How I Remain Web Browser Agnostic
I’m web browser agnostic. Leaning hard toward opensource, privacy-first options, but for the most part, I don’t put much thought into what browser I’m using once I’ve settled into the latest option. I am off to adventure on the internet much the same way my brother and I do when it’s time to test a shiny new vehicle on its first off-road experience. Lots of cheering, screaming, profanities, and a few “whew, that was close.”
I’m the cautious one, in case you’re wondering. My brother disagrees.
Back to browsers here in the safety of our pajama pants at home. While I am a freeform technologist, open to exploring what’s out there and applying it to solving problems, I do have an organizer’s heart. I love file systems and structures. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction once every thing is designated into tidy little folders, nestled no more than three layers deep. I also believe in Inbox Zero.
What I don’t like to do when it’s time to try a new browser, however, is go through the import favorites/bookmarks process every time I want to use a different browser. Browsers are like pants: they should fit well, do their job, and certainly not restrict you. I shouldn’t have to rip out the pockets and stitch them back on to suit my needs prior to use.
Like a belt, a password manager works across all types of pants (browsers). You don’t have to waste time fiddling with settings, reorganizing the structure, or run through the agonizing process of determining whether a group of saved items is really duplicated or is just the empty folder because not one browser pulls that data over in a coherent fashion. Instead, add the extension of your password manager of choice to the fancy new browser and voila! Off and running.
Need to get to a specific URL/URI? Forget the browser’s favorites/bookmarks. Search the password manager instead. In my experience, most password managers have a handy-dandy link button that will take you right to the website. No need to copy/paste or manually type out strings of gibberish.
Granted, the original design of a password manager is to store credential information for logging into websites upon arrival. But because I like to roam free, using random browsers as the mood fits, I add URLs/URIs to my password manager whether the site authenticates or not. And as if that wasn’t already a useful option, I can maintain the same obsessive-level of organization with folders and categories and tags and woo-boy, I’m not allowed a label maker for the physical world.
What about the favorites/bookmarks bar? Fine, fine. I concede this one area is worth the import hassle. Really though, it’s all of five links to add, and if the import feature of whatever fandangle new browser I’m using this month can’t handle that with relative ease, I’m out on principle alone.
So give it a shot. Add the collection of obscure websites that search engines love to twist into something not at all what you were looking for and leave you needing to scrub your eyeballs along with that cache folder. After all, you are practicing safe internet browsing by using a password manager that is independent of the browser’s saved credentials feature, right? Right?