As the services once limited to home computers transfer to our mobile devices, security is still just as serious an issue. Recently, it was announced that Android users could be vulnerable to the Chrome Zero-Day Exploit which according to Hacker News, “allows an attacker to gain full administrative access to the victim’s phone and works on every version of Android OS.” When administrative access is gained, the hacker can control your phone remotely. Yikes.
Malicious code is installed on Android devices by tricking someone into visiting a fake site through the Chrome browser. While Google has reportedly been alerted to the bug, in the meantime you may want to install a different browser on your phone.
Here are some alternative browsers that work just as well as Google Chrome you may consider switching to:
- Mozilla Firefox: Firefox is an open source browser that synchronizes across devices, has many add-ons and extensions, easily activated private browsing feature, and has a handy “guest mode” that allows others to use your browser without gaining access to your search data. Do Not Track is off by default, however, so you’ll want to switch it off in the settings if that is a concern.
- Opera: Opera has some cool features like ‘Off-Road’ mode that allows you to expedite page loads in the case of spotty reception, Speed Dial lets you drag together related content in easily accessible folders, and Opera Link synchronizes your browsing data, passwords, bookmarks, and Speed Dials across all your devices. Opera is not open source but reportedly uses the open source WebKit engine.
- DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo is an open source browser that boasts some nice privacy features like not tailoring your search terms on previous activity — all users get the same search results because it does not track you with cookies or keep a record of your IP address, DDG operates a its own Tor exit enclave which when the browser is used with Tor will give you end to end anonymous and encrypted searching, and their ‘meanings’ feature can help you better search ambiguous terms.
There are many other great browsers for Android and these are just a few that could be useful until the Chrome Zero Day Exploit is patched. Tell us about your favorite browsers for Android in the comments below.