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Today's trends for tomorrow's business

Do You Want Some Privacy?

Reading time: 4 minutes

Go beyond Chrome

If you’re on a desktop right now, there a pretty good chance you’re reading this article in your Chrome browser. Launched in 2008, Chrome dominates about 60% of the US desktop market according to StatCounter data. Chrome’s popular for a reason—it’s fast, stable and reliable—but its liberal use of user data has raised privacy concerns in the tech community and beyond. If you decide that Chrome isn’t the right choice for your business anymore, you have other options. Here are a few to consider.

Microsoft’s new, improved Edge (with a little help from Google)

After months of public testing, Microsoft launched the beta version of its Edge web browser, which is built on top of Google’s Chromium open-source framework (the same framework that is the nuts and bolts of Chrome). Using Chromium as its foundation lets Edge integrate with some of Google’s web extensions and work better with sites that have the very latest web standards.
If you’re currently using the non-Chromium version of Edge, this beta won’t replace it. It’ll simply run as a separate browser. So there’s really no downside to exploring its new dark mode, online tracking prevention, and zippy speed thanks to Chromium. Microsoft is also extending its security bounty program to Beta; if you find a high-impact vulnerability they’ll award you upwards of $30,000.
There’s no official word yet on the full release the revamped Edge, but it’ll likely debut early next year.
It’s right for your business if: You prefer to stay in the Windows ecosystem while keeping all the familiar parts of Chrome.

Firefox: Secure by default

Firefox has offered the option to block third-party tracking software since last year; unfortunately, only 20% of users were opting in. Firefox’s 69.0 release raises the stakes by setting its Enhanced Tracking Protection as a default. And this isn’t just for new users—it’s for all Firefox users. Firefox is implementing this by blocking an extensive list of known bad actors, not all third-party tracking software; while it’s not complete protection, it’s thorough enough for most users who may not mind cookies from legit sites.
Firefox is also tackling cryptomining (which uses your CPU to generate cryptocurrency for someone else) and fingerprinting (which builds a digital fingerprint that follows you across websites and is harder to track than cookies). These options are available in Firefox now and will become default settings in future versions.
Firefox is also sending Windows 10 users some special love with this release. In addition to minor tweaks (such as improved CPU), the most notable update is support for Windows Hello for website authentication. If you are running the May 2019 Windows 10 update (or later) and have hardware that integrates with Microsoft’s biometric authenticator, you’ll be able to bypass more login screens on the web than before.
It's right for your business if: Browser privacy is a top business priority.

Brave and Vivaldi: The upstarts to watch

If you want to go beyond the big-name browsers, you have a surprisingly wide variety of options. Brave and Vivaldi stand out as two browsers that also run on Chromium (but reject Chrome’s anti-ad-blocker changes) and offer unique features that are hard to find elsewhere.
Vivaldi’s name is a riff off of Opera (it was developed by the Opera Browser co-founder and former CEO) and is designed with heavy internet users and technologists in mind. It’s highly customizable, with a sidebar that gives you quick access to tools, customizable web panels, and an in-browser note-taking feature. You can also use their Tab Tiling feature to browse several different sites in the same browser simultaneously. Look out for their new Android mobile browser that’s currently in beta.
Started by a former Firefox engineer, Brave is a browser that focuses on serious privacy and speed (it claims to be up to eight times faster than Chrome). If those two selling points weren’t enough, it has also developed a clever way to build ad revenue: It gives users Blockchain-based “Basic Attention Tokens” to send to content creators they like and want to support. Brave hopes to eventually partner with cryptocurrency exchanges so users can cash out their digital currency for dollars; until then, using the sleek, spartan browser will have to be its own reward.
It’s right for your business if: You have a small, tech-savvy staff that wants a secure browser that’s also cutting-edge.
Explore your next favorite browser on the expansive screen of an HP All-in-One, which combines sophisticated style with exceptional performance.

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