Posted By RichC on March 6, 2020
My buddy Jeff Pitts, who has recently moved from IT to a job focused exclusively on cybersecurity for a worldwide company, tends to error on the side of caution when it comes to privacy practices. He has moved entirely to the Mac (we used to have a fun debate when he was a 100% PC guy) and switches web browsers more often than I change underwear (but at least my underwear is clean and I’m not still using Netscape). Currently he has settled on the Chromium-based Brave Browser, so I decided to follow his lead since he studies this in far more detail than me. So, I’ve shifted from my usual mix of Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Waterfox browsers depending on OS (and am still on the list for BETA Firefox VPN approval).
You deserve a better internet – click here!
I’m now building out my daily web surfing and Internet habits using Brave and although there was some initial difficulty with the built in Shields and having to limit my bulky extensions (add-ons for Firefox), I finally have everything clicking the way it should be. For context, my initial problem was due mostly due to Cross-site trackers and Cookies since for some of the WordPress installs I manage use “protected” content served from Amazon AWS servers. This is done for a variety of reasons – number one being that I’m not fond of “hotlinking” or direct linking to images, audio or video that steals bandwidth or protected digital content. I noticed that particularly in the early days of web that several Wikipedia pages were linking to data from my servers (see the myarchive.us link #15 on Wikipedia page – “1.9 litre TDI engine with Pump Düse”). Of course it is easy enough to just clip the content and use it elsewhere … but at least that doesn’t stealing bandwidth from my servers.
Back to using a browser that intentionally blocks “ads and trackers” and pushes for HTTPS upgrades:
Brave smartly notes and markets the “estimated time” saved when using a browser that respects the user rather than those that see Internet users as customers to be exploited for profit (example above). By now everyone knows that Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc sees users as “the product” and both harvests your data and markets to you. Personally I understand the in-your-face advertising just as I do on TV … especially since we are getting something free … but I do have a big problem with their semi-secretly collecting our browsing history, sifting through our emails and archiving our personal information with the incentive to sell it to whomever is willing to pay for this data.
If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer;
you’re the product being sold.
All in all, once the bookmarks and my habits adjusted, I’m somewhat happy with the new Brave browser … at least on the Mac, since I haven’t fully switched on the PC, iPad or iPhone yet. I’ve even opted to give up some privacy and am willing to partner with the Brave Rewards for Creators program – BAT – which offers a way to support those who add content to the Internet (maybe even me?) Most content creators need advertising and and a way to finance their endeavors, and this may may give them a way to bypass the behemoth “gatekeepers.” So far so good. I’ve linked my Uphold Cryptocurrency account and am set up to both support and receive support from others who participate … although I’m giving up a little privacy. Stay tuned.