I’ve mentioned before that I am not a fan of the Googlespy. The company offers so much for “free” and then makes a fortune selling its users’ data to all and sundry. They track all your Google searches and, through the use of tracking features delivered through their web-ads, have built a network of tracking sites that people don’t even realize are there. Not only that but they’ve built a billion dollar company on the back of other people’s content, and return next to nothing, in the form of ad revenue to those sites.
One particularly vile infringement of privacy: if you use their Chrome browser, they will track literally everything you do on the web, whether you use their search engine or not. And in fact, when you install Chrome, it actually reconfigures your system’s DNS servers to pump all of your traffic through the Googlespy collective! Not just web traffic but email an anything else.
And they’re not alone. Microsoft has also adopted similar practices in its deployment of Windows 10 and its web browser. Privacy is getting increasingly more difficult to preserve.
So, what’s the answer? Well, if you’re a die-hard curmudgeon like me, you use the wonderful Firefox browser from the open-source Mozilla Foundation. But some people have other reasons to use Chrome. They’re used to how it works and possibly use specific plug-ins that aren’t available on other browsers.
Well, help is on hand! There’s a new kid on the browser block, with the inspiring name of Brave. Unlike Firefox, this actually uses the Chrome codebase, so the way it operates is very similar and provides a comforting familiarity to people wanting to switch. And, not only that. this also means that most of the plug-ins designed for Chrome will also work in Brave.
I recently installed Brave to try it out and have to say I was impressed. The experience was slick and fast, with no glitches in sight. I also tested out installing a few Chrome plug-ins, like ad-blockers, and they worked fine (though they did show warnings that they may not work because the browser wasn’t actually Chrome).
So there you have it. As the Brave website says, you’re not a product. So why not free yourself?