded it up with bookmarks. This was fixed with the “Refresh Firefox” option in the about:support section, but we haven’t experienced such a slowdown with other browsers. 

Firefox consumed the most battery in an hour of Netflix streaming, eating up 32%. That's more than all the other browsers on test here.

EXTENSIONS

Firefox was the first browser to support extensions, and as you’d expect, there are plenty available. DownThemAll, to save multiple files from an HTTP server, is particularly useful, as is Textarea Cache, which automatically saves any text you enter in a textbox, in case your browser crashes. 

SYNC

Firefox isn’t behind with Sync, either. Once you’re signed in with a Firefox account, you can sync your tabs, bookmarks, passwords, history, extensions and settings between devices. You can also synchronise bookmarks and history with mobile devices. However, when tested this with an Android phone, we found that sync kept pausing, and we had to go into Settings | Accounts & Sync to kick-start it manually.

VERDICT

Firefox is a competent browser, with some great features such as the bookmarks and history sidebars, customisable toolbar and the Forget button. However, it’s one of the slowest browsers we’ve tested, and some aspects of the interface, while useful, could do with an overhaul to make them more attractive and easier to use. Apparently, there’s an improved rendering engine on the way, which should help matters. In the meantime, though, you should stick to Chrome for outright speed and Vivaldi for interface innovation.
Best web browser 4

4 / 6

OUR SCORE:

TOR

Key features:
  • Privacy focussed
  • Loaded with security features
  • Lots of add-ons
  • Relatively slow
  • Slows down connection speeds

When it comes to online anonymity, Tor is the real deal. The combination of a specially modified version of Firefox and a network of anonymous relays makes it extremely hard for anyone to identify you and the websites you visit. 

Instead of connecting you straight to a server on the internet, Tor wraps the data you send with multiple encryption layers, then bounces this data through a network of relays. Each relay decrypts an encryption layer to reveal the next relay in the chain, or Tor Circuit. The final relay decrypts your data and sends it to its destination – but since this relay doesn’t know where the original data came from, it's extremely hard for the destination server to learn anything about you, such as your IP address.

Tor isn’t perfect, and has been compromised in the past, but it's the best method we have to keep the websites we visit safe from prying eyes. 

INTERFACE

Tor is remarkably easy to use. It's a portable application, and the installer just unpacks the browser's files to a folder of your choosing. From there, just run the Start Tor Browser shortcut. When you first run Tor, you can choose whether you have a direct connection to the internet – such as at home – or whether you're behind some kind of firewall or proxy and will need to fiddle with some settings to connect. 
Best web browser 11

On our home broadband connection, the direct connection worked perfectly: Tor connected, and up popped the familiar shape of Firefox. The Tor Start page offers up a DuckDuckGo search box – DuckDuckGo being the search engine that prides itself on not tracking you. 

There are also some tips on staying anonymous. Using the Tor browser isn’t enough to stay safe from prying eyes; you should also avoid using applications that bypass the Tor network, such as torrent software, or plugins such as Flash that can be "manipulated into revealing your IP address". In addition, never open files downloaded through Tor – such as DOC and PDF – in external applications, since these can connect to external services outside the Tor network and reveal your IP address. 

After maximising the browser window, we were intrigued to see a warning message that this could identify us on the internet: the reason being that a maximised browser window can give away your monitor's resolution and so help build a fingerprint of your machine to help outside parties track you. Tor recommends you keep the application at its default windowed size to avoid this. Scary stuff.

Tor's Bookmarks work in the same manner as standard Firefox, but History is interesting, in that Tor doesn’t save it. As you'd expect for a privacy-focused browser, Tor is set to always be in Private Browsing mode, so it won’t save your history or accept any cookies. You can disable this in Settings easily enough, though. 

SECURITY ADD-ONS

There are a couple of Tor-specific additions to Firefox. The most obvious is the small onion icon on the left of the address bar. This gives you the relays your web connection has jumped through to reach the current site, their IP addresses and the countries in which they reside. An option to create a new Tor Circuit for your current site will connect you to a new selection of relays: we found this useful when we were being routed through Taiwan, for example, and the connection was very slow. There's also the nuclear option to choose a New Identity, which restarts the browser and provides a new Circuit at the same time. 

It's worth exploring Tor’s Security Settings option. This takes the form of a slider with Low, Medium and High security levels, with progressively more content blocked as you go up the scale. For example, Medium and High levels would even block some of the images on www.trustedreviews.com. The onion menu shows you what content has been blocked, and you can re-enable it as you wish: granting permission for a couple of video codecs let us play YouTube videos, for example. 

Aside from the Tor network itself, the Tor browser has a couple of add-ons to keep you safe. These are the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere plugins. NoScript blocks JavaScript – and plenty of other technologies, such as Java – on any websites you don’t add to a whitelist. Many malicious websites use scripts to attack a visiting machine, so simply having scripts blocked by default is a good way to remain safe online. 

HTTPS Everywhere is an attempt to force all connections to websites to use the encrypted HTTPS protocol, to help prevent data passing between your computer and the site from being intercepted. Some sites default to unencrypted HTTP when you type their URL into your browser's address bar, or have pages full of links back to the unencrypted HTTP version of the site. HTTPS Everywhere finds those links and redirects to the secure version of the page automatically. 

Both are useful tools, but they’re also available for standard browsers: Chrome, Firefox and Opera for HTTPS Everywhere, and Firefox for NoScript. 

PERFORMANCE

As you'd expect from the way it works, Tor isn’t a fast browser. All that bouncing around the world takes its toll on download speeds. Using standard Firefox, speedtest.net reported our internet connection as 47Mbits/sec download and 7.2Mbits/sec upload, with a 9ms ping. With the Tor browser, we saw just 8.7Mbits/sec download and 1.9Mbits/sec upload speeds, with a 100ms ping. 

This would be fine for normal web surfing, but the connection speeds are erratic – some sites would just grind to a halt before loading CSS, leaving a bare skeleton of a page. In addition, some sites found the traffic profile created by Tor suspicious, asking you to fill in a CAPTCHA to check you're not a robot, or flat-out block you. For example, Google wouldn't let us search due to “unusual traffic” (although if you're using Tor for Google, you should rethink your privacy priorities). Netflix is also deeply suspicious, but this could be because it didn't know what content to offer us from one session to the next as we hopped around the globe.

This is the price you pay for unrivalled privacy, however – and you're unlikely to use Tor to do your Tesco shop. It's more likely to come into its own when you want to look up something that the authorities don’t want you to see, or if you want to visit a site that, for whatever reason may be banned in your country. Tor is invaluable in countries without the kind of internet freedoms we enjoy in the UK, where it's often the only way to get hold of news sources outside the grip of the government. 

VERDICT

In the way that it manages to do something complicated in a manner that’s both straightforward and transparent to the user, Tor is a triumph. There’s no better way to safeguard your privacy online, there are no VPNs or subscriptions to worry about, and no complicated configuration. A single 50MB download and you're safe from all but the most determined. 

