Even though it’s the most popular browser in the world, Google Chrome is not especially known for privacy. If you still prefer to use Chrome as your default browser, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to have all your information stolen. The following Chrome security extensions can decrease your chances of accidentally putting your computer’s data or your personal information at risk.
The following list includes some of the most common ways you may accidentally cause a breach and some extensions that can prevent it.
Manage Your Cookies
Cookies are packets of information that websites send to your computer that allow the site to keep track of activities. Some cookies disappear once you leave the website, while others remain to track your return visits to the site or to recognize if you are logged in to that site already.
Most cookies are harmless enough, but some tracking cookies make it easier for others to watch what you are doing online. For that reason, you may want to block some or all cookies from your computer.
To remove cookies whenever you leave your browser, download the Cookie AutoDelete extension. Once you have installed it on Chrome, it opens in a new tab. Click on CAD in the left pane and check the first box: Enable automatic cleaning.
You can also make exceptions for sites that you log into frequently by clicking on List of Expressions. Type the name of the site for which you want to keep the cookies, and tick the appropriate boxes next to “Keep Local Storage” and “Keep All Cookies.”
Visiting Unsecured Sites
Most websites today are built on HTTPS, the secure version of transferring files, but there are still some that are not. Visiting unsecured sites can put your data at risk.
The extension HTTPS Everywhere automatically switches unsecured sites from http to https and protects you from hackers spying on you, hijacking your account, and some types of censorship.
Clicking Shortened Links
Sometimes a website will shorten the link to a page if there is limited characters available, like on Twitter. A shortened version of the link may also be used to make a simple URL for a print ad or to look cleaner online.
Sometimes, though, a shortened link will lead the user to an unsafe website. You can avoid accidentally landing on one of these pages by installing the Unshorten.link extension.
Unshorten.link expands and analyzes shortened URLs for malware and clearly shows where the link is taking you. The extension also automatically removes tracking cookies from the URL.
Leaving too much information behind
Your browsing history tells hackers a lot about who you are. Chrome stores data that can include passwords or financial information. Click&Clean clears out information like your cache, history, downloads, temporary files, and cookies. In addition to that information, the extension can also flush SQL databases, detect malware, and erase your keystroke history.
Exposing your passwords and email address
Blur creates strong passwords for the sites you visit, but it is more than a password manager. It encrypts those passwords to give another layer of protection. It also gives you a masked email address so hackers can’t get their hands on your real one. There are also options for masking your credit card and phone number to protect even more information.
Allowing Ads and Pop-ups
The adblocker Fair Adblocker is designed to stop pop-ups (including videos) and malicious websites. It also has anti-tracking features to improve privacy. The extension is harsh on rogue ads, but it gives the users a chance to allow certain ad content to display so that legitimate advertisers can have access. You can even determine the number of acceptable ads you want to load on a single page.
Even when we are careful online, mistakes do happen, but adding some of these Chrome security extensions can protect you from the consequences. You can also check out some of the ways to protect your privacy and block websites on Chrome to make your Web-browsing session more secure.