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Anonymous Internet Surfing: Is Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 8 the Answer to Internet Privacy?

I often hear about the brand new Google Chrome web browser and the upcoming Microsoft (or is it Windows?) Internet Explorer 8 and how great they are. One of their most important new features is supposedly their privacy mode or how they call it.

Great, “Finally we can get some privacy on the net” I hear you saying! Well, maybe. But not with those tools I am afraid. The term “privacy mode” is a bit misleading in my opinion. Not false marketing, it’s just important to know what it has been designed for and what is beyond its scope.

The privacy modes offered by those, as well as the other web browsers on the market, are good for one thing only. When the privacy mode is enabled, no traces are left in the operating system registry, no cookies and history is stored on the local PC.

So when you want to hide the fact that you have just visited that ton of porn webs from your wife or kids, it will do the job. That’s what it has been designed for – of course not just for the porn webs but we know the truth, right? 😉

It can also mask the user-agent browser string pretending you are using a different web browser with a different preferred language. In my opinion, that’s just a feeble attempt at ensuring your anonymity.

So, is that real privacy?! It helps for sure. It’s great when you share your computer with someone else and I am not saying those are bad features. Far from that!

What I am afraid of, however, is that once those web browsers become widespread, many people, mostly those technically less savvy ones, will get that very dangerous false feeling of privacy and anonymity on the Internet.

They will think this way: “I just enable this great privacy mode and nobody will see what I am doing on the net, nobody will know where I am coming from, nobody will be able to steal my private data.”.

But this, my unknown Internet friend, this is not happening. You will need a bigger caliber for that.

Much bigger!

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2 Responses to “Anonymous Internet Surfing: Is Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 8 the Answer to Internet Privacy?”

  1. Steven Lewis Says:

    I recently wrote a blog myself about Explorer vs. Firefox. I have only used Chrome briefly, but could never really get comfortable with it. But as far as Explorer goes, I would never recommend it because of the lack of security and it’s vulnerability… I use Firefox and will until someone more ‘browser-educated’ can change my mind. 😉

  2. admin Says:

    I’ve been using Firefox for a long time myself and am quite happy with it. However, I am not a “common PC user” so my needs are somewhat different. I mean, who has 100+ tabs in 3-4 browser windows open most of the time… Well, I do 😉

    I’ve been testing the new IE 8 RC, not really tested it thoroughly yet but it seems to be much better than IE 7 indeed. The speed is amazing for a MS made web browser, very effective work with caching. The rendering is a bit painful sometimes though. A 100% W3C compliant page rendered perfectly or nearly perfectly in Firefox 3 and IE 7, sometimes looks different in IE 8 unless you switch it to the “compatibility mode”.

    I am afraid IE 8 is attempting to set an html standard of its own, despite of the promises from Microsoft. Again…

    As for the web browser security – I have been using AVG antivirus which comes with a IE & Firefox plugin and so far it’s been very efficient. Most of the time it’s AVG that prevents anything bad to happen, not giving much chance to the web browser to catch the problem itself so it’s hard to say if IE 8 made any progress in that field. Well, hopefully it’s better now.

    And just some interesting statistical & marketing data… It seems that a very large part of the Identity Cloaker customer base is using Firefox. Although I have yet to make the stats, there are probably more Firefox users than Internet Explorer users among the Identity Cloaker customer base. I have to admit I did not predict this…

    Tomas

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