You take your web browser with you wherever you go on the web. Amongst other things, it knows what you see and when; it tags along when you visit your friends on social media; goes with you to the bank; helps you book your holidays; and aids and abets you in pursuing your internet vices.
But how much do you trust it?
It’s a question we like to ask our readers from time to time because when it comes to browsers, trust is important and it’s… well, it’s complicated.
We put a tremendous amount of trust in browsers simply by using them. We trust them to protect us from exploits, drive-by malware and phishing. Many of us also trust third party browser plugins to protect us from ads, trackers and malicious scripts (while trusting the browser to protect us from rogue third party plugins with their own ads, trackers and malicious scripts).
The trouble is, the only companies that can afford to produce such complicated and costly software, for free, are the ones we seem to trust the least.
Judging by comments left on Naked Security, many of you think that Google doesn’t live up to “don’t be evil”; Microsoft will never recover from the 1990s; Mozilla has sold out to Google’s ad money; Apple’s sheen is wearing off; and Tor can’t escape its military roots
The feature set we expect from web browsers is largely settled and so, for the last decade or more, they’ve competed with each other based on speed, privacy and security.
Since our last poll ad handling has been added to the list, as responsibility for what to do about online ads starts to migrate from third plugins into the browsers themselves.
Brave, an entirely new browser, is built around the idea that if it can effectively filter out bad ads, we won’t mind seeing good ones. Unsurprisingly Google Chrome, a browser built by an advertising company, is backing the same filter-don’t-block approach. Meanwhile, Firefox has announced plans to block the tracking that targeted ads rely on by default.
The threat of malicious plugins has loomed large in the last couple of years too. Both Firefox and Chrome have had to withdraw malicious plugins from their stores, while Chrome will soon make it impossible to get ad-ons from outside of the Web Store.
Let’s talk about trust
This is neither a scientific poll nor an attempt to objectively measure browser security. This about how you feel, and who and what you are willing to trust. The poll is here to gauge the temperature and provoke discussion about our attitudes to the software we rely on and the companies that make it.
So, while our poll asks, simply, “Which browser do you trust the most?” we would love to know more about what you think after you’ve voted, so please leave a comment too.
(If the embedded poll doesn’t appear, you can view it on the Poll Daddy website)
65 comments on “Vote now! Which web browser do you trust the most?”
Either Microsoft Edge or Brave. After that Firefox but I dislike that Mozilla also appear to have a political agenda.
Edge is not secure and should be avoided.
That’s a pretty broad but definitive claim – would you care to explain why it is “not secure” (or, at least, that it is less secure than any other browser in a statistically significant way)? All the objective research I’ve seen suggests that Edge is clustered right at the top when it comes to security and speed of patches when holes are found. (I am not an Edge user – I have a Mac on which I use Firefox mostly and Safari occasionally – but I do try to follow Edge’s security status, and I simply can’t find any credible evidence that it is sufficiently insecure to be outright unsafe to use.)
I wish I could back Brave more. Unfortunately there are just so many problems on iOS. On Windows or Android it’s more stable.
No option for Lynx 🙁
Best browser is not on the list – Vivaldi. Written by Jon von Tetzchner (original founder of Opera) it has become my browser of choice.
Great, tell us what you like about it over the others.
Since using TorBrowser, I have yet to see any changes to advertising stream content or type, reaching me. I am glad about Firefox adapting some features from TorBrowser and it is a strong #2 in my eyes.
and tell us why you TRUST it, rather than LIKE it..
There appears to be a lot of differences between stated policies and practical implementation, considering the number of discoveries of late.
Trust is a part of individual beliefs. Since it is 100% a product of and from the user, not the vendor/developer, it is certainly not substitute to a clear, coded privacy feature.
The thing that’s tricky in respect of Vivaldi is judging its attitude to security.
The core of the browser is the same as Chrome, Chromium and Opera (the Blink engine), yet the most recent Vivaldi security update seems to be back in April 2018.
