Chrome vs Safari - privacy

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Stok3, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Stok3 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Ok so i searched and didnt really find anything so here goes:

    I have used Safari since its initial release years ago. It has been fast and stable. however ive been using Chrome for a while too. I really like the UI, although Safari is more integrated into the OS. It is also snappier than Safari.

    However recently a friend informed me that Chrome tracks my usage and data even with those options turned off in the preferences. He sent me a like to a plugin called Keep My Opt Outs which he says basically makes Chrome private.

    Is any of this true, as far as Chrome keeping up with my browsing. I dont really go to illegal or "bad" places on the web but I am very uncomfortable with any company keeping tabs on me.

    Is it safe to use Chrome or should I just stick with Safari?
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    There is only one active OS X Malware threat "in the wild" right now and to become infected it relies on a user running Safari as an admin account with "automatically open safe files" switched on (the default setting).

    Knowing this, any browser is safer than Safari. I recommend Chrome if you don't mind tracking and targeted ads. If this bothers you, there are other browsers available such as Firefox and Opera.

    Bottom line: Using Safari on OS X is a little bit like using IE on Windows. Friends don't let friends use the browser written by the same company that wrote the OS.

    What's worse? Seeing an ad for a retirement home because you happen to be reading an email about an elderly sick person in your family or having some kid in the Czech republic buy himself a Macbook using your bank account?
  3. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    This is the dumbest thing I've heard anyone say on this forum. Safari is the perfect balance of security and speed. Blocks cookies by default, clean, fast, doesn't follow you all over the internet collecting user information to sell you ads.

    lol, Chrome.
  4. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    What hyperbole. Just turn off the 'Open "safe" files after downloading' option in Safari's preferences.

    Either way, I'd recommend the Ghostery extension to the OP.
  5. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    The dumbest? Really?

    Really dude?

    I love the poop out of Safari and all, but it's not perfect.
  6. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    The following link is for a browser developed using Chrome's source code.

    It is basically Chrome without all the extra tracking.

    BTW, all browsers are susceptible to downloading MACDefender. Safari will launch the installer if "open safe files after downloading" is enabled. Regardless of the browser being used, the user still has to click through the installer to install the malware.

    Chrome has more sandboxing than Safari at the moment but the next release of Safari will eliminate this discrepancy.

    Safari has some benefits over Chrome. These include integration with the keychain and file quarantine features of OS X.
  7. Stok3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Thank you for link and the info. I think i will try Chromium, it looks promising
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This isn't true. There are a handful of trojans in the wild. There is only one (MacDefender) that is getting a lot of attention at the moment, but others exist.
    Running as a standard or admin user makes no difference at all.
    All that does is launch the downloaded file. It does not complete the installation process or infect a Mac unless the user actively completes the installation.
    This isn't true, either. Simply uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari Preferences and it functions the same in this regard as any other browser.
    Not even close.
    There is zero logic to that argument.

    The first section of that link deals specifically with the MacDefender/MacSecurity/MacProtector/MacGuard issue, which is not a virus and doesn't install itself, whether the browser used is Safari or any other.
  9. Stok3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    im not too concerned about malware on the mac... what about Google "spying" on chrome users?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I've heard things like this about Google searches, even before Chrome was released. I don't think Google has any interest or resources to track individual users, but rather they track trends from large numbers of users. Still, I prefer using Safari.
  11. Quotenfrau macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2011
    Google is the biggest advertisement company in internet. They have no interest in privacy, because of that. They show you relevant ads when they know much about you.


    Apple is a hardware manufacturer. With iAd also a small player in advertisement.

    I would prefer Safari over Chrome in terms of privacy.

    My favorite browser is Firefox, because of Open Source privacy extensions.
  12. soloer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2004
    Definitely a great extension. Just be aware that some sites don't always act like they should with Ghostery on and max settings enabled. Two examples: - need to allow the foresee tracking for the score title bar to appear. - haven't figured out which tracker specifically to disable, but something needs to be disabled to enable the search filters in the side bar.

    I've also run across at least one site where I had to enable a Facebook social connector tracker or something, even though the site wasn't Facebook-related at all to my knowledge.

    Despite having to play with settings once in a while, this extension is one of the first I install on any browser.
  13. FlatlinerG macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I've actually taken a complete reversal to the OP. I used to always use Chrome, then I figured I might as well at least try out Safari as a full time browser. I took it upon myself to use Safari and only Safari for one week. I noticed no difference and quite enjoy all of my bookmarks syncing with my iPhone. For me, I can do without Chrome now and remove it from my applications. One less thing to worry about when it comes to setting up a new machine :p

    Bottom line, go with whichever suits you more. Any difference in speed is pretty negligible to me so it isn't a strong determining factor either way. Both layouts are easy enough to manage so I'm just going to stick with Safari.
  14. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    In addition to Ghostery, Do Not Track Plus works very well in blocking tracking, with no problems...or at least none that I have experienced.:D
  15. TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    I don't like Safari anymore because it wants to reload previous sessions, which I don't want it to do. But I think that is only on Lion.

    It sort of depends on what you mean by "privacy".

    It sounds like your relevant definition has more to do with your company tracking you than Google tracking you to strategize which ads to send you. If so, I would forget about the big brother aspect of Google and go with Chrome.

    It is easy to surf using an "incognito window", which means no history is recorded for posterity (or your local IT police). That way Google might know your habits, but your boss won't (unless you actually work for Google). Regardless, if they are really motivated to nail you for the sites you go to they can find a way, regardless of your browser or its settings. My view is that if they are that motivated, you probably have larger problems with them already and what your browser history shows won't really make much difference.

    But for a normal employer/employee relationship, "incognito" on Chrome can give you the peace of mind you are likely looking for (I'm using it right now). You can do that with Safari too, but not quite as easily. If you are still bothered by the Google tracking, by all means use the 3rd-party trick as well.
  16. Reimer macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2006
    First off, this thread is a year old guys. For some odd reason, Quotenfrau thought it would be a good idea to give it a bump.

    Second of all, Chrome has some options that could be considered privacy issues such as Google Suggestions. But they can be disabled in the options menu. Heck, Chrome even prompts you upon first run whether you want to change the default search engine to something other than Google. It's actually pretty hilarious the amount of conspiracy theorists out there that think Chrome secretly sends all your info to the mothership regardless of your settings.

    Disable what you're not comfortable with if need be, or use a Chromium build.

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