How closely are you being monitored when browsing?

We all know that we are followed, monitored and made use of in many ways when browsing. More or less, depending on which browser we use.

(Don’t worry, none of the links below are affiliate links, they are there just for reference.)

On a Windows computer, I’m using CCleaner to periodically clean up cookies and other cruft left there by browsers and websites. It yields some thought-provoking results.

Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge seem to be among the biggest culprits when it comes to saving what CCleaner terms as “tracking files” on the computer. Even though I’m using both uBlock Origin and Ghostery to limit their number, and have set appropriate add-ons to delete cookies from sites after closing their tabs.

What is slightly surprising is that Vivaldi, the offshoot of Opera that was sold to the Chinese a while ago, seems to fall in the same category. Cleaning up after some browsing with it, an astonishing amount of stuff gets deleted by CCleaner. I haven’t compiled any statistics, so this is purely a gut feeling, but it feels like Vivaldi stores even more files on the computer than Chrome, on which it is based.

Firefox, therefore, is my browser of choice. Its vast number of add-ons allow tweaking it to your preference, and it doesn’t seem to enable a lot of unnecessary stuff getting stored on the computer.

The Indian-based Epic Privacy Browser includes a VPN that allows anonymous browsing through a number of servers in different countries. Cleaning up after Epic is a delight – in comparison with other browsers, only a fraction of tracking files get deleted.

Extremely personal as this is, maybe it helps you determine which browser to use and with which add-ons / extensions. Let me know your preferences in the comments!

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