The other Blink-based browsers have each been updated several times since then – and I’m finding it hard to believe that all the security bugs patched in, say, Chrome, were outside the core engine and therefore irrelevant to Vivaldi. Is Vivaldi updated less frequently because it is more secure, or is it less secure because it isn’t updated frequently enough? Vivaldi updates were both regular and frequent until April 2018 – any reason for the hiatus?
Version 2.0 just came out [2018-09-26] with a bunch of PR activity – so maybe the developers have been noses-to-the-grindstone on the brand new release…
I deliberately make use of more than one browser. I do banking operations in a freshly-opened browser, different from the one in use for social media etc.
You need a “None of the Above” choice. Even the idea of trusting a browser is wrong. It’s the companies’ management, directors, coders and major shareholders that responsible. A browser is just a bit of code. I would no sooner trust a browser producer than I would a politician, ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, FNC, MSNBC, NBS, PBS or Sky. Or Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, YouTube etc. If you actually believe any browser maker can be trustworthy you must be from an alternate universe.
I was looking for a relative rather than absolute assessment – which is why it’s “Which browser do you trust the most?” rather than simply “Which browser do you trust?”, and why there is no “none of the above” option.
While I understand the sentiment of not trusting nothing you must browse with something – so how did you choose? Would you be more or less unhappy browsing with something else and, if so, why?
I am getting to switch from Samsung which use Google to an apple phone. I dont trust Google anymore. I have a Samsung 7. I am looking to change phone in about three months. My family has an apple phone and I have an Samsung.
I don’t trust Chrome/Google but I use it because I like the functionality of it & I’m deep in the Google ecosystem and Firefox is endlessly frustrating to me.
I did try Brave & I like the idea but it’s just not there yet for me.
I trust Google Chrome with Quad9 DNS as well as running selected extensions and a reliable AV product. Most of all I trust the gray matter between the ears along with playing with computers for over half a century.
“Which browser do you trust the most?” = None of them
Why is none none of them not an option in your poll?
Treat the question as follows: “Assuming you are willing and able to pick a single browser that you consider more trustworthy than all others, please tell us which one it is.”
I think it’s pretty obvious from the nature of the poll that it exists to measure which browser people choose *when they are prepared to choose just one*, and therefore pretty obvious that “none” is not a pertinent answer in this case. If you genuinely think that no browsers are suitable to be trusted *at all*, then you’re not eligible to vote, and that’s the end of the matter.
You *are* entitled to have your say in the comments, but it would be much more helpful if you were to explain why browser trust can’t be ordered and thus that you are unable to vote, than to complain that a poll explicitly asking for *one and only one* answer ought to have a kind of “no answer”. (Election ballot papers don’t have a square for “none of these candidates” – you simply leave all the squares blank.)
But then I guess you knew that full well…
….and I just got trolled!
I responded but I really my vote should go to two options since I use different browsers for mobile and desktop.
Also, I guess the fact I consider a couple of plugins (uMatrix and uBlock Origin) essential to safe browsing probably means I don’t necessarily trust my browser.
maybe im a dinosaur but i like IE11 but its becoming more difficult to use as most major websites are displaying ” your browser is out of date”.
Anyone who asks the public to vote for which browser they ‘trust’ without giving them the option of voting ‘None’ is someone with a vested interest in the industry. And that turns out to be exactly the case here (on reading the author’s bio).
‘Trust’ is for the lazy. It should never be encouraged among the public. ‘Test’ should be the mantra instead. Naked Security should consider itself reprimanded.
What was it about my bio that made you think I have a vested interest?
Don’t mind him, there is one in every crowd 😛
Vested, eh? “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I know Mark well, and I have never seen him ‘vested’, neither in the American nor the British sense of ‘vest’ (our vest is their undershirt and their vest is our waistcoat). Booted, shirted, trousered, bearded, sweatered, raincoated, yes. Interested, indeed. But vested? No. Surely some mistake?
‘people or organisations who have a financial or personal interest in a business, company, or existing system…’
You are part of an existing institutional system (the internet system) that is not democratic because it does not give its users a vote on whether or not they trust it or any of its constituent parts at all.
