Can PS4 friends see what website you’re on?

2 minute read

Whether you’re in an endless stream of researching a new topic you’re obsessed with, or something a little less savory, you may have wondered what your PS4 friends can and cannot see when using the system’s browser.

Since privacy is worth more than gold, getting a grip on what you’re PS4 is broadcasting to the world is worth looking into.

Which brings us to the main concern – can your PS4 friends see what website you’re looking at?

The short of it?

No, nobody outside of the immediate proximity of your console will be able to know what you’re using the (limited) browser for.

There is, however, some privacy upkeep to consider when using your console to go online.

What your friends can see while using the browser

Rest assured, your PS4 friends won’t be able to see which websites you’re looking at. In fact, your friends won’t even be able to tell that you’re using the PS4 browser.

Others will be able to see that you’re online, but like browsing the PSN store, chatting with friends, watching Netflix, or navigating the home screen, your status will be blank.

Sony opted to treat the browser like an afterthought, and one of the only benefits of this is that it’s great for privacy buffs.

How to manage your browsing privacy

Even though your browsing activity isn’t shared online with others, there are a few things to take note of before surfing online.

The PS4 browser does keep a history of the websites you’ve visited, and if you haven’t set a password for your account, anyone who logs on will be able to see what you’ve visited should they open the browser.

The browser will also open up you’re last visited websites when you launch the app.

Want to keep your browsing history private?

Follow these steps before your next sketchy session:

  • Set a password for your local PS4 account
  • Clear your browsing history after each session
  • Clear your PS4s keyboard auto suggestion

The first two are privacy 101, but clearing out the auto suggest feature shouldn’t be ignored if you want to avoid a particularly awkward situation the next time someone is sitting next to you.

What started as a quick message asking your friend to play Apex Legends can soon escalate into quite the pivot.

Apart from this, make sure nobody is looking over your shoulder (aka shoulder surfing). While your bank credentials most likely aren’t up for grabs, your dignity is another matter entirely.

Does the browser support ad blocking?

Whichever side of the spectrum your browsing habits are on there’s no escaping the annoyance of obtrusive ads. Thankfully, most modern browsers strip away the fat thanks to add-ons like uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus.

Unfortunately, the PS4 browser is not one of them.

In order to get rid of ads, you must utilize DNS level blocking. Some popular options include AdGuard DNS and Pi-hole Network-wide Ad Blocking.

While these options require a greater barrier to entry than browser add-ons, both offer platform agnostic ad blocking once implemented.

3 thoughts on “Can PS4 friends see what website you’re on?”

    • I can’t say definitively either way, but there is precedence of Sony potentially tracking player activity. And update to the PSN Software Usage Terms in 2013 indicated that “…we reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor and record any or all of your PSN activity and to remove any of your UGM at our sole discretion, without further notice to you”.

      Sony also keeps tabs on how much you play certain titles. This is a built in feature with the PS5 and is accessible to players to see.

      There is also a patent of Sony’s that describes monitoring the gameplay of players in order to help develop guides.

      I hope this has helped even though the answer is a bit ambiguous.

      Reply
  1. Thank you for this. This answer may explain some things, but it baffled me is that when I log in to a PlayStation other than my device, the browsing history is empty and the browsing history is not saved on my main device in the account

    Reply

Leave a Comment