Browsing online is great, but in order to protect your privacy, you’ll need some great browsing extensions. There are thousands upon thousands of Chrome, Firefox, and other extensions out there, many of which vow to protect your privacy online. But how do you know which are the best?
Today we’ll look at some of the best browser plugins to secure your privacy. These are all free (or at least have a free offering) and are top-notch for keeping you safe.
Ad and script blockers are extensions that let you control your browsing experience and keep you private. Ad blockers in general give you the power to block annoying ads on sites and turn off third-party scripts and widgets that can extract and send your data anywhere.
However, ad blockers do tend to interfere with the way some websites work. They can break your favorite sites and, of course, they cause havoc on business that depend on online advertising revenue. With AdBlock Plus (ABP), for example, some people use it indiscriminately on every site, whereas others choose which sites to use it on.
ABP is by far the most popular, and if someone has an ad blocker extension, there’s a high probably it’s ABP. The benefit of ABP, of course, is that it’s easy to use and generally powerful, able to block pop ups, rollover ads, banner ads, and much more, as well as known malware-hosting domains. It also stops third-party tracking cookies and scripts.
However, ABP has come under fire for allowing (whitelisting) certain ads to pass through its blocking system if those companies pay ABP. These companies include Google, Microsoft, Amazon and many other large companies.
The other popular choice is the open-source uBlock Origin, which has become the new go-to ad blocker for many online.
First of all, it’s been shown to block more advertisements than other blockers. It’s also more customizable, allowing you to create personalized lists. This means you have more control over the ads that you want to allow and those you’d like to block.
Secondly, it’s uses less memory so your page loads faster, meaning you can increase your browsing experience.
Anti-trackers are also great browser extensions to secure your privacy. They are different from ad blockers because they block cookies and help protect you from malvertising (‘malicious advertising’) and tracking.
One of the most popular anti-tracking browser extensions is Disconnect, which aims to protect you from malware, tracking, malvertising and even has secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization. It is also very easy to use and lets you control all site scripts from the toolbar menu.
Tracking by the big players like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter is also blocked, especially when they try to collect your browsing data off-site. It has many great features and looks great as well.
On the other hand, there is Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization well-known for fighting for privacy online, amongst other digital freedoms.
Privacy Badger is a little different than other privacy browsing plugins. It doesn’t come out of the box with a list of cookies and trackers to disable. It has its own heuristic algorithm that learns the more you use it, letting your browsing behavior decide what it should be blocking. This alone makes it even more used (besides the fact that it’s an EFF program), as well as its great ability to block third-party trackers.
Disconnect is available for Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome, and Privacy Badger is available for Chrome, Opera and Firefox.
These 4 browsing extensions will definitely help your privacy, but you should also consider the following tools.
HTTPS Everywhere helps keep you safe by going to SSL sites whenever possible and try to find more secure versions of your favorite sites. It’s a very easy and simple way to protect your browsing and keep it secure.
VPNs, like NordVPN, help keep you private and secure while browsing. It works by creating a secure connection to a remote server of your choice, making it seem as if your connection is coming from there.
These are just some of the many tools available to keep you private and secure online. These four browsing extensions for your privacy are great options, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
However, it’s good to remember that no matter what great tools are available, you have to use them to be secure. And you’ll also have to practice good browsing behavior and remain vigilant.
What are your favorite ad blockers or anti-trackers? Let us know in the comments below!