Performance issues mean you'll still want to use a normal browser for most of your surfing, but keep that Tor shortcut handy; you never know who's watching.

Best web browser 3

3 / 6

OUR SCORE:

OPERA

Key features
  • Built-in free VPN
  • Modest extension library
  • Good performance
  • Sync service

Opera has always been a niche player in the browser market, but loyal users have appreciated its commitment to innovation. It was the first major web browser with tabs, for example – fancy going back to a pre-tabs browser now? Thought not. 

Its focus has changed recently, however. The latest versions no longer use Opera’s own rendering engine, instead relying on the Chromium project’s Blink engine, and it’s no longer possible to customise the browser’s interface. 

SPECIAL FEATURES

Opera may have lost some of its distinctiveness, but it’s still a modern-looking browser with an impressive interface and one killer feature: built-in VPN. This is incredibly easy to set up: just tick a box and you’ll connect to websites via a proxy server, which will help mask your location and IP address. 
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You can choose whether you want to connect via a VPN in Canada, the US, Germany, Holland or Singapore, or choose an optimum server (Holland, in our case). The VPN let us look at the US versions of sites such as Netflix, as well as sites that are banned in the UK, and impressively didn’t slow down our connection speed at all. Opera doesn’t even set a bandwidth cap. It’s quite an extra. 

Opera also comes with a built-in ad blocker. You may not agree with ad blockers, but some people value their ability to speed up web page loading and protect from tracking. You enable the ad blocker by ticking a box in Settings, and can add sites that the ad blocker will ignore (in case they don’t load properly, or you’d rather not deprive them of revenue). 

INTERFACE

Opera has a clean and modern interface. All is where you’d expect to find it. Tabs are at the top, with a combined search and address bar, as well as an optional bookmarks bar. The address bar will return Google’s suggestions for web addresses and search terms as you enter text, but you can also turn on a dedicated search box. The dedicated box doesn’t offer suggestions – useful if you don’t want what you’re typing to be sent straight to Google’s servers as you type it. We’d have liked to be able to select a search engine directly from this box, rather than having to go into Settings to change all our search defaults. 

A couple of interface elements stand out. The first is that there’s no Home button, and no way to enable one. Browsers are moving away from Home buttons, but as heavy users of multiple Google services, we still find it useful to have a single, immutable button for the Google homepage. 

TAB HANDLING

Opera’s almost-square tabs are space-efficient, and inactivate tabs fade to a subtle grey, so it’s easy to see which is active. You have a few standard right-click options (clone tab, close all other tabs, and so on) but there are fewer ways to manipulate your tabs than in Vivaldi. The tabs menu on the right is neat, showing you all open as well as recently closed tabs, and hovering over an entry displays a large thumbnail of the web page. We wish Opera would also display a thumbnail when you hover over a tab on the tab bar, as is the case in Edge and Vivaldi. 

Where you’d expect to find a Home button, Opera has Speed Dial. This is a selection of most-used sites, with each presented as a designed card, rather than a thumbnail. This is prettier, if less useful. The Speed Dial is initially populated by a number of commercial sites such as Facebook, Amazon and eBay, but it takes little time to remove these. There are also a selection of Speed Dial suggestions, which are mainly based on your browsing history. You can even create folders to keep your Speed Dial organised.  

As in Vivaldi, your Speed Dial pages are treated as a Bookmarks folder, which makes it easier to move pages between folders and edit and delete them. You can also right-click on a tab and save all open tabs as a Speed Dial folder. 

If you’re going to use Opera, you’ll need to learn to love Speed Dial, since it’s the only choice you get when you open a new tab – unless you install an extension such as New Tab Start Page Pro. This isn’t a problem, since the sidebar makes Speed Dial a useful one-stop shop for everything you need to do within the browser. The sidebar provides access to your bookmarks manager, history, extensions, downloads and settings, so you’ll rarely need to use the application’s main menu. 

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We have few complaints about how the various sections are laid out: you can right-click and add items from your history to your bookmarks, but only one page at a time, and the Settings menu is clearer than that of Edge and Chrome, if still a little sprawling. The Bookmarks view is easy to navigate, with drag-and-drop animations helping you move bookmarks exactly where you want them. However, we’d like to see a list of all bookmarks in the tree view on the left, rather than just folders. 

One interesting aspect is the Personal news section. This aggregates stories from around the web, according to Opera’s “Top 50”, or news stories you pick from a catalogue. This is limited to a number of publications chosen by Opera, and includes many of the big names you’d expect: the Guardian, Economist and Telegraph, for example. It’s a fine way to keep tabs on what’s going on and allows you more control than the Edge browser’s newsfeed. 

EXTENSIONS

Opera has its own family of extensions, but the library is far smaller than that available for Chrome or Firefox. However, since Opera used Chromium project technology, it’s easy to add Chrome extensions, as long as you first install the handily-named 'Download Chrome Extension' extension. This even changes the install button on the official Chrome extension store from Add to Chrome to Add to Opera. Not all extensions will work, so you’ll need to deploy trial and error: animatedTabs wasn’t happy, for example, but Grammarly worked fine. 

PERFORMANCE

Opera feels quick. New tabs open instantly, and there’s no sign of the hesitation when flicking between tabs that we saw with Vivaldi. The browser acquitted itself well in our browser benchmarks, too. A score of 267.89 in the MotionMark graphics handling benchmark is second only to Chrome, and 68.65 in the Speedometer web application test is above average. 

The browser could render www.trustedreviews.com in just 2.8 seconds, making it just as fast as Chrome and far quicker than Firefox, Edge and Vivaldi. Scrolling around web pages is beautifully smooth, too. The only downside is that Opera uses a lot of RAM: 826MB with our selection of six tabs open, making this the biggest memory hog we’ve seen apart from Edge. 

Opera also has a special Battery Saver mode. With this enabled, an hour of Netflix watching used 26% of our test laptop’s battery, compared to 28% with the mode disabled – this is such a small difference that we’re tempted to put it down to statistical variation. 

SYNC

Opera has its own Sync service. You need to create an Opera account and password, and all or any of your bookmarks, settings, history, open tabs and passwords will be synced across all your devices, including smartphones. When you have multiple Opera-running devices synced, the Tabs menu gains an Other Devices sub-menu, with each device’s open tabs listed in its own section.

VERDICT

Opera may no longer be particularly customisable, and Vivaldi (founded by ex-Opera employees) has certainly stolen its crown for innovation, but it’s still a cleanly designed and fast browser. Opera does find itself caught between two stools: it has neither the outright speed of Chrome nor the power features of Vivaldi. However, if the VPN, ad blocker and newsfeed features appeal, it’s a fine alternative.
Best web browser 5

2 / 6

OUR SCORE:

VIVALDI

Key features:
  • Incredibly customisable
  • Tab stacking and tiling
  • Based on Chromium
  • Best for power users
  • A little slow

Vivaldi was created by former employees of Opera software and, similar to the Opera browser, is designed with customisation in mind. You can tweak this browser to work in a way that suits you, and it’s brimming with innovative features. 

