How to Use Ghostery’s Privacy-Aware Dawn Browser
Ghostery Dawn is the latest browser that tries to protect your privacy online. Here’s how to download and set it up.
You would like to be able to browse the web in complete privacy. This is not an easy task with major browsers. Instead, you can turn to a lesser-known but more privacy-conscious browser, and one candidate is the Ghostery Dawn browser.
Created by the folks behind the Ghostery browser privacy extension, Dawn attempts to limit what information is typically monitored and logged when you use any of the major browsers. To that end, Dawn offers ad blocking, anti-tracking, and an ad-free search engine. Ghostery Dawn is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
Ghostery Browser offers free access and paid plans. With free access, you’ll see private sponsored links in search results, which the company claims helps pay the bills while maintaining your privacy. To bypass sponsored links and unlock other products and features, a paid subscription will cost you $4.99 per month billed monthly or $3.99 per month billed annually.
SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
To install the browser on your desktop PC, go to Ghostery Dawn website. On the Download button, click the drop-down list to select your operating system and choose from Windows 64-bit, macOS, Windows ARM64, or Linux. For the iOS version, enter it at Apple App Store. And for the Android version, hang on to google play.
Open the Ghostery Dawn Browser. A message tells you that Ghostery uses first-party tracking to understand how people use its site but does not exchange data with third-party service providers to serve you ads, track your behavior, or sell your data. If you agree to this first-party tracking, click Accept; otherwise click Decline (Figure A).
Scroll down the Ghostery Dawn homepage to view the FAQ if you want to know more about the browser. At some point, a message may appear telling you that Ghostery is securely routing your DNS requests where possible to a partner service to protect you while you browse. This measure attempts to prevent your DNS queries from being observed by your ISP and other parties, including malicious parties. Click OK to activate it (Figure B).
Then you might want to run a search. For that, you can use Ghostery’s search tool, which promises not to save or collect your search history. Click the toolbar icon for Ghostery Glow (the one that looks like a ghost with a magnifying glass). Type your query and review the results. If you use Ghostery Dawn for free, you will see a sponsored ad among the search results (Figure C).
Now you might want to see if and how Dawn Browser is trying to protect your privacy. Go to a specific third-party site that usually tracks your activity. Click on the Ghostery Insights icon to the right of the address bar (the one that looks like a ghost and has a number on it). The results tell you if any trackers were found for the current site. This information offers advanced web analytics and charts as well as proactive tracking reports and alerts. The downside is that you can only view this data for seven days with free access; after that, you will need to upgrade to a paid account to continue seeing this information.
Next, click the View Ghostery Results icon to the left of the address field. This information shows which trackers are present on a web page and provides a quick overview of your loading speed after blocking them. But these results are freely available to all Dawn users (Figure D).
Finally, you can fine-tune the browser’s security and privacy settings. Click the hamburger icon in the top right and select Settings. Click on the Privacy & Security category. Here you can clear cookies and other site data and choose to have this information automatically deleted when you close the browser. You can manage saved passwords for your websites. Next, you can tell Ghostery whether to keep a history of your visited web pages. You can choose to block dangerous and misleading content. And you can enable HTTPS mode for all pages or only those in incognito mode (Figure E).