Published on October 26th, 2023
While Google often emphasizes Chrome’s cybersecurity features, it’s no secret that the browser isn’t entirely self-contained.
In fact, some of its limitations are deliberate, designed to enable the company and its associates to generate ad revenue.
If you’re keen on bolstering your online security and privacy, it’s worth exploring the following Chrome extensions.
It’s important to note that these extensions are tailored for the desktop version of the browser and may not be compatible with the mobile app.
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The Best Security And Privacy Extensions For Chrome
This list is expected to expand with time, given the multitude of options available for addressing security and privacy concerns.
As a general guideline, our emphasis here will be on extensions that cater to a broad range of users.
For instance, while military-grade security might be ideal for some, it could be an unnecessary overkill for those primarily interested in eliminating pesky pop-up ads.
Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid redundant extensions with similar functionalities; for instance, running both uBlock and AdBlock simultaneously wouldn’t make much sense.
Here are some recommended extensions:
- uBlock Origin
- AdBlock Plus
- DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
- Malwarebytes Browser Guard
- Click and Clean
While AdBlock Plus is the go-to choice for many seeking ad blockers on Chrome, it’s worth noting that uBlock deserves more recognition.
To tailor its functionality to your preferences, you simply enable the desired filters.
For general users, uBlock offers straightforward operation, and if you ever need to whitelist or blacklist ads on a specific webpage, it’s as easy as opening the extension and clicking a prominent “power” button.
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AdBlock Plus is practically synonymous with ad blockers, making it an essential inclusion on this list.
This extension is designed to automatically put a stop to a wide range of online nuisances, including banners, pop-ups, trackers, and video ads.
Much like uBlock, it provides the option to whitelist sites that you wish to financially support.
If your aim is to selectively block specific elements on a website, AdBlock Plus offers a convenient “Block Element” button.
However, it’s important to note that AdBlock Plus participates in the Acceptable Ads initiative.
This means that, on some websites, you might still encounter certain ads, although they should be less intrusive.
If you prefer a completely ad-free experience, you have the option to opt out.
It’s worth keeping in mind that your favorite websites may lose out on ad revenue when you do so.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
DuckDuckGo is renowned for its tracking-free search engine, and upon installing this extension, it encourages you to modify your homepage and default search engine.
While this may seem assertive, the extension is effective at blocking a multitude of web and email trackers, cookies, and fingerprinting attempts.
This even includes thwarting Google’s technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs).
For enhanced security, you have the option to enforce secure HTTPS connections and utilize the extension’s Global Privacy Control to automatically communicate your preference to opt out of the sale or sharing of personal data.
It’s important to note that DuckDuckGo has a private search ad partnership with Microsoft.
Consequently, while the extension’s filters are typically comprehensive, they won’t prevent bat.bing.com requests from loading when you click on ads on an advertiser’s website.
DuckDuckGo asserts that displayed ads are anonymized, and Microsoft does not profile ad clicks.
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Malwarebytes Browser Guard
Malwarebytes is well-known for its desktop antivirus software, but its Browser Guard extension serves a comparable purpose for web content.
It acts as a multifaceted shield against online threats by blocking trackers and malicious websites.
Beyond this, Browser Guard is designed to combat intrusive ads, making your online experience more user-friendly.
One distinctive feature of Browser Guard is its claim to be the world’s first extension capable of identifying and preventing new tech support scams.
This is especially significant if you have family members or friends who may be susceptible to falling victim to such scams.
In essence, it not only enhances your online security but also provides an extra layer of protection against deceptive schemes, making it an excellent choice for those seeking comprehensive web protection.
Click And Clean
Click and Clean operates differently from the previously mentioned extensions as it doesn’t actively prevent tracking.
Instead, its primary purpose is to provide a convenient and efficient way to clean up your browsing history and related data.
This includes clearing cookies, cached files, visited websites, and recent downloads.
It goes even further by removing client-side WebSQL databases, which were officially disabled for non-enterprise purposes in a Chrome update in September 2023.
One noteworthy feature of Click and Clean is that it allows you to manage cookies, enabling you to remain signed into specific websites such as Gmail or Facebook.
Moreover, it provides an option to actively back up your browsing history, which can be useful in certain scenarios.
The extension offers separate, single-click buttons for its core tasks, including one that wipes your browsing history and closes Chrome simultaneously.
It also includes additional tools for disk cleanup and malware scanning, but it’s recommended to use dedicated applications for these tasks, as they may provide more comprehensive and specialized functionality.
Click and Clean primarily focuses on streamlining the process of maintaining your browsing history and related data, making it a useful tool for those looking to keep their online activities tidy.
Feature Image Source: Rubaitul Azad