INTERFACE

The Startup wizard rams the message home. It lets you choose your theme (Human is very Linux; Redmond very Microsoft), decide whether you want your tabs to go at the top, bottom, left or right, and choose a background picture for your Start page. It’s a useful introduction to just how many parts of Vivaldi’s interface you can tweak. You’re then pointed towards some introductory YouTube videos – the developers want to make sure you don’t miss out on unique features such as Tab Stacks. 

The Settings menu is colossal, but is logically organised with a search function. We like that the Settings window can remain open and any changes you make happen in real time to the main browser – it makes it easy to fiddle around with Vivaldi’s appearance. 

Vivaldi features are a couple of controls missing in most browsers: mouse gestures and Quick Commands. You can hold down the right mouse button and draw various patterns to perform functions such as opening and closing tabs, and going back and forth through your history. You can even draw your own patterns, although if you make one that’s already assigned to another feature, Vivaldi will tell you the pattern is in use, but not by what. 

We don't use mouse gestures, but there are doubtless many who would. We much preferred Quick Commands. You press F2 to bring up a search box that will look through your bookmarks and history, as well as program commands and settings, as you type. It’s a quick way to navigate all the information stored in your browser from a single place. 

TAB HANDLING

Vivaldi’s tab handling is one of its most impressive aspects. For a start, you don’t have to have tabs along the top. If you’d rather mimic the Windows start bar, then place it at the bottom. Want to take advantage of a widescreen monitor? Put it to the side. Having your tab bar at the left or right also gives you a useful thumbnail of each page. 

A movable tab bar is only the beginning. Move one tab onto another and Vivaldi will group them together to form a Tab Stack. Hovering the mouse over the Stack shows you thumbnails of all the pages it contains, so you can choose the one you want. You can also Ctrl-click to select multiple tabs, then right-click and add them to a Tab Stack. 

A particularly useful feature is Stack Tabs by Host, so if you have multiple pages from www.trustedreviews.com open, you can make a Tab Stack with a single click. Oddly, this wouldn’t work with Google sites, and we wish clicking on the Tab Stack would bring up the thumbnails – it would feel more natural than just hovering over the top. 

Right-clicking on a tab, multiple tabs or a Tab Stack provides brings up a number of useful options. You can move a tab or a Stack to a new window if your tab bar is getting overwhelming. You can bookmark a single tab, all open tabs or a Tab Stack, and multiple tabs will be given their own folder stamped with the time the bookmarks were created. 

Best of all, you can tile tabs within a single browser window. It’s great for multi-tasking – when you have a couple of websites open and are typing into a Google Doc, for example – and, once again, is a great way to take advantage of a widescreen or ultra-widescreen monitor. We wish there was a way to resize the tiles, however. 

Best web browser 14

There’s one last feature we found particularly useful: the tab trash can. Click this icon and you’ll see all the tabs you’ve had open previously, so you can restore them with a click – and the browser will even remember your tabs after a restart.

NEW TAB PAGE

You have plenty of options when it comes to new tabs: the Start page, your homepage, a blank page or a page you specify. Most browsers only offer the option of a blank page or a special New Tab page. Since we access so many different services, from email to documents to maps, from the Google homepage, we liked having that open automatically with every new tab. 

The Start page itself stands out. It’s split into Bookmarks, History and Speed Dial – similar to Bookmarks, but with thumbnails. You can create as many Speed Dial sections as you need; you can have a section for social media, news, shopping, messaging and anything else you can think of. 

Speed Dial doesn’t automatically fill up with your most-visited sites in the way that Chrome’s New Tab page does, but it does provide suggestions for Speed Dial entries based on your browsing history. You can also turn a Bookmarks folder into a Speed Dial with a click. 

ADDRESS BAR

As with all modern browsers, you can search from the address bar, and as long as you enable the option, you will receive suggestions to complete web addresses and search strings as you type. Those concerned about privacy may wish to disable this option, as it means data is sent to a search provider such as Google before you even press return. You can get around this by enabling a dedicated search box with suggestions disabled, so you can use this box instead when you’re concerned about privacy. 

One problem we had was that Vivaldi would return search suggestions when we had Bing set as the default search engine, but not Google. This is apparently a known bug. 

BOOKMARKS AND PANELS

The browser comes with a number of shopping bookmarks, which is presumably one of the ways in which the Vivaldi developers make money. It takes little time to remove them if you’re not interested. Adding a bookmark is easy with the button next to the address bar, or a right-click on a tab. You can also drag items from your history straight to a Bookmarks folder. 

You can either manage your bookmarks with the Start page, where a tree view makes it simple to create folders and move bookmarks around, or use the tree view in the Bookmarks Panel. The Panels live on the left or right of your monitor, depending on your preference, and there are sections for Bookmarks, Downloads, Notes and Web Panels. 

Bookmarks and Downloads work as you’d expect, but Notes and Web Panels are particularly interesting. As well as adding text, Notes lets you screenshot the current page or a portion of it to attach to the Note, and will automatically add the page’s URL to the note’s metadata. It’s a powerful and well-integrated feature, and the only thing missing is any kind of sync capability – but that’s apparently coming soon. 

Web Panels are a way to keep various web pages open in your browser as sidebars. It’s particularly useful for frequently updated sites that you flick to occasionally, such as a news site or Twitter. Any site can be a web panel, but some get confused about the device you’re using and ask you to install an app.  

EXTENSIONS

Vivaldi currently doesn’t have any native extensions, but since it’s based on the Chromium browser project, most Chromium extensions should work. It’s such a feature-packed browser that you shouldn’t really need too many add-ons. One extension we did need was the User Agent Switcher for Chrome (below). Without it, Netflix refused to play anything. Once I fooled the service into thinking I was using Chrome, everything was fine. 
Best web browser 13

PERFORMANCE

This is the one area where Vivaldi falls down, If only very slightly. Despite competitive scores in the MotionMark animation benchmark, Speedometer web app test and JetStream JavaScript benchmarks, it didn’t feel quite as smooth as Chrome or Edge when scrolling through web pages. There’s also a very slight pause when opening the Start page, especially if you have a background image turned on. However, memory usage with six web pages open was the lowest of any mainstream browser here, at just 524MB, so this is no resource hog overall. 

In the Netflix test, it consumed 28% battery in an hour, putting it firmly in the mid-table.

VERDICT

There’s no doubt Vivaldi is an excellent browser. There’s no need to hunt around for extensions: if you can think of a feature you need, it’s probably already there. The only thing currently missing is sync, but that’s on the way. Those with more modest requirements should stick with the super-fast Chrome, but if you’re a power user who deals with huge bookmark libraries and likes to keep plenty of tabs open, you’ll love it.
Best web browser

1 / 6

OUR SCORE:

GOOGLE CHROME

Key features:
  • Deeply integrated with Google services
  • Decent performance
  • Easy-to-manage site privacy controls
  • Loads of add-ons
  • Excellent sync
  • Slightly confusing interface
Since its launch in 2008, Chrome has grown to the point where nearly 60% of desktop users surf using Google’s browser. 

