BILLIONS of Google Chrome users were urged over the weekend to delete the browser due to concerns over the way it handles people's data.
A British cyber security buff accused the app of harvesting people's information without them realising – here are some of the best alternatives.
Safari is a web browser built by Apple and comes pre-installed on all of the company's devices, including the iPhone.
It boasts many of Google Chrome's popular features such as private mode and even browser extensions.
On top of that, it is fast, less taxing on your system than its popular rival, and more private.
Apple limits the amount of your data the websites you visit can harvest, for instance, and automatically protects your IP address from hackers.
Like Safari, Firefox is a privacy-focussed browser that aims to limit how much you can be tracked across the web.
Developed by not-profit US tech giant Mozilla, it offers many of Chrome's top features, as well as additional extras like the handy screen capture tool.
The browser also boasts an ever-growing number of privacy and performance enhancements that are automatic by default.
In terms of popularity, Firefox has nearly 10 per cent of the market share of users, whereas Chrome has 65 per cent.
Edge is Microsoft's web browser and comes pre-installed on all new Windows PCs. It is the shiny successor to Internet Explorer.
Private browsing, extensions and other top Chrome features are all there (are you spotting a pattern yet?).
The main difference between the two is the amount of RAM (Random-access Memory) used – the amount of your PC's firepower used at any one time.
Chrome's is much higher, leading to faster response times and better handling of multiple tabs at the cost of your computer's performance.
If you're on an older machine that struggles with sluggish performance, Edge is likely the best option for you.
There are a number of browsers outside of the "big four" that are also great options for the average user.
They tend to market themselves on being more private and less intrusive than apps built by the Silicon Valley big boys.
Here are a selection worth looking at:
- Brave: Blocks intrusive ads and trackers that slow you down
- Opera GX: Gaming focussed browser that optimises PC performance
- Tor: Allows you to surf the web anonymously
- Vivaldi: Unrivalled customisation options
Google Chrome users are being warned to delete the browser as soon as possible amid fears highly sensitive data is being harvested.
Phone data is reportedly at risk of being passed on to third party companies without users realising it.
Forbes recently reported that this latest Big Tech privacy nightmare could give users a reason to delete Chrome from their phones.
It comes as Facebook is being accused of mining peoples’ critical private data using accelerometer data as a means to pinpoint locations and quietly trail app users and monitor activities.
But Forbes cybersecurity writer Zak Doffman warned: “While Facebook was collecting this information for itself, Chrome is happy to collect it for others — essentially enabling a free-for-all when it comes to hugely sensitive information about your every activity, your every behaviour.”
Research, he said, had exposed how the browser allows mobile websites to tap into device sensors.
Apple disables motion sensor access as a default.
But Google not only allows access, but it also tells users this is a “recommended” setting to keep enabled, Mr Doffman said.
On Android, Chrome can be scrubbed by disabling the stock browser in settings.
Last month Google Chrome users were warned of "multiple high-level hacks of [the] browser" for the second time in a week.
The tech giant advised its 2.6billion users to be aware in a blog post, revealing four "high" rated vulnerabilities – days after discovering Chrome’s 12th and 13th "zero-day" exploits.
A Google spokesperson told The Sun: “We intentionally limit the resolution of motion sensors in Chrome, and since 2019 we’ve had controls that allow users to block websites from accessing a device’s motion sensors altogether.
“We take user security and privacy seriously, and we’re always working on new ways to improve security and privacy in Chrome.”
In other news, Facebook has announced that it's changing its name to "Meta".
The company is working to create lifelike avatars of its users that they can control in a virtual world called the "metaverse".
Apple's system that exposes creepy iPhone apps that track your location or snoop on your browsing history has finally arrived.
And, astronomers claim to have spotted the first known planet outside of the Milky Way.
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