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A big reason you should stop using Google Chrome on your smartphone

Google’s Chrome browser is one of the most powerful tools available to surf the internet, but it has several flaws. Tap or click here for a free, fast test to see how much private info your browser is leaking. For one, Chrome needs a lot of RAM to operate properly.

Most other browsers dedicate a set amount of RAM for the browser to work with. The more tabs that you have open, the slower your browsing will be. Chrome flips that onto its head and dedicates the same amount of RAM to each tab. Your browsing is faster, but your computer’s performance suffers.

Then there is the plethora of security issues and website tracking that Chrome subjects its users to. You might be surprised to learn what Google Chrome collects on you, and how much it knows about your browsing habits. Read on for more privacy-focused alternatives.

Here’s the backstory

Most online services and apps are transparent about data collection, and some even give users the option to turn off several functions. But it seems that browsers like Chrome play fast and loose with your data, especially when it comes to tracking your movements.

Facebook has repeatedly been singled out as a major offender, but few will know that Chrome collects more data on behalf of other applications. This was revealed in a Forbes investigation.

If you don’t want websites or apps to track your physical movements, you can disable the function, right? Well, yes and no. You can flip a switch to limit your motion tracking but some apps, like Chrome, completely ignore the request.

Researcher Tommy Mysk explained to Forbes that the motion sensor in Chrome on an Android device is accessible to any website by default. Even when you are browsing in Incognito mode. He added that Android apps can access and read the motion sensor (accelerometer) in the background without you even knowing about it.

On iOS devices and Safari, it is a protected function within the device, and it needs permission to access it.

What you can do about it

If you don’t like the idea of Google’s Chrome being able to track your every move without your knowledge, there are some alternative browsers that are more privacy-focused. Here are a few: 

  • Brave browser. With privacy and security as its focus, Brave has steadily gained users over the last few years. The browser claims it doesn’t track the websites you visit or collect any information on you. By default, it blocks harmful objects like malware, phishing attempts, malicious advertising and plug-ins that could harm your computer.
  • Mozilla Firefox. Another favorite of those who value privacy as Firefox only collects the information it needs. You don’t need an email address to sign up, and it blocks website trackers by default. It also has a customizable security feature, where you can manually select the strictness of the browser data collection and protection.
  • Microsoft Edge. Edge has a host of built-in privacy features. Like some other browsers, it also blocks web tracking and cookies by default. A great feature of Edge is its ability to notify you when you visit a website that has been compromised. The built-in password manager will also suggest stronger passwords if your current ones are weak.
  • Apple Safari. Exclusively available for Apple devices, Safari has a strong focus on privacy and data security. Safari blocks cross-site tracking, malicious websites and protects you from malware and phishing scams. You have the option for it to block pop-ups as well.

Keep reading

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