It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. At launch Chrome was a revelation, thanks to its clean interface and incredible performance. It’s had its ups and downs since, but Google has recently stripped out some of the bloat to make Chrome quick and intuitive once again. 

INTERFACE

The reason Chrome is the go-to browser for so many people is obvious: it’s just so easy to use. It loads quickly – start typing into the address/search box and results will appear instantly from your history, alongside Google’s own suggestions, to complete your web searches. These suggestions take the form of web addresses (type in www.gu and you’ll get suggestions for The Guardian, Gumtree and Guildford Council, for example) as well as search strings. In effect, you can be on a specific web page or have a page of Google results within moments of opening the browser. 

Of course, this is advantageous to Google as well as its users, since the company relies on collecting information. And it’s this very reason that causes many folk to worry about using. What you type into the address box is sent direct to Google before you’ve even pressed return, in order for the company to provide you with search suggestions. Unlike Opera and Vivaldi, there’s no option to have a dedicated search box with suggestions disabled; you have to disable suggestions entirely in the browser’s settings. 

There isn’t much else to Chrome – just tabs, address bar, navigation and bookmark buttons and a menu. There are plenty of hidden features, which bolsters the browser’s clean look but doesn’t always aid usability, as we’ll explain later. 

Best web browser 1

The browser does an excellent job of helping you manage your interaction with websites. Click the icon on the left of your current web address, and you can view information about the current site –whether your connection is encrypted and how many cookies are in use, for example. You can also choose whether you want to allow or deny technologies such as JavaScript or Flash, or let the site access your computer’s camera or microphone. It’s the easiest site security control we’ve seen. 

NEW TAB PAGE

You don’t get a Home button by default, but it’s easy to enable in Settings. We like to have a home button set to google.co.uk due to our reliance on multiple Google web apps – it’s simple to access these from the Google homepage. 

This being a Google browser, there are other ways to access Google’s services too. The first is with the Apps bookmark, which is set up on the Bookmarks Bar by default. This sends you to chrome://apps, and has large icons for the Web Store (for more apps and browser extensions), Google Drive, Gmail and YouTube, among others. The difference between apps and extensions is that extensions change or extend the way the web browser itself works; apps, on the other hand, are services or web programs you access through that browser. 

You can also access Google’s apps/services using the New Tab page. As with Opera, there’s no way to change what appears when you open a new tab, unless you use an extension such as New tab URL. A bar at the top of the New Tab page includes a menu for Google’s services, and if you’re signed in it will let you access your profile information. 

The New Tab page also consists of a Google search box and eight thumbnails for your most-used sites. This looks a little like Opera or Vivaldi’s Speed Dial, but without either’s level of customisation. The only thing you can do is delete sites from the page, rather than organise them in any particular fashion. 

TAB HANDLING

Chrome opens tabs instantly and flicks between them without hesitation. Everything about the browser performs with great alacrity. There’s nothing fancy about Chrome’s tab handling, but it’s slick and intuitive, whether you’re rearranging tabs or pulling them out to create new windows. Right-clicking a tab brings up standard options – such as pinning a tab (so it will survive a browser restart), duplicating or closing that tab or all other tabs – as well as the option to bookmark all open tabs and save them to a folder. 

Our only real niggle with Chrome’s tab handling is that pressing Ctrl-tab clicks through the tabs in order, rather than between the last-used tabs. This can be fixed using an extension such as CLUT (Cycle Last Used Tabs), but is an example of where the competition is pulling ahead. There’s also no tabs menu, where you can see a list of open tabs at a glance, or thumbnails when you hover over a tab. There is a least a list of recently closed tabs, hidden away in the History section of the main menu. 

HISTORY AND BOOKMARKS

This brings us to another gripe with Chrome: useful features are hidden away, with no effort made to integrate them with the main interface. You access both your history and bookmarks from awkward fly-out sub-menus in the application’s main menu. We’d recommend learning the keyboard shortcuts instead (Ctrl-H and Ctrl-Shift-O). 

We did find we missed the fancy ways other browsers have of making your history and bookmarks accessible. Chrome just opens them in a new tab, which is fine, but it isn’t a patch on Firefox’s pop-up history sidebar or Vivaldi and Opera’s Speed Dial. For bookmarks, we find Chrome works best if you enable the Bookmarks Bar and are fastidious about arranging bookmarks in folders. The Bookmarks Manager does make it simple to organise your bookmarks, thanks to a folder hierarchy view and drag-and-drop. Unfortunately, you can’t create a bookmark direct from your history. 

EXTENSIONS

Chrome has a huge library of extensions, so if there’s something about the browser’s behaviour you want to tweak, there’s probably an extension out there to make it happen. Again, there’s no easy way to access installed extensions; you need to go Menu|More tools|Extensions, then click the Get More Extensions link at the bottom. It makes them feel like a bit of an afterthought. 

SYNC

Chrome’s Sync uses your Google account, and is as comprehensive as you want it to be. You can choose to sync your installed apps, extensions, settings, themes, history, bookmarks and open tabs across devices, and even your passwords and autofill information (for web page address fields and so on). It’s useful to have this data synced, but think carefully about the possible consequences of having so much information shared between all your PCs and mobile devices – even if you do trust Google itself. 

PERFORMANCE

Chrome feels fast, and is fast. It came top of the MotionMark graphics benchmark with a huge 380.84, and was comfortably the fastest browser we tested in the Speedometer web application benchmark with 117.3. Its score of 184.36 in the JetStream JavaScript benchmark was beaten only by Microsoft Edge. It could render TrustedReviews.com in 2.8 seconds, so shares top honours with Opera. Its memory usage is average, at 704.5MB with our six test pages open.  

It consumed 26% of our test machine's battery in an hour of Netflix streaming, which isn't the worst but comes in behind Microsoft Edge.

VERDICT

Chrome remains an excellent browser. In the past, some versions have been sluggish or buggy, but the current edition (56, as tested) is fast and stable. Once you’re used to how quickly Chrome responds, other browsers can feel slow, even if there’s very little difference in reality. 

However, what Chrome has in speed it lacks in extra features, and its interface, while clean, hides many of its useful features away. We’d happily take a little more clutter for easier access to our bookmark manager and history, for example, or to have a more customisable New Tab page. If you’ve always used Chrome, it’s worth installing an alternative such as Vivaldi, Opera or Firefox, just to see what you might be missing. 

Author : Chris Finnamore

Source : http://www.trustedreviews.com/best-web-browser_round-up

Everything that appears on the internet about you and your company is as indelible as astronaut footsteps on the moon. That's fine as long as the information is positive, but what if it is negative? Maybe an unhappy customer or a vicious competitor felt like telling something negative to the world. What can you do to vacuum up this dirt?

