Check if your browser is safe with five free tools

Check out five free tools you can use to check if your browser is secure and protects your privacy.

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Your browser is the one that is always connected to the internet. So it should be your first line of defense against hackers, against malware and also against trackers.

But are you sure it is doing its job properly? Is it set up correctly? Are the plugins and extensions you installed safe?

Here are some free tools you can use to check it. The tools below are listed alphabetically.

AmiUnique

amiunique browser test
As the name suggests, AmIUnique determines whether your browser leaves a unique “fingerprint” on the internet, making it easier for advertisers to target you. It is quite detailed and technical.

The browser fingerprint is a powerful method that websites use to collect information about your browser type and version, as well as operating system, active plugins, time zone, language, screen resolution, and various other active settings.

The tool also analyzes any extensions and add-ons you have installed and checks if they interfere in any way with your browser's security or violate your privacy.

AmIUnique has its own browser extension. It allows the user to view their fingerprint history and make adjustments based on it.

The timeline feature is particularly useful because it allows you to check how and if your fingerprint has changed over time.

Browsing Experience Security Check

cloudflare logo jpg

Cloudflare's Browsing Experience Security Check is the only tool on our list that revolves around the Domain Name System (DNS).

After you click the orange “Check my Browser” button, Cloudflare's tool will check if you are using a DNS resolver, analyze if you can be attacked through your browser, check if cyber crooks they can see the certificates of websites your browser connects to and so on.

For more detailed explanations, you can click the “Learn More” button below each result and find out if there are steps you can take to strengthen your security and privacy.

Cover Your Tracks

cover your tracks browser

Created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit group that champions digital privacy, free speech, and innovation, Cover Your Tracks is a highly capable tool that checks whether your browser is protecting you from tracking.

This is a similar tool to the AmiUnique we presented above, but in a more simplistic form and not as detailed as AmiUnique.

To start the analysis, press the “Test Your Browser” button having selected the test with a real tracking company function. In less than a minute, the tool will reveal whether your browser is blocking ads that track you, invisible trackers and fingerprinting.

After running the tests, Cover Your Tracks displays a table and a detailed report that explains how and why you are being tracked by advertisers and data brokers. It also displays a short guide on how to read and interpret the report.

Privacy Analyzer

privacy analyzer

Privacy Analyzer performs various tests to help you measure the security of your browser. To start it, press the START TEST button. In seconds, you'll get five detailed reports that explain what the site you're visiting knows about you.

Privacy Analyzer reveals whether the pages you frequently look at are gathering information about your operating system, screen resolution, and even battery levels if you're using a laptop.

If you have Brave, do the test with and without Brave Shields enabled. You will see several differences.

The tool also checks whether your browser has autocomplete enabled, shows whether it reveals information about the accounts you're signed in to, tests its features and settings, and participates in fingerprint analysis.

Qualys Browser Check

qualys browser test 1

Qualys is a household name in the cloud security space, having been around for more than two decades. Checking Your Browser is free and easy to use, and gives you great insight into how secure your software is.

Qualys BrowserCheck scans a browser for vulnerabilities and other security issues and notifies the user if they need to remove a plugin, install an update, etc.

For a more thorough analysis, you can install the BrowserCheck add-on, which is also free. Additionally, it runs automated scans from time to time, which can certainly help detect any anomalies if they occur.

If you don't want to install it, click Scan without installing plugin and the test will start automatically.

What to do if your browser fails the tests

If your browser passes the above tests, it's about as secure as such software can be.

However, if it fails some or most of them, you should replace it with a safe alternative. Here are three secure and private browsers to consider if the one you're using doesn't meet these standards.

Brave
brave browser

Brave was launched in 2019, but it has already established itself as a safe alternative to Chrome and other major browsers, mainly because it does everything on its own.

Brave automatically blocks ads and trackers, hides your online fingerprint, switches all websites to https, blocks scripts, and has built-in access to the Tor network.

Brave is based on Chromium, which means you can install almost any extension available in the Chrome web store. Plus, it's very fast and intuitive, so you don't have to compromise performance to boost your security.

The main thing is that it does not consume as much memory as Chrome.

Firefox
firefox c

Firefox was launched more than 20 years ago, but it remains one of the most popular web browsers among tech enthusiasts, mainly because of its security and privacy features.

Firefox is fast, open source, receives regular security updates, has a store full of useful extensions and add-ons, and can be synced across devices.

Unlike many other browsers, Firefox is highly customizable. This can make a real difference in terms of security and privacy, because it is possible to manage tracking and cookie permissions, disable or enable certain updates, control downloads, etc.

Tor
tor project

Tor (The Onion Router) is an open source technology that allows users to browse the internet privately by directing traffic through a network that covers their tracks.

The best way to connect to this network is through the Tor browser, which is arguably the safest and most private browser today because it was built to hide almost all information that could be used to identify you on Internet.

This comes at a price, at least in terms of performance. Tor is much slower than other browsers. However, it is still an essential privacy tool that you should have installed on your devices.

Improve your browser security to protect yourself

Brave, Firefox, and Tor may be the most secure of all browsers, but none of them are perfect. The good news is that you can strengthen the security of almost any browser by tweaking its settings, installing privacy-focused extensions, and updating it regularly.

But no matter how secure a browser is, you're at risk if you don't follow basic security protocols. This includes installing reliable anti-malware software, staying away from malicious websites, using strong passwords and checking every suspicious link before you follow it.

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browser, hack, safe, test, privacy

Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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