Since Brave uses Chromium you can use any of the thousands(?) of extensions made for Chrome, including extra privacy extensions. For some that might seem be a little like belt and suspenders, with some overlap, but you can really lock down your browser to protect this way.
In addition to the built-in ad- and web-bug blockers in Brave, I added a few extensions like PixelBlock, which in Gmail stops those one-pixel embedded images in emails which tells senders if you’ve opened the email and when. I also use Privacy Possum, which “wrenches common commercial tracking methods by reducing and falsifying the data gathered by tracking”. I also use paired ad-blocking extensions Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender (offshoots of uBlock Origin), as well as DecentralEyes, which puts on your Mac some info that otherwise would have been polled from a Content Delivery Network (like Google Hosted Library, which could then build a profile of you across the web).
I use Opera and have tried its built in VPN. I don’t really know how good it is having never used another one. I never had any problems with Safari but my needs are modest in todays terms. I have turned off ad blockers mostly though, the most ad-heavy site I use is, ironically, WaPo! you can’t win really I don’t think. There will have to be some solutions at a higher level than the individual user.
No, as aardy noted, none of the browsers that are using Chromium (which includes the next iteration of Microsoft’s Edge browser) have said that they’ll go along with that. Indeed in a Reddit AMA with the Microsoft Edge team last week noted that ad blocking is important and said several moves are being made to address this. “We’re committed to a strong extension ecosystem, including ad blocking… We’re still evaluating some of the latest changes here in Chromium, but we’re committed to the customer scenario as a principle… To be clear, we will not artificially restrict ad blocking for business reasons related to advertising,”
Chrome can do what it wants but Chromium-based browsers can as well.
Safari bogs down on many sites for me, I find that Chrome/Brave is generally faster, and the ecosystem of extensions is outstanding for Chrome/Brave/Chromium browsers while it’s quite terrible for Safari.
Above I mentioned the DecentralEyes extension. A little more: DecentralEyes is available for Firefox andChromium-based browsers for enhanced privacy when sites you visit simply track you via the CDNs used when loading pages. As the dev noted on a Reddit thread, “a lot of websites let you load vital files through large third-party services (like Google Hosted Libraries). There are a couple of reasons why web developers are tempted to do this. It lowers upkeep costs (as these services do not cost the host any money), and it speeds up the web in the sense that if you store a specific version of a file once, you will only contact that central content delivery service too see if the file you have is identical. The fact that these companies are now deeply woven into the fabric of the web, and that telling them off actually breaks a significant percentage of all websites, made me build this add-on. It comes bundled with a fair amount of commonly used files, and serves them locally whenever a site tries to fetch them from a delivery network.”
Safari ain’t got nuthin’ like that.
And that’s just a pointillist example of the privacy add-ons that Apple’s browser doesn’t have wrt privacy. And since Brave (a Chromium fork that has Google’s tracking code pulled out by the roots) uses Chrome extensions, it means I can use the 1Password extension too.
FYI I listed some of the extensions I use in Chrome/Brave in the discussion below - most of these extensions are simply unavailable for Safari.
I’ve never found a perfect browser, so I generally run two or more. Currently it’s Safari for banking, purchases, etc., Brave for general browsing, and Google Chrome for Gmail, Drive, Sheets.
The Chromium crowd dominates the web now with a combined desktop/mobile share of about 64% and Edge is only going to add to that. The last time we had a monoculture like this was when Internet Explorer was at it’s zenith and IE was the only browser guaranteed to work. But that also made IE the biggest target on the net.
If Chromium comparability isn’t the standard for every website it will be, and Apple will just have to keep up. As will the Chromium security teams.
For the especially security-conscious, the other day Brave announced they’d added YubiKey support for iOS.
FYI Apple-approved YubiKey Lightning dongles were announced at the beginning of this year. I believe it only works with apps that use the YubiKey SDK, which includes LastPass but not 1Password. (1P said on Reddit, “Currently, we don’t offer native U2F/Yubikey support because the combined security punch of the Master Password and Secret Key’s encryption makes the added authentication step of 2FA (whether code-based or hardware key based) significantly less important to keeping your 1Password account secure. That said, we’ve heard the requests for this (especially here on /r/1Password!) and our devs are aware to consider for the future.”)