A relatively new industry has cropped up to deal with these unfortunate situations. For a small fortune, you can have reputation managers fix or bury negative search results. You are unlikely to get retractions from the people who spread the dirt or to persuade a website or internet service provider to remove it. So the only way to minimize the damage is to create new, positive comments that will drive the negatives off Google's first page of search results. It's important for a company to develop a fast, strategic response to negative online information in order to prevent further damage to the brand.

I asked some reputation managers, via helpareporter.com, about what they do and how much they charge for this service.

John David, president of the David PR Group and author of a new book, "How to Protect (Or Destroy) Your Reputation Online" (OnlineRepBook.com), suggests that suppression is just one way to approach the issue. "The first solution is to make an effort to get negative content removed at the source. Believe it or not, we have had success by simply identifying the right person at a blog site or other site and asking to have content taken down. It doesn't always work, but it is almost always worth a try.

"The second option is what I call the covert operations of reputation management," David said. "Some companies have identified ways to get content removed from search results or even removed at the hosting level by leveraging the many terms and conditions which every piece of online content must abide by. It works in some cases but can be expensive."

The reputation management trade has major players, such as reputation.com, but most people hire their neighborhood search-engine optimization firm, with marginal success.

Most clients want content gone from search results. Many believe suppression is the only way to go. Sometimes, it is the only solution.

Nataliya Yakushev, with Rubenstein Communications, said, "The pricing model for reputation management is typically a monthly retainer and includes public relations support. The most sought-after services are search suppression (replacing negative, outdated articles with fresh up-to-date content) and digital branding. Digital branding for a company or an individual includes digital asset creation and optimization, thought leadership amplification and creation of controlled digital assets.

"Reputation management industry players vary from small SEO firms to full-service marketing agencies that offer online reputation management," Yakushev said. "Every reputation-management case is unique and requires a blend of web development, SEO, content creation and public relations." 

According to Julia Angelen Joy, a public relations consultant with Z Group PR, the price will vary based on the expected level of service. Cost estimates may range from $100 to $350 per hour for an experienced communications consultant. Monthly retainers can range from $100 to $1,000 or more.

Joy cited several questions that need to be answered, "Whether the problem consists of online issues only or real life reputation issues? Is it the corporation or an individual? Is there a current or recent crisis, or is this a business-branding strategy? Are there published media articles or online product reviews? What is the timeline? Does the company need to make something disappear or show improved customer service?

"Removing online content is difficult, but a strong PR strategy may help to bury it," Joy said. The speed of resolution will increase costs.

Brad Chase, Partner with Capitol Media Partners, said, "Big traditional firms with offices across the nation or globe will regularly charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per month with a minimum contract length. They generally scoff at any type of work where the client wants to pay less than $25,000.

"There has been massive growth in boutique firms, where senior executives who have worked at the UN, White House, cable TV networks and Fortune 500 companies gravitate to take on more of a consulting role - giving direct advice and less fieldwork in exchange for prices in the $20-50k range," Chase said. "Finally, there's the bottom rung: People who know how social media promotions (basic marketing communication) work but are unschooled in the difference between brand and reputation. Some rake in huge billings, but most are willing to just undercut the competition for the quick paycheck. With these guys, you get what you pay for. They'll take whatever they can get."

Of course, the best advice is not to need a reputation manager in the first place.

Author : Dennis Zink

Source : http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170206/business-score-card-reputation-management-and-how-to-clean-up-online-dirt

There’s a big difference between being busy and being effective.

For most of my early entrepreneurial journey I often found myself spending hours at my computer only to look at the clock mid-afternoon to realize I hadn’t really accomplished anything.

It turns out this is a common thing for entrepreneurs—entrepreneurs work63% longer than the average employee, working an average of 52 hours a week.

If you feel like you are always working but not advancing in your career one successful entrepreneur has a solution. He says there’s three skills he mastered to build his business to 7-figures in annual revenue in just two years. If you can master these skills, you’ll be able to put an end to “busyness” and advance your career in a fraction of the time.

Meet John Lee Dumas, founder of the daily business podcast for entrepreneurs “Entrepreneur on Fire,” which gets 1.2 Million monthly listens and generates 7-figures in yearly revenue. Entrepreneur on Fire has featured distinguished guests like Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Tim Ferris, and was awarded ‘Best of iTunes.’

This week on Unconventional Life, Dumas shares the three skills every entrepreneur needs to master to advance their careers in 2017.

Photo courtesy John Lee DumasPhoto courtesy John Lee Dumas

Dumas says he can relate to feeling challenged in the early days of his entrepreneurial journey. When he first launched Entrepreneur on Fire, he had no experience with podcasting and had been told by his mentors it was a bad idea.

Though the odds were stacked against him, he saw a need for daily content for entrepreneurs and wanted to fulfill that need. “I wanted more content, fresh content every single day waiting for me and I didn’t understand why it didn’t exist so I decided to be the change I wanted to see in the world,” says Dumas.

Roughly four years later, Entrepreneur on Fire has become one of the most listened to and valued podcasts by entrepreneurs. Dumas has released over 1,500 episodes, which collectively have over 43 Million listens.

Dumas accredits his success to three key skills—productivity, discipline, and focus. He says these skills are the horsepower behind execution and separate those who follow through from those who don’t.

In mastering these skills, you can be sure you’ll be able to conquer anything in your path. Below, Dumas shares his tips to master productivity, discipline and focus.

1. Operate In Your Genius

Being productive is effortless when you enjoy what you do and you’re good at it. Dumas calls this your “zone of genius.” You can uncover your zone of genius with a simple 5-day exercise. Draw a line down the center of a blank piece of paper and label the left side, “things I enjoy,” and the right side, “things I’m good at.” For ten minutes each day, write down as much as you can on each side. Repeat the exercise for five days in a row.

2. Own Your Strengths

“We have way more weaknesses than we have strengths,” Dumas says. “The problem is people spend their time on all those weaknesses trying to be ok at something they’re crappy at. Nobody wants ok, you might as well stay crappy.” Forget your weaknesses; identify what your natural strengths are and work on developing them to a level of mastery. You’ll work your “discipline” and “focus” muscles in the process.

3. Outsource

You can free up a tremendous amount of time and energy with outsourcing. Check yourself by calculating your “hourly wage,” or the amount of money you make divided by the hours you work. If your hourly wage isn’t what you want it to be, consider hiring someone to do simple things like website maintenance or responding to emails that aren’t an effective use of your time.

4. Put The Blinders On

Those who try to do too many things at once rarely get anything done. Select one project you want to see to completion and make it the sole object of your focus until it is complete. Eliminate distractors and execute your project with laser-like focus for maximum productivity.

5. Plan

Your goals can feel overwhelming and unattainable when you don’t have a concrete plan of action to achieve them. Determine what your goals are and create a realistic plan with daily action steps that will take you to your goal. In creating your plan, make sure your roadmap is guaranteed to work. You don’t want to waste your energy doing things that don’t produce results. Your plan should give you confidence and peace of mind that every single day you are making progress and are certain to arrive at your goal.