I’m surprised you are so ill-informed as to appear not to understand this term? Do you have a vested interest in pretending not to understand it, so as to mislead your readers? Hmmm…
As I said, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Would you care to share the process by which you test the various browsers, so that we can learn how to follow your mantra? (Remember that if trust is for the lazy, you can’t rely on any other research – so you have to ignore the findings of any and all cybersecurity researchers, reverse engineers, bug hunters, exploit finders and so forth, regardless of repute or affiliation. You pretty much have to decompile, analyse, fuzz, script, test, record, and report in detail all by yourself, with tools you wrote yourself.)
I presume you extend this process down (into the OS itself) and up (to include your ISP and the rest of the network), using your own testing methodology and your own cybersecurity tools. I think plenty of our readers would be interested in learning how to do that.
Vivaldi, Firefox. Safari on my MacBook, but use both Vivaldi and Firefox there too. Vivaldi’s not available on my iOS devices, so Firefox and Safari there. I avoid Chrome like the plague.
I’m going to agree with several others in that you need a “none of the above” category. I tend to use Opera and Pale Moon more than the other four browsers that are installed on desktop. For Android use, it’s Firefox Focus. Don’t really care for Chrome, never liked Internet Exploder and have no use for Edge.
I do not trust any of the Microsoft offerings, they leak like colanders and their telemetry is dangerous for security. The Avast browser is a non-starter, Chrome is full of data collection gotchas, Opera is no better. So I vote for None of the Above. (I’ve been using computer systems for more than 40 years so have a little bit of experience – and I worked in the software inductry too.
No option for “others”, no option for “none”? I trust no browser at the moment, and I use Pale Moon. Firefox was changed to a malware distrubtion system (spyware-addon “Cliqz” from Burda, which is installed and activated automatically for a percentage of German users in a rather spammy way) by the Mozilla Foundation shortly, so I can not use it anymore. A browser from Google is not an alternative for me (and I don’t like the UI of Chrome and Chromium).
Like others I have no real trust in any of them, so I haven’t voted. I use PC Firefox and IOS Safari – cautiously.
I keep clear of Edge, it seems to hang on to loads of tracking cookies despite being told to clear them.
Mark Stockley September 17, 2018 at 4:56 pm
“What was it about my bio that made you think I have a vested interest?”
From the Compound Eye Consultants home page:
“Can your agency talk intelligently about user journeys, goal tracking, search engine marketing, hosting, HCI, UX and SEO? Can they provide you with a strategy for digital expansion into new territories? Can they train your team on Google Analytics, Pay-per-click, and social media?”
For someone with your background it’s somewhat surprising that you think people are limited to the bio accompanying this article for information. And that you would even suggest there’s such a thing as a trustworthy browser. That alone should set the alarm bells ringing.
Thanks for replying. I confess, I still don’t understand what my vested interest is but I think we can move on. Either I’m right and I don’t have one, in which case we’re fine, or you’re right and I do, in which case you’ve aware of agenda and it won’t affect you, in which case we’re fine.
The survey question is relative, not absolute – it isn’t “which do you trust?”, it’s “which do you trust the most?” Everyone reading this web page has made a choice about what browser they use and I am interested in the way that trust influences that choice.
Do you consider all browsers equally untrustworthy? Is Edge the same as Tor? I could make arguments for why each is as untrustworthy as the other but at some point I have to choose the lesser of two evils so I can do some browsing.
I use Firefox, the DuckDuckGo search engine and NoScript js blocker.
If I need to go to sites that are not compatible with that lot, I use the internet explorer and wipe as much of the browsing history as i can between every site.
I imagine I’m nearly as vulnerable as any other www user, despite my little security tics.
Not close. It is Chrome. No other browser more secure. Only one that protects you from Spectre and Meltdown.
Not surprising as Google found both vulnerabilities. As well as Shellshock, Cloudbleed, Heartbleed among the other big ones.
No option for CLIQZ or Avast Secure Browser…both more security conscious that any of those listed.
It seems many people trust a browser but their view of trust would be somewhat different to mine.
