Websites and companies make money just by collecting your browsing data and using it to target you with relevant ads as you go from website to website. It is not uncommon to come across hundreds of searchers with only two or three websites.
Unfortunately, it can also sometimes lead to malware due to malicious ads. To avoid such pitfalls and keep your browsing safe and private, we recommend using the following Chrome extensions for security and privacy.
Ghostery is a powerful and popular Chrome security extension designed to block trackers and anonymize browsing data to prevent your browser from creating a browser fingerprint. The default settings are perfect for most users, who block tracking and use smart ad blocking to allow only certain types of ads. It is regularly updated and easy to customize. With fewer tracker loads, web pages also load faster. The premium version is available for $4.99 per month, but the free version does more than enough for most users.
- Blocks ads.
- Blocks trackers.
- Anonymizes browsing data.
- What to block can be customized (such as allowing unobtrusive ads on trusted sites).
- Some sites that depend on ads will not load if Ghostery is enabled.
Blur is a powerful password manager and digital wallet. Quickly generate hard-to-crack and strongly encrypted passwords. Block trackers for more private browsing. If you upgrade to premium, you can mask your credit card information (which is important if you use your smartphones for purchasing stuff online, gambling at Croatian online casinos, or storing cryptocurrencies), email address, and phone number. Instead of using your real data, unique fake ones are generated to protect your data. The sites obtain this other data and store it on their servers. So if there is an unauthorized intrusion, your data will not be stolen.
- Password management.
- Creates strong, unique passwords for automatic login.
- It masks credit card information so websites never get your real information.
- Blocks trackers.
- It works on multiple devices, platforms, and browsers.
- Credit card masking is only available in the premium version (starting at $2 per month).
Click&Clean is designed to make deleting browsing history, cookies, and temporary files easy with one click. Colorful menus in the extension make this easy to learn and use. You can also manage the certain system and Chrome settings from the extensions menu. Everything is free, but donations are welcome. The developer is also responsive to feedback, regularly updating the extension based on user suggestions.
- It can delete entire browsing history, cookies, and more with one click.
- Scans for malware.
- Backs up your browsing history websites.
- Adjusts cookies to keep you logged in on certain pages.
- It collects some usage data but claims to keep user data anonymous.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials brings the privacy of the DuckDuckGo search engine to Chrome. It helps improve Chrome’s security by blocking trackers and rating websites based on a website’s security and privacy practices. This helps you determine whether a website is safe or not. You can search directly through the extension. The only problem is that you are forced to switch to DuckDuckGo as your default search engine.
- They appreciate the safety and security of the website.
- Blocks trackers.
- Offers the ability to search with DuckDuckGo.
- Some sites may not have a rating, especially new or low-traffic sites.
- Automatically switches your default search engine to DuckDuckGo.
Disconnect is a powerful extension designed to improve your privacy in Chrome. While you can upgrade to the premium version to get a VPN and more customization features, the basic tracking protection extension is free, though donations are welcome. The graphical interface is a nice touch that allows you to see at a glance how much is blocked along with different types of trackers.
- Blocks trackers.
- Increases page loading speed.
- Allows you to select whitelisted sites.
- It shows lists of what is trying to track you.
- Some sites will not load unless you turn off Disconnect.
AutoDelete cookies is a simple but very effective tool for automatic cookie deletion. Simply select whitelisted sites to avoid automatic cookie deletion or graylist sites to keep cookies (even after you close the tab) until you close your browser. You can also import and export settings to other browsers or computers to avoid setting everything up again.
- Auto-delete feature to delete cookies.
- Delete cookies for cards or the entire session.
- White and gray list of pages.
- Manual cleaning.
- Auto-delete is not set by default.
HTTPS Everywhere forces websites to use HTTPS, which helps encrypt data sent between your computer and websites. Many browsers, including Chrome, have a built-in version of this. This is a stronger version, which makes it ideal for improving Chrome’s security. The only major downside is that it will not work with all sites, although you will still see a warning icon in the address bar telling you that HTTPS is not available. If it is a trusted site, you can whitelist it.
- Automatically switches many HTTP pages to more secure HTTPS pages.
- Allows you to disable websites if needed.
- You set your own rules for websites.
- It does not work on all sites.
WOT Website Security & Browsing Protection
WOT Website Security & Browsing Protection gives you a scoreboard for a website so you know how secure it is. Users leave reviews to give you more details. It is one of the more popular Chrome security extensions because it will also alert you to potentially malicious sites that are known for phishing and malware threats. With the premium version, you can also get the advanced device and email scanning. Although you cannot search the URL before opening it in the extension, you can use the WOT website to check.
- You get a rating for websites along with user reviews.
- Receive warnings before a site is fully loaded if it is potentially malicious.
- You cannot verify a site before you visit it inside the extension.
Privacy Badger does not have the usual list of trackers to block that most tracking-blocking extensions use. Instead, it relies on tracker behavior to automatically block them. This works well for identifying new searchers who may not yet be on the lists. However, during the learning phase, you may have to deal with trackers. Also, compared to others, it didn’t block as many trackers after just a few days of use.
- Identifies searchers based on behavior.
- Useful trackers receive placeholders, such as video players or comment sections.
- Improves tracker blocking the more you use it.
- Can manually choose to block or allow the entire domain.
- It does not block as many trackers from the start as other Chrome privacy extensions.
- A learning algorithm can allow websites to learn more about you.
Unshorten.It! helps you see what is really behind those shortened links on social media and article-sharing websites. It is all too common to click on a link and be taken to a phishing site or even end up downloading malware instead. All you have to do is right-click on any link and select “Unshorten this link”. You will be redirected to a new web page with connection details, including a security card, when available. With so many shortened links online, this could easily be one of the most useful Chrome security extensions.
- Shows the full link and the web page for all shortened links.
- Works with almost all link-shortening services.
- Includes WOT Safety Scoreboard data when available.
- The WOT safety table does not always appear, even on popular websites.
The Netcraft extension goes above and beyond to improve Chrome security. Click an extension on any web page to see a preview of the page. Any sites flagged as malicious or suspicious will generate a warning to help keep you safer. You can see the full reports by clicking on the Site Report option in the extension. This shows you where the sites are registered, as well as the rank, country of origin, how long the site has been active, security measures, and more.
- You can get an overview of all the details about the website (page rank, where it is registered, IP addresses, etc.).
- You will receive notifications about potentially malicious sites.
- You can report malicious or suspicious pages.
- Protection of data from payments on suspicious sites.
- The extension depends on user reports, so some malicious sites may not have a warning yet.
Unshorten.link does exactly what the name says: it does not shorten shortened links. It works with a list of over 300 link-shortening services to help you see what’s behind those cryptic shortened links. This one works a little differently than Unshorten.It! as it will automatically take you to the security report page. You don’t need to right-click first, and you can change the filtering rules to allow trusted sites to bypass the security report screen.
- Directs you to the Unshorten.link report immediately after clicking on the shortened link.
- It gives you a security report and shows the full link.
- Custom settings for choosing what to filter.
- Sometimes it loads an error page when you click a link.