6. Stick To A Routine

Routines are a great way to establish structure and hold yourself accountable to your best work. Dumas says he starts every day with running, meditation, and journaling to put himself in the frame of mind he needs to be successful. Maybe your daily routine involves coffee and rejuvenating breaks. Design a framework that will enable you to do your best, day in and day out. For even greater structure, check out Dumas’ Mastery Journal designed to guide you to productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days. 

Author : Jules Schroeder

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/julesschroeder/2017/01/23/3-skills-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-advance-their-career-in-2017/#58209aa47c21

It’s quickly become easier than ever to find skilled, vetted freelancers for extra support on anything from IT infrastructure to content marketing. The move to hiring freelancers has become so common that we forget how recent this shift was made – and is still going on. Companies were not always as comfortable hiring freelancers, and there wasn’t always as large a pool of qualified freelancers to draw from. In fact, the disruption caused by the freelance workforce has been so significant that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has declared that we are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

So what is driving this disruption and why has the labor market changed? The immediate answer is advancements in technology. Technology has revolutionized everything from how we travel to how we communicate. WEF points to cloud technology and the mobile internet, as well as the sharing economy and crowdsourcing as two technological trends driving the fourth industrial revolution.

In the United States, two factors have come together to make the gig economy stronger than ever before: the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, colloquially known as Obamacare), and the rise of talent platforms.

The Affordable Care Act

With the ACA, many Americans who had previously not had health insurance found themselves covered – and many other Americans who had been insured through their employers suddenly found new freedom in not having their health insurance tied to their jobs. That made many of them take the plunge into freelance work. The ACA freed many Americans from “job lock,” where the fear of being uninsured made them stay at jobs they didn’t want to be in. The ACA instead allowed them to choose how and where they wanted to work and some employees chose to move on to different jobs that they enjoyed more while others chose to work for themselves.

The Congressional Budget Office actually predicted this effect in its 2014 study of the ACA, stating “… the ACA could influence labor productivity indirectly by making it easier for some employees to obtain health insurance outside the workplace and thereby prompting those workers to take jobs that better match their skills, regardless of whether those jobs offered employment-based insurance.”

That same year, a graduate student named James Bailey tested a hypothesis about the Affordable Care Act; he examined whether 19- to 25-year-olds were more likely to work as freelancers if they were able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans. His research showed that those with coverage were 2-3 times more likely to go into business for themselves than those without coverage.

Also, after the ACA was implemented, it made more financial sense for companies to hire freelancers rather than provide insurance to full-time employees. In our 2016 research report The Rise of Blended Workforce in the New Gig Economy, we found that 74% of 600 HR decision makers said they would contract more freelancers as a result of the ACA. Further, an astounding 28% responded that they intend to hire a greater number of freelancers than full-time employees by 2020.

The ACA is simultaneously triggering companies to turn to freelancers, while also freeing many Americans to pursue their passions in their new independent careers. The result is the blended workforce – a perfect marriage of companies and freelancers, each satisfied with their arrangement.

The Rise of Talent Platforms

In addition to the ACA, the rise of talent platforms has made it easier than ever for companies to find the freelancers they need. Websites such as LinkedIn paved the way for more niche sites to match freelancers with work opportunities, and the online marketplace of the new gig economy is growing rapidly.

As our 2016 study found, 38% of freelancers are now being sourced through freelance management and talent platforms. While general online job boards are still more popular at 43%, freelance management platforms are quickly narrowing that gap.

Such sites make it easy for companies to quickly find freelancers with the skills they need. Many outline the freelancer’s specialties, provide a portfolio of past work and include reviews from previous clients. This makes it quicker and easier than ever before for companies to find freelancers they can feel confident in hiring.

A McKinsey Global Institute report on the labor market outlines the many reasons that talent platforms are good for freelancers, companies, and the labor market. McKinsey estimates that by 2025, such platforms may add $2.7 trillion to global GDP and begin to improve many of the problems today’s labor markets face.

How will these platforms add so much value to the economy? The McKinsey report suggests:

  • Talent platforms give job markets a boost. As these platforms grow, “they will become faster and more effective clearinghouses that can inject new momentum and transparency” to stalled job markets.
  • Talent platforms show which skills are in demand. This transparency may even inform people’s educational choices, steering them into in-demand professions. According to McKinsey, more effective spending on university education “could reduce some of the $89 billion misallocation we find in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”

The freelance trend shows no signs of stopping, which demonstrates the ongoing need for talent platforms. As our 2016 research report found, one in five top performing firms say 40% of their labor force is already composed of freelancers and nearly half of top-performing firms intend to increase their hiring of freelancers by 30%. Successful companies are already hiring freelancers in droves and more companies are sure to follow – which makes talent platforms an invaluable resource.

This is no blip – the ACA and talent platforms have helped ensure the rise of the professional freelancer. If your company hasn’t already considered hiring freelancers, what are you waiting for?

Author: Mynul Khan
Source: http://www.lifehack.org/476663/driving-the-disruption-the-rise-of-professional-freelancing

 

Thursday, 19 January 2017 13:54

Amazon customers targeted in phishing scam

Sophos researchers pulled the covers off a phishing scam hitting Amazon customers who are looking for deals on electronics that are too good to be true.

The scam is run by the supposed Amazon merchant Sc-Elegance and hooks victims by offering products at well below market prices, Sophos reported. Sc-Elegance has been caught using this tactic before on Amazon.

The con starts when the victim attempts to check out. A message appears stating the product is no longer available, but then the vendor will email the target saying the item is available and can be purchased by clicking on an imitation Amazon link included in the email. The link leads to a fake, but quite real looking, Amazon payment screen where all of the victim's Amazon login, payment and personal information is asked for.

Sophos said a few clues exist pointing out the scam. There are some misspellings and the site's domain is outside of Amazon's.

Author: Doug Olenick
Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/amazon-customers-targeted-in-phishing-scam/article/631319

Google is everywhere on the internet. We use Google to complete web searches. YouTube is our favorite destination for videos that are distracting and educational alike. Chrome is many people’s favorite browser, and Android is many people’s favorite mobile operating system. Google’s infrastructure underlies millions of popular websites worldwide. And over the years, Google has amassed a huge amount of information about what we search, what we read, the websites we visit, and even the locations we frequent.

There are some undeniably great things about Google. (Need an example? We’re big fans of the Google Pixel and the new Google Assistant.) But Google’s world domination also has some not-so-great effects for the average internet user. Ahead, you can check out some ways that Google’s ubiquity online is annoying, or even creepy. You may never look at the Google homepage the same way again.

1. Google tracks everything you do online

Couple shopping online on their laptop

Google (and advertisers) know who you are, what you’re interested in, and what you’re most likely to buy. That’s because the company tracks just about everything you do online. As Becca Caddy reports for Wired, the company saves all of your web searches, plus stores every voice search. (It can track the pages you visit even when you aren’t signed into a Google account through the use of cookies, plus information gathered by Google AdSense and Google Analytics.) It tracks and records your location. Google also scans your emails. To use Google’s apps, whether you’re on Android or on the iPhone, you have to be OK with the company tracking everything you say and do. 

