We can bet that if you have an Android smartphone, it came with a browser pre-installed from Google or the manufacturer. For example, if you have a Samsung smartphone, it will come with a default Internet Explorer browser, and some Samsung models come with Google Chrome pre-installed. However, it is not just Samsung devices; at least 3 billion people worldwide use Android smartphones (via The Verge). Not to mention the possibility of purchasing a new car with Android OS pre-installed on the dashboard.
Most Android smartphones now include a widget that displays the most recent news based on your current location and search history. When you browse the news, the tabs open in the default browser. On the surface, everything appears to be in order, but if we dig deeper, we’ll discover that you should probably consider replacing your Android’s built-in browser with better alternatives. Why do we believe this? Let us investigate.
Pre-installed browsers could share your data with third parties
Because Google owns Android, most smartphones with Android OS come pre-installed with Google apps like Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Play Store, and Chrome. It should come as no surprise that Google Chrome is the most popular mobile browser (via Statcounter). Of course, Chrome is convenient because it allows you to easily sync with other Google services across all of your Android devices, but it is not well-known for its privacy. According to Forbes, Google has been in the news for data harvesting via its Chrome browser. Despite Google’s claims that it does not sell personal data to third parties, the company has been sued for breach of contract – and a judge has refused to dismiss the case. Aside from that, we’ve previously discussed why you should stop using Google Chrome.
Even if Google Chrome isn’t your default browser, one of the other popular choices, Samsung Internet Browser, isn’t much better. According to Samsung’s privacy policies, information gathered from your default browser may be used to build a profile for third parties. Of course, third parties are likely to use data harvested from your default browsers to tailor personalized ads that appear on your Android.
Consider privacy browsers such as DuckDuckGo and Firefox Focus, which do not share your data with third parties. If you choose that path, here’s how to change the default apps on your Android smartphone.