Firefox vs. Chrome for Privacy
Posted By: Ryan Richardson - 12/1/2020 12:00:00 AM

Today we will be comparing two of the most popular web browsers to see which one wins in the area of privacy. As you may know, privacy is a hot topic right now, which has been fueled by the popularity of documentaries like the Social Dilemma and the Great Hack, which bring up some valid points about data privacy and knowing how your data is being used. There are a variety of reasons to care about how cookies and trackers are keeping tabs on your web activity. One of the most compelling reasons for me personally, came from learning how different platforms were using my data to keep me in front of my screen on their apps.  

Whether you are making an effort to lower your screen time and fight social media addiction, or you are just genuinely creeped out by knowing that everything you do online is being tracked, being savvy about data-privacy will serve you well.

Before I get started, it’s important to note that cookies are not inherently bad. Sometimes they make our user experience very convenient (like they were designed to do). So don’t hear me saying that you need to set your browsers to total lockdown mode and block everything, because that might not be what you actually want! This is a personal, subjective decision for you to make, based on what you value. But back to the task at hand.

Today we are comparing privacy features in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Both of these browsers are secure, and do a great job of warning you if you attempt to a navigate towards dangerous websites or download bad files. Also, they both include a thing called “sandboxing”, which keeps other parts of your computer safe if you do happen to go to a bad site. But once we get into privacy, one starts to outweigh the other.  So here are a couple of features to consider:

Private Browsing: Both browsers include private browsing options, which will ensure that any search records, cookies, and browsing history will not be retained or available to other users of the device. Google Chrome call this “Incognito”, while Firefox just refers to it as private browsing. Firefox also has a separate app for your phone called Firefox Focus, which is a browser that is permanently set to this private browsing mode. 

But this next feature is what sets Firefox apart in the area of privacy.

Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP): This is a relatively new feature that was released as a default setting for all Firefox users across the globe. ETP blocks thousands of trackers from major social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook among other types of trackers.

That being said, by default, Firefox is a great browser for those concerned with privacy. And this without going in and adjusting any settings in the browser. That in itself points to the high value Mozilla places on privacy.

Google Chrome’s argument for the larger amount of data they collet is that they are doing this to enhance the user experience and improve their services. And this is true. They really do create a seamless and convenient web browsing experience for consumers.

If that convenience outweighs your data privacy concerns, then Chrome is a great way to go. However, if you are looking for more control over how your data is tracked and used, Firefox might be for you.