Browsers that protect from commercial tracking

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by asiga, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. asiga macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I'm beginning to feel worried about being tracked on the Internet for commercial purposes. I don't want Google to track me, and I don't want any companies to benefit from tracking me.

    However, searching for privacy secure browsers, drives you into an area I don't like either, because you end up looking at Tor or similar browsers, which are the choice of illegal activities and crime, for exactly that same reason: privacy.

    I don't like that area either... I don't want to choose browsers that would be chosen by crime. Even if they are also used for legal use, however, I took a look at their websites, and I really don't like the feeling I got there.

    In fact, I'm not against a government agency to track me. But I am very upset with commercial companies tracking web users, and I'd like to protect myself against them.

    I guess there's no midpoint... either you agree to be tracked, or you choose a browser that crime users would choose... but I'd like to ask anyway.

    Is there any midpoint, without going to Tor?
  2. superscape macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK

    Wouldn't toggling the "Website tracking" option under Safari>Preferences>Privacy do the trick for you?
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wouldn't the private window in Safari also meet your needs?
  4. asiga thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Maybe, although Safari also sends to Apple your searches by default (as you type in the URL input field... it's said to accelerate autocompletion). I think you can disable that, but anyway I'd prefer an open-source browser, so that at least the browser developer interests cannot make it do undesired things without your knowledge (yes, there was a time when I trusted Apple, but that was years ago).
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Most websites don’t respect this option, including Google. Even if they do, it is entirely voluntary and it does not prevent them from collecting the information regardless, just not formally ’tracking’ you and serving targeted ads.

    With all due respect, but that is a very unfortunate attitude. TOR is a genuine open-source project with good intentions.

    I suppose you can substitute TOR with a trustworthy VPN provider to conceal your IP address, a browser that does not ‘leak’ your IP address (Chrome and Firefox do, they must be configured) and a browser setting that allows websites as little access as possible to store cookies or local data or identify you. Private modes will usually do. You should also disable WebGL, there is some recent research on this.

    Even then, you might want to visit Panopticlick and see how unique your browser configuration is. Using the TOR browser is advantageous here, because it is so generic that it is difficult to distill any identifiable information from it.
  6. asiga thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I didn't mean to say the opposite. However, I do feel like using those browsers might increase the chances of being considered a suspect of illegal behavior. I feel government agencies may believe they're likely to find more illegal activities by tracking users of these browsers than users of commercial default browsers. So, at the end, you could get worse consequences: yes, you are protected from commercial tracking, but you might be more prone to being tracked by law agents.

    Yes, that's a subjective impression, but the way the FBI cracked Tor seems to reinforce it.
  7. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    Install Ghostery and Wipr to block trackers and ads (which also track you). Or, install uBlock Origin and do it manually. Turn on do not track and accept cookies from only the current site. Don't allow websites to use your location.
  8. flowsy macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2009
    Maybe have a look at *Better* by (

    iPhone extension: click here

    Mac AppStore App (extension): click here

    Their free and still updated (until now) extension from the extension gallery. click here
  9. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I thought you weren’t against government agencies tracking you? ;)

    If you are worried about that, then you will not find many acceptable solutions. Using a VPN can be equally as suspicious, plus it is much easier to track down VPN providers and their servers. Technology is becoming so sophisticated that it is almost impossible to prevent tracking unless you have as few variables as possible. TOR is the best starting point.

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8 February 27, 2017