Brave Browser pitches itself as protecting your online privacy by keeping as much data as it can within the browser. While the out-of-the-box defaults are a massive improvement over other privacy invading browsers (ahem, Chrome) there are still a few tweaks we can make to improve it even further. This guide is designed for those power users out there; some of the settings we are changing may break your browsing experience so it’s important to understand each setting.
Head To the Settings
As always, our adventures start with heading straight to the Brave browsers settings page, which can be found by clicking the hamburger menu in the top right of Brave and hitting settings.
We first start in the Shields area, so hit that. It’s on the left hand side.
This first part are some of the most important settings we can change within Brave. We can make three major changes in this section. We can turn ON “Block Scripts”, disable all cookies and tweak our Fingerprinting. If you want to read more about Fingerprinting and how it severely impacts your privacy, check out this great article.
Scroll down a little bit to the Social Media area. There are three sections relating to Google, Facebook and Twitter which are on by default. Let’s turn these OFF.
Continue scrolling down to perhaps the easiest decision you can make in regards to you online privacy; the default search engine. You have a number of options here, with the recommended choice being either DuckDuckGo or Qwant. As long as it’s not Google.
Still heading downwards towards Extensions, let’s turn off “Hangouts”, which is on by default. Anything that mentions Screen Sharing is a no-go for us. Further, Hangouts is a Google product.
Open “Private Window with Tor” is on by default and a great addition to Brave. In case you didn’t know, you can open up a new tab, using Tor, by using the keyboard shortcut ALT + SHIFT + N. Leave this switch on obviously, but turn off the option for WebTorrent – we simply don’t need it; we don’t want our IP address being announced on any P2P protocols.
Head to the Manage Extensions sections. Make sure nothing has crept into here that you are not comfortable with. We have seen some plugins installed by default in some builds of Brave.
Head To the Additional Settings Menu
Click on “Additional Settings” menu on the left hand side. This will open up a small sub-menu.
We can make some significant changes in the Privacy section, however most are already done for us by default.
The first relates to the way the browser handles the WebRTC protocol, which can leak your web address. If you end up enabling Fingerprinting protection, as per our above recommendation, you don’t have to change anything here. However, for piece of mind, let’s change it to “Disable Non-Proxied UDP”. You can test the changes via the website https://ipleak.net/.
Moving down, let’s DISABLE “Automatically send completely private analytics to Brave” as well as Brave’s other analytics “Help improve Brave’s features and performance”.
It is also recommended to head into “Clear Browsing data” section and allow Brave to clear your browsing history and cache when you exit Brave. This is a great feature whereby you don’t have to go in manually to clear this data. Helpful in case you forget!
Interestingly, the Do Not Track option is not on by Default, so let’s switch that to Enabled.
Disable to option for “Allow sites to check if you have payment methods saved”.
Once we are done in the above area, head down to the section involving Saved Password’s, Payment Methods and Addresses. We want to go into each of these settings individually and turn them off. If you want to save this information, we recommended a dedicated password keeper, such as Bitwarden.
The last section on the Privacy and Security menu is the option “Continue running background apps when Brave is Closed”. We want to to Disable this function.
There is a few extra things we can do to improve our privacy even further. We can add a proxy to Brave, however this does involve you purchasing access to some proxy servers from a reputable website. We recommend Hide.me. If you want to read up further on web browser proxies, visit a great article here.
The second further recommendation is to use the Tor Private tab as much as possible. It would be great to see Brave implement the option to use Tor by default in the future.
That concludes our guide on the best privacy settings for Brave. If you found it useful please consider tipping us or adding us to your auto-contributions!