2. Most people are monitored by Google — and don’t know it

woman and man at home typing on laptops

Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology wrote for U.S. News several years ago that Google monitors “perhaps upwards of 90 percent of internet users worldwide — whether they use a Google product or not, and most people have no idea they’re being monitored.” Google’s tracking activities are extensive. And they’re enabled not only by the company’s search engine, its Chrome browser, and its Android operating system, but also by products like Google Analytics, Google AdSense, and Google AdWords. All of the information Google collects over time enables the company to build a detailed file on your interests, preferences, beliefs, and problems.  

3. Google may not know your name (at first) but will figure it out

Businessman or designer using laptop computer

Epstein also reports even if Google doesn’t know your name, it can still track your searches with codes, like your IP address, that are unique to your computer or to your specific location. And Google installs an identifier cookie on your computer that makes you easier to track. “Through cross-referencing, the company can eventually find your name, address, and telephone number, too.” As Jeffrey Rosen reported for the New York Times a few years ago, real privacy threats arise when Google and advertisers know who you are. “Computers can link our digital profiles with our real identities so precisely that it will soon be hard to claim that the profiles are anonymous in any meaningful sense.” If Google collects enough information on you, it’s likely to discover information that could lead to harm if it were revealed.  

4. It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to use email without being tracked by Google

Azerty keyboard of a laptop computer

If you use Gmail, it’s a given that Google will track all of your messages. It will scan the messages you send, the addresses of the people you’re emailing, plus your incoming messages. Additionally, it doesn’t ever erase its copies of messages you sent, drafts you decided not to send, and incomplete messages you didn’t even save as a draft. But because Google’s servers are used to route the emails of thousands of other companies, many emails that aren’t even sent from or to a Gmail address are scanned by Google. Which means that if you’re using email — any kind of email — chances are good Google is watching you. 

5. Google dominates not only as a search engine, but as part of the infrastructure of countless websites

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during Google I/O 2016

More than half of the world’s most popular websites use Google Analytics to collect information about their visitors. Millions of website owners use Google AdSense to try to monetize their sites. And many even use Google AdWords to scatter ads throughout text-based content. Google often gets information on you when you simply load a page containing such software. That’s one of the creepiest consequences of Google’s world domination. Even if you aren’t using any Google products directly, the company’s software is ubiquitous enough that it’s still able to track everything you do.

6. Google knows what you’re reading and doing online

Hand touching digital tablet

In case you hadn’t realized it yet, Google is paying close attention to the websites you visit and the publications you read when you’re online. For that reason, there are plenty of things you should never search on Google — at least if you don’t want to reveal some pretty personal information to Google and to the scores of companies who advertise with Google. Googling queries about medical issues or drugs, for instance, can make it easy for advertisers to figure out if you have specific health issues (which has some pretty creepy implications).

7. Other companies’ browsers tell Google what websites you’re visiting

student studying

You’d think if you aren’t using Google’s search engine to find a website and you’re not using Google Chrome, then Google can’t spy on what websites you’re visiting, right? Wrong. Epstein reports other companies’ browsers, including Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari, use a Google blacklist to check whether the site you’re visiting is dangerous. That doesn’t sound so bad. After all, it sounds harmless to check the safety of the websites you’re navigating to. But in the process, those browsers are telling Google what websites you’re visiting. 

8. Google even knows information you wouldn’t share with other people

Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

A disconcerting side effect of Google’s world domination? The company probably knows some information about you that you wouldn’t readily share with other people. For instance, you might find it disconcerting to learn that Google probably knew how you were voting in the recent presidential election. Contrary to what you might find on Facebook, not everybody wants to share their political views with the world. So it’s at least a little bit creepy that a giant search engine could easily have that information. 

9. Google has even more information about you if you’re an Android user

woman using smartphone and smilling

Google probably wants everybody to have an Android phone. That probably doesn’t sound bad if you’re already a fan of Android. (Though it might make for a pretty boring smartphone landscape.) But using an Android phone or tablet opens you up to even more tracking by Google — something you might not think about when you’re comparing your options at Best Buy or at your carrier’s store. Of particular interest on Android is the operating system’s ability to track your location. Even its backup utility is cause for concern, as it gives Google access to a lot more information about you than you might assume.

10. Trying to delete yourself from the internet? You’ll need a Google account

smiling man using a laptop

This one isn’t technically Google’s fault, but it’s definitely a strange result of Google’s world domination. The internet collectively raised its hands in praise upon the arrival of Swedish website Deseat.me, which helps you clean up your internet presence or remove yourself almost entirely from the internet. But you’ll need to use your Google account to bring up your online and social media accounts. 

11. You can replace most Google services — with the exception of YouTube

laptop in girl's hands sitting on wooden floor with coffee

Joshua J. Romero reported years ago for IEEE Spectrum that he embarked on a “quest to quit the most pervasive company on the web” and find alternatives to the Google services he had been using. As you might imagine, there are competing alternatives for almost all of Google’s apps, services, and platforms. But there’s one notable exception: YouTube. As Romero explained, “There was one Google service that I found I could just not live without, no matter how hard I tried: YouTube.” He continues, “It’s easy to take YouTube for granted because it’s been hyped in the press for years. There are other video sites, of course, but the depth, breadth, and ubiquity of YouTube became conspicuous every time I watched another video.”

12. It takes some pretty major steps to stop Google from tracking you

Mother And Son In Kitchen Looking At Laptop

If you want to delve into the settings for your Google account, there are plenty of small steps that you can take to control the search engine giant’s access to information about you and your activity. But as Zach Epstein reports for BGR, the best way to get Google to stop tracking you is to use a VPN. Using a VPN isn’t hard, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. (A VPN, for those of you who are unfamiliar, just routes your web traffic through a third party server in order to protect your identity and your information.) VPNs are usually pretty easy to set up and to use. But it’s still pretty disheartening that Google’s tracking is pervasive enough to make a VPN a necessity for avoiding it.

Author: Jess Bolluyt
Source: http://www.cheatsheet.com/gear-style/ways-googles-world-domination-is-downright-creepy.html/?a=viewall

If you're conducting an SEO audit, you should probably be using DevTools in Google Chrome. Columnist Aleyda Solis shares 10 ways to use these tools to identify and fix SEO issues.

Although many of us in the industry pay hundreds or even thousands for SEO software that helps to automate and simplify our everyday work, we already have one of the most handy free SEO tool sets in the market with Google Chrome’s DevTools. Built into Google Chrome, this set of web authoring and debugging tools allows us to validate some of the most fundamental and critical SEO aspects of any page.

In most cases, using DevTools is pretty straightforward. But there are a few very handy and not so obvious applications for SEO analysis. Let’s go through them now.

