The Best Chrome Security Extensions to Improve Your Browsing Security

Chrome Security Extensions Featured Image

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.

Chrome Security Extensions Cookie Autodelete

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.

Chrome Security Extensions Https Everywhere

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.

Chrome Security Extensions Unshorten.link

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

Chrome Security Extensions Click&clean

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

Chrome Security Extensions Blur

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.

Chrome Security Extensions Fair Adblocker

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.

Related:

Tracey Rosenberger Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

2 comments

  1. I used to use Click & Clean, and it was a handy extension with several useful tools built in. I stopped using it, though, and won’t use it again. Here’s why:
    I turned off notifications in the extension settings. After I’d been using it for some time it started turning notifications back on from time to time in settings and bombarding me with garbage notifications, like “Your browser is out of date and unsafe!” (when it was the latest version), “Untrusted third-party apps have access to your Google account!” (No idea what apps these were supposed to be), and “Your browsing history is at risk because you haven’t cleaned it in a while! (two hours of browsing since the last time it was cleaned with Click & Clean). Eventually it stopped even turning the notifications back on, and just pestered me with this rubbish every time I used the browser, even with notifications turned off. I went to the Chrome store to see if there was anything in the description or reviews about the issue and found there were enormous numbers of fake-looking five-star reviews (“The best extension ever!” —A Google User. “I couldn’t use the internet without it!” — A Google User, etc.) and a number of reviews complaining about the same notifications problems I was experiencing. The developer’s response to these criticisms was to claim that hackers were trying to convince people that they shouldn’t update their browsers, because older versions with unpatched security issues are easier to hack, and these hackers were spamming the Chrome store with fake reviews to defame his extension. I decided then to uninstall it, which was a wrench because I liked its functionality. However, aside from the annoyance of the stupid notifications, I concluded there was a more serious issue. The extension has the run of your browser. You are giving it quite a bit of trust. The huge number of fake reviews that appeared to be intended to submerge the critical reviews, and the developer’s dishonest response to what I knew to be legitimate criticism, made me conclude that neither he, nor his extension, should be trusted.

  2. Are there any extensions that prevent Google from spying on you? Because that is the biggest security/privacy hole.

Leave a Comment

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.