This guide will help you browse the web securely when you use the Samsung Internet web browser for Android. The tips are ordered with the things which
are fundamental to browsing the web securely first. The latter tips are more focused on thoroughly preserving your privacy.
With that in mind, the most fundamental thing you can do is ensure you are using the most up-to-date version of the browser.
When your browser is up to date it has the latest patches and security features to ensure that you are protected whilst you browse the Web.
You can check if you have the most recent version of Samsung Internet installed by visitng the Settings screen in Samsung Internet and tapping on About Samsung Internet. There you should see a message "The latest version is installed" or instructions on how to update your browser.
The links below will let you download the latest version of Samsung Internet or Samsung Internet Beta, the Beta version is aimed at people who want to test the newest features in Samsung Internet. If you aren't sure which to pick just download "Samsung Internet".
By understanding who is trying to bypass your privacy and why it can really help you
guard against it and make these tips make a lot more sense.
Your ISP or Wifi Provider
The people who are selling you internet access will often try to make a bit of extra money
either by selling your browsing data or injecting adverts into your web pages.
If you are in a coffee shop using their wifi this is where attacks are the most dangerous. A malicious coffee shop may do a few harmful things:
Replacing web page contents or injecting search results
Selling detailed browsing data
Snooping on your chats
Secure websites, which start with "https://" cannot be tampered with. Your internet provider can only see the first part of the URL, the domain.
Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar to ensure that the website is https.
i.e. if your browser shows https://example.com/site/index.html any intermediary parties can only see https://example.com
Samsung Internet can help you ensure that more of your browsing is secured if you enable the "Switch to secure connection (HTTPS)" option under Labs in the Settings menu.
Using a Virtual Private Network aka a VPN. VPNs are a paid service which masks all your browsing data. Your Internet Provider can see that you are using a paid VPN but all the other data is totally secure even "http:" sites!
One of the biggest dangers of the Web are intentionally malicious web sites. These are a smaller risk than they used to be since these days as they often get omitted from search results. But still sometimes they will come up organically.
Be careful when you follow a link from an advert or from a dodgy site such as a piracy or pornography site. Sites with little legitimate means of generating income will sometimes make money by linking through to dodgy scam sites. You may encounter posts which link to content like this on social media too. So be careful.
Sites like this are usually going for something quite malicious such as wanting to install some software on your device so that it can be used in a bot net. Or used to steal your identity. Don't run or install any computer programs where the download link doesn't begin with 'https://' or where you do not trust the website or software author.
The final type of risky site you will encounter are spoof websites. If you receive a text saying it's from your bank, phone company, Samsung or Microsoft or your government with a URL there is a good chance it is fake.
Large advertising networks, such as Facebook and Google, provide services to websites like adverts, analytics, share buttons or widgets in exchange they are able to observe how you browser on their sites.
These advertising networks try to have tracking elements like these on as many sites as possible so they can track you from site to site and uniquely identify you.
This allows them to build a virtual consumer profile of you so that they can offer you targeted advertisements. This often gets called "better advertising" but can lead to some scary practices like using this data to charge more for car insurance to young men who look at car websites since they may be a higher risk.
The solutions for this are a bit more complicated because it's an arms race between advertising networks and web browsers. Where web browsers try to preserve your privacy and the advertising networks try to bypass this.
There are 3 things you can turn on in Samsung Internet to help with this.
These Ad blocking capabilities use 3rd party blocking lists to stop 3rd party trackers and adverts from loading in your browser. To install an ad blocker do this:
Because Samsung phones have access to the Galaxy Store they can install extensions through the Samsung Internet browser itself. Open the menu and tap Ad-Blockers. Here you can turn on and install ad-blockers.
Open up the menu and select "Ad Blockers"
Tap on the down arrow to automatically install and enable ad-blockers
Non Samsung Phones
Non Samsung Phones need to install Ad-Blockers through the Play Store. Here are a few:
This is a more extreme way of preventing cookie based tracking. It blocks any cookies that do not belong to the website you are on. Third party cookies are cookies that belong to a different domain than the one in your address bar. For example if you are browsing "https://newspaper.com" and there are adverts provided by "https://adprovider.com", they will use third party cookies which set unique information about you. If you visit another site with cookies from adprovider.com, adprovider.com will be able to create a profile about you with a list of the sites you visit with their ads on. Disabling third party cookies means that these adverts cannot access any identifying information they may have set as a cookie on another site.
This setting may break websites in rare cases, which is why it is not turned on by default, but will greatly enhance your privacy.
This prevents the majority of ways tracking networks follow you around the Web. You turn third party cookies off by using the settings page at:
Settings ➔ Sites and downloads ➔ Site permissions ➔ Cookies ➔ Block third-party cookies
You can type search queries into the address bar to search using one of a selection of popular search engines.
The search engine you use will know what terms you searched for and may use this to build an advertising profile about you. If you dislike this behavior you can switch to a more privacy aware search engines such as DuckDuckGo or Qwant.
You can switch between installed search engines by tapping on the icon in the search bar:
You can install additional search engines through the settings menu at:
Steps Samsung Internet takes to keep you safe by default you can find most of these settings in
Settings ➔ Privacy and Security
These should all be turned on for the safest browsing experience:
Block backward redirections
Malicious websites will sometimes try to prevent you from leaving or send you to other pages when you try to leave by pressing the back button. This works by inserting malicious entries into your history stack.
This setting prevents this attack by blocking this ability.
This blocks web pages trying to open new windows and tabs in the background as you browse the Web.
Block apps from opening Internet
Some bad apps on your phone will try to get your attention by repeatedly opening your default Web Browser on a spam Web Page. If you set your default Web Browser to Samsung Internet you can then block these apps from opening the browser so they cannot spam you.
Pressing this setting will list all the apps that recently opened the Web Browser, how many times each app opened the browser, then let you block the app.
Prevents Web Sites from trying to sneakily download dangerous files.
Finger Printing Protection
Finger Printing Protection isn't a feature to turn on and off. It's a design principal in how the browser is built.
Fingerprinting is when websites collect data based on how you interact with your browser, or unique properties of your phone. If a website can uniquely identify this device it can track when you return or even when you browse other sites in some cases.
We try to prevent websites from uniquely identifying your device based on particular browser/device information. It's an ongoing process that gets better with each new version of the browser.