Start by navigating to the page you want to investigate in Google Chrome and opening DevTools. You can do this by selecting More Tools > Developer Tools from the Google Chrome menu in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window.

google-chrome-devtools

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows) or Cmd+Opt+I (Mac), or you can right-click on the page element you’d like to investigate and click “Inspect” from the drop-down menu that appears.

1. Check your page’s main content elements, including JavaScript-rendered ones

Google is now able to crawl and index JavaScript-based content, but it doesn’t always do so flawlessly. Therefore, it is a must to verify the main content elements of your pages — not only by reviewing their HTML source code, but also by checking their DOM to see how the information will be actually rendered and identified by Google.

You can directly see the DOM of any page with DevTools in the “Elements” panel.

chrome-devtools-elements-tab

Use this to review the content of any of the page’s elements (such as the title, meta description or page text) to verify that the desired relevant information is shown in each case, to make sure it’s accessible to Google.

For example, in the upper left screen shot below, we can see how the displayed main text (in red) is included in a <div>. But this is actually implemented with JavaScript, the code for which can be seen in the upper right screen shot below, which shows the page’s HTML source code.

Javascript Content Rendering

When identifying these differences between the content shown in both, you can then take the appropriate steps to verify it’s being indexed correctly: reviewing the page cached version in Google, verifying if the text is being shown in Google’s results when searching for it, using the “Fetch as Googlebot” in Google Search Console and so on.

2. Look for CSS hidden content

It’s known that Google “discounts” text content that, although included in the page’s HTML source code, is hidden to the user by default with tabs or menu options that need to be “clicked” to view or expand them.

Among the most common ways to hide text is by using CSS with the “display:none”  or “visibility:hidden”

properties, so it’s recommended to check if there’s any important information on your site pages that might be hidden via these means.

You can do this with Chrome’s DevTools “Search” drawer, which you can access by hitting Ctrl + Shift + F (Windows) or Cmd + Opt + F (Mac) when DevTools is open. This search feature will allow you to look not only through the opened page file itself but across all of the used resources, including CSS and JavaScript.

search hidden content styles

Here, you can search for the desired properties, in this case “hidden” or “display:none” to identify if/where they exist within the page code.

Click on a search result to view the full code surrounding the property you’ve searched for. Review the code to see which text is being hidden; if it’s important content, check if it’s being discounted by Google, and take the appropriate actions.

3. Verify your images ALT descriptions

Besides checking your pages’ main text content elements, you can also verify your images ALT descriptions in the “Elements” panel. Right-click on any image and select “Inspect,” as shown here:

Verify Images ALT Descriptions

4. Identify no-indexation & canonicalization configuration in pages & resources

You can also use Chrome’s DevTools to inspect your pages’ technical configuration. For example, you can validate the meta robots and canonical tags configuration, which can be done by using the “Search” drawer to look for these specific tags and review how they’re implemented.

devtools-search-canonical

This validation can be done not only for the implementation of these tags in the HTML <head> area, but also in the HTTP headers, by going to the “Network” panel and selecting the desired page or resource to verify their header information, including the existence of a link rel=”canonical” in an image file, for example, as shown below.

devtools-network-headers

5. Look for the HTTP status in the header configuration

When checking the header configuration of the pages and resources using the “Network” panel, you can also verify their HTTP status and see if there are any redirects, which type of redirects they are, and error statuses, as well as the inclusion of other configurations such as the x-robots-tag, hreflang or the “vary: user agent” ones.

HTTP Headers Validation

6. Validate your mobile web optimization by emulating any device

Mobile-friendliness is now essential for SEO, and you can validate page configuration and content in mobile using the DevTools “Device Mode.” This option can be enabled by clicking the device icon in the upper left-hand area of the panel or by pressing Command+Shift+M (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+M (Windows, Linux) while the DevTools panel is open.

devtools-device-toolbar

Once in Device Mode, you will be shown viewport controls in the upper area of the window. Here, you can select a responsive viewport (freely resizable) or choose a specific device to test your page with. You can also add your own custom device using the “Edit…” option.

Emulate Mobile Devices

7. Assess your page load time & identify speed issues

Analyze any page load time by emulating the network conditions and device used. For this, you can go to the “Network Conditions” tool, which you can access from the Customization menu in the upper right-hand corner of the panel under “More tools.”

devtools-network-conditions

Here you will find the “Caching,” “Network throttling” and “User agent” configurations.

Emulate Network Conditions

Once you’ve chosen your settings, you can reload the desired page and go to the “Network” panel to see not only the page’s full load time (Load) but also when the initial markup of the page has been parsed (DOMContentLoaded), both of which appear at the bottom of the window. You can also view the load times and sizes of each one of the used resources, which can be recorded by clicking on the red button at the left side of the panel.

To get recommendations of actions to take in order to improve the page speed performance, navigate to the “Audits” panel and click the “Run” button. Each recommendation will specify the related resources causing issues, as can be seen below:

Network insights resources & Recommendations

Additionally, you can capture screen shots of your page rendering with the “Filmstrip” option. By clicking on the camera icon and reloading the page, you can view screen shots of your page across various stages of loading, which allows you to verify what your users can see at every stage.

filmstrip screenshot load time

8. Identify render-blocking resources

You can also use the resources load times data in the “Network” panel to identify which JS and CSS resources are loading before the DOM and potentially blocking it, which is one of the most common page speed issues. You can filter by CSS and JS by clicking the buttons for them (as shown below).

Render Blocking Resources

9. Look for non-secure resources during HTTPS migrations

Chrome DevTools can be very helpful during HTTPS migrations, as it allows you to identify security issues in any page with the information provided in the “Security” panel. You can see if the page is secure and has a valid HTTPS certificate, the type of secure connection, and if there are mixed content issues due to non-secure origins of any used resource.

Secure Pages & Resources Validation Chrome DevTools

10. Validate your Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) implementation

If you’re implementing AMP, you can see if there are any issues with your pages by adding “#development=1” string to your AMP URL, then checking in the “Console” panel. This will tell you if there are any issues, warnings or errors — and in which element and line of code these have been found so you can take the appropriate action to fix them.

AMP Pages Validation

Bonus: Personalize Chrome DevTools settings

As you can see, you can use Chrome DevTools for SEO in so many ways that you will likely spend some time in it. Thus, you might want to personalize it a bit based on your own preferences. You can adjust the appearance, enable shortcuts and more.

You can do this in the “Preferences” settings, which can be found by clicking on the Customization menu button in the upper right-hand corner of the panel and choosing the “Settings” option.

Chrome DevTools Preferences

Last but not least, speaking of personalization of preferences: Analyzing minified code can make it difficult to parse, so make sure to click on the pretty print “{}” button in the central bottom area of the panel so you’re able to see a non-minified version. This will allow you to go through it easily due with improved readability.

PrettyPrint Chrome DevTools

I hope these Chrome DevTools tips help to make your SEO life easier!

Author: Aleyda Solis
Source: http://searchengineland.com/chromes-devtools-seo-10-ways-use-seo-audits-266433

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