Personally I do not trust Google at all as it has said in their view there is no privacy on the net, get over it.For many this is not an issue, so trust becomes one of security, stability and speed.Only one of these is solely in the realm of the browser supplier.
Defining trust would have helped, or even asking which browser you don’t trust.
I feel very secure with Google Chrome. It is the best OS yet.
Firefox great security
I trust Microsoft Edge the most, but I trust Google Chrome and Firefox also. I use all three daily. I use Chrome the most, as someone else said, for it’s functionality.
Deeply Suspicious of Chrome, and all things Google
Need Chromium to work with some Financials which don’t work with Firefox
I trust Firefox but cannot use Quantum as I rely on some older plugins
Use Waterfox for everything else
Install MVPS Hosts file to block most Trackers & Ads
Run on Linux Mint
Not perfect but pretty good
I trust Edge. From the reports on AV Comparatives and AV Test it has improved dramatically over the past year. With the Creator’s Update next month things should even be more locked down. I have no real issues with Microsoft. Google and Apple, however, are another matter. And there is no way under the sun that I would trust Opera under Chinese ownership.
Wow…really guys? Chrome second place? I would assume no doubt second place is understandable for a poll on the most popular browser, but the most trusted? Its google for heavens sakes….
People fail to realize Chrome, Brave, Opera all are built off of Google’s browser engine. Firefox is unique in focusing on privacy but security tests has proven its less secure. Edge with SmartScreen provides at least as much security as Chrome and its clones. But the way Microsoft has nagged about users using it and the fact Microsoft get’s bad marks in the past for IE has placed Edge in a bad position. Since Chrome is so popular it would be a obvious choice for malware. Personally, I use anything and everything other then what has a connection to Google.
I would like to see how many people that use Chrome have read the Agreement.
And if they realize they gave the google permission to track/log all activity. (don’t’ worry, it’s only for marketing purposes lol)
I hope anyone who chose IE is just trolling. I split my browsing between Chrome and FF with minimal Edge usage. I have all older cipher suites and protocols disabled on Chrome and use that primarily. I left FF with the defaults and use that when I need to access a site that is not updated to current security standards. I trust them about equally as they each have had (and will continue to have) their own issues at different points in time.
Honestly …. ?? I don’t TRUST ANY of them – Recently had my bank account hacked from double authentication iPhone 8 – traced EVERYTHING l had done and where l had been – protect my cards in metal wallet – all “sites” used to make purchases had no data breeches – first question bank asked me … “which browser do you use” funny that! Well not so. Am looking at TOR – but not with great faith. We live in the 21st Century and IT Jungle – it’s going to happen.
None tbh but Chrome the least. I cannot disable webgl on Chromium based browsers now which is disappointing and the Chrome store has become ‘meh’ for privacy and security extensions. I use mostly Firefox now, even though it is sadly slower than others.
You left out the most important “browser” – NONE OF THE ABOVE. After all these years that I have been imterneting there isn’t one that I trust. I use Safari on my Mac and Firefox on my Windows laptops but only because I need a browser, but I don’t trust any one. Least of all Edge.
Where is my “other” option? I use and trust Pale Moon.
It is mostly the appeal of the interface but knowing that it is security focused, along with the easy to reach & granular update notes, is what sealed the deal.
(I do understand the lack of a “none” option, I feel that the question is quite clear on that front.)
I was one of those who checked Tor which I don’t use very often, but neither of the browsers that I do use on a daily basis were listed.
You’re allowed to mention them here… what are they, if you don’t mind us asking?
I use qutebrowser exclusively on the computer and duckduckgo browser exclusively on Android.
It would be interesting to compare the poll results with the web analytics for this page.
Figures for this article:
This is exactly what we saw when we first ran our poll in 2013 – Firefox beats Chrome when you ask people which browser they trust the most. Either Chrome users don’t vote as much as everyone else, or there are a lot of people placing implicit trust in Chrome while saying they don’t trust it at all.
I trust Apple. You pay a bit more for the premium hardware and I feel premium software. They put a lot of effort in where others don’t.
Plus Vertical Integration FTW!!
Tor-browser (aka private firefox) used wisely and Lynx.