The Best Browser Extensions to Protect Your PrivacyPosted on 6th February 2019
If you can make your online life more safe and comfortable, why choose not to? However, as with anything digital, you need to look carefully before entrusting someone your personal data or the important task of fending off ads and spam.
Here are our personal favorites, but we are always open to suggestions – post them in comments!
Oh, ads! The plague of the online realm. They may have been an effective medium and sales perpetuator earlier, but surveys show that now most people just block them off. We have so much to look at web pages and services nowadays that flashing banners don’t amuse it, quite the contrary – they annoy us.
Here are some suggestions for the products we personally enjoy but remember that any solution works best when tailored to your specific needs.
uBlock origin is best for the users who like their browser extensions nice and lightweight. It performs decently as an ad blocker, but its main advantage lies in the fact it is very good on CPU and memory. So, if you want an ad filter that won’t affect your browser performance but will offer you a decent protection, this one is a go-to. We can’t say, however, that it is “overly protective.”
Adblock Plus is a wildly popular ad filtering extension with more than 10,000,000 installs! And it has been our number one for a long time due to a large amount of detected and blocked ads and relatively low CPU load. However, after the controversy with the “Acceptable Ads,” it kind of fell from grace, and many reputable tech magazines and bloggers started bashing it. So, it’s your choice to pick it or leave it.
This one may not have such an extensive user base as its counterparts above, but it’s one with the widest coverage. The extension is available for most of the modern browsers, even including Yandex and Palemoon (have you heard of those? Props if you had!). Another distinctive feature of this adblocker is that it can eliminate the interstitial ads – the ones you see before the page loads. It works even on such websites as Forbes.com.
Remember that the secret to the perfect ad defense is a collaboration of different tools tailored to your needs.
Unlike ad blockers, which only alter the website exterior that you see, anti-tracking tools block the deep-rooted attacks – they prevent web services from following you around. Here are our favorites.
First, the Electronic Frontier Foundation – the organization that defends civilians’ privacy rights online – has developed it. Secondly, it has a cute badger as its logo. All jokes aside, the service is a lightweight and easy-to-use tool for tracking prevention. The main feature, and probably the main vulnerability of Badger is that it doesn’t block websites off the bat – it takes time to collect information, and only then executes The Great Block.
When it has learned enough, it’s pretty deadly though.
This is what you tell all the annoying trackers sneaking up on your data. Disconnect is an amazing anti-tracking tool that protects you from the prying eyes, malware, and malvertising (more on that in the upcoming articles). It also provides you with Wi-Fi protection and bandwidth optimization, which are rare features in these kinds of tools.
You can control all the scripts on the webpage via a simple-to-use toolbar menu. In other words, you don’t need to know anything about webpage creation to block off annoying creepers – Disconnect does this for you.
This works the same way as all the other anti-tracking devices, but Ghostery has a slightly better design and UI. You can also share your data with the extension to improve your experience if you find this acceptable.
It also blocks tracking scripts by default and can show you a full report, so you get to decide which ones to allow and to block. However, if you are a newbie to the cybersecurity world, it’s better to live the app running as is. However, in a rush for monetization Ghostery took part in some questionable activities like selling users data. So, again, it’s your choice whether to trust this extension or not.
After you have secured your online experience with a power couple of an awesome ad-blocker and anti-tracking extension, it’s time to put the cherry on top of the privacy pie. Get a website securing extension and be sure that all your data is protected.
Yes, here we are talking about the HTTPS protocol. While more websites employ this technology, not every page out there is well-protected. Don’t wait for someone to start caring about your valuable data – take your privacy into your own hands. Here are the extensions we love.
This is a cooperative creation of Tor and Electronic Frontier Foundation teams, and we believe those guys know what they are doing when it comes to online privacy. Should you deny yourself the data you need if the website doesn’t have an HTTPS protocol? Or should you just keep browsing despite the possible threat of data leak?
Neither of those! Just use HTTPS Everywhere, which will rewrite requests to automatically redirect you to HTTPS-secured websites. Your sensitive data is safe, while you still can enjoy the full array of online experiences.
KB SSL Enforcer
This one comes with a few limitations, but some protection is still better than nothing. First, it only works for Google Chrome. Secondly, the app will force you to visit the HTTPS versions of the websites you try to access even if they are broken or unavailable (hence the name). In most situations, however, it’s a convenient tool, especially if you don’t like manually setting your privacy equipment, or don’t know what to do.
Bonus Round: VeePN
Since you are in a VPN service’s blog, this is quite a predictable recommendation. However, the fact that a good VPN can significantly boost your online security is undeniable. Oh, and VeePN also happens to have a convenient extension for all the popular browsers out there. Do you get the hint?
Which tools do you use to make your online experience safer and more satisfying? Share your suggestions in the comments, and let’s build a secure online community together.