Must-have browser extensions for better privacy online
If you’re looking for ways to make your browsing sessions more secure and private, it’s best to start with your browser. Here are seven browser extensions to help keep your browsing safe from ad companies, government spies and other entities that monitor your interests and online activity.
For blocking those pesky ads: uBlock Origin
uBlock Origin is a free, open source browser extension and is among today’s most popular ad blocking software. Aside from the ability to block ads, it can also be configured to filter certain types of online content. While all of these features can be found in other ad blocking services, what makes uBlock Origin stand out from the rest is its less memory intensive operations. uBlock Origin is available for browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Beta versions for Safari and Edge are also available.
For keeping tracking at bay: Privacy badger
Websites and ad companies are not required to respect a browser’s Do Not Track (DNT) settings. Privacy badger is a free browser extension with versions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera that blocks advertisements and website cookies that are not compliant with a browser’s DNT settings. With Privacy Badger, users are protected from tracking even if their DNT settings are not respected.
For opting out forever: IBA Opt-out
Users of Chrome, Firefox and other common browsers are shown ads based on their interests by default, but they have the option to opt out if they wish to. The problem however is that once a browser is closed, all settings are returned to default and users will have to configure them again. IBA Opt-out keeps those settings intact when browsing. The browser will still show ads, but they won’t be interest-based.
For secure protocols at all times: HTTPS Everywhere
HTTPS sites can still link users to HTTP pages, which can host various malicious payloads such as malvertising, drive-by downloads and infected images. HTTPS Everywhere is a useful browser extension that rewrites HTTP requests to sites as HTTPS, keeping users safe and secure whenever they open a new page or click a link on an HTTPS page.
For blocking malicious scripts: SafeScript
Malicious script is a common threat that is used by cyber criminals to make browsers vulnerable to other types of threats. SafeScript blocks malicious scripts from the get go and blocks data URLs to protect users against newly identified attacks. Users do have the option to authorize potentially dangerous scripts for sites of their choosing, as long as they’re okay with the risks.
For solid security against PUAs: Avira Browser security
Avira Browser security provides most of the features that many items on this list are offering, such as a do not track feature, the ability to block potentially dangerous sites and offer safer alternatives. What makes Avira unique is that it can block potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). These applications are not really dangerous, but they can still collect data and even take up processing resources and disk space.
For encryption and IP address masking: Betternet
Betternet is a free VPN that has a number of nifty features that keep browsers secure. Among these features is encryption, which protects user traffic from being intercepted online. Betternet can also change the IP address of the user temporarily, preventing IP-based tracking techniques. Additionally, it allows users to access blocked content, improving online sessions. What makes Betternet different from other VPN providers is its transparency on how it makes money. You can learn more about it here.
Download Betternet for free here (no registration required)! For more tips on VPN use, read the Betternet blog!