One of the great things about the Google Chrome browser is that you can customize it by adding extensions to make it even more secure. I’ve got some favorite extensions I’d like to share with you today.
This is my all-time favorite and most recommended extension. Why? Because it encrypts data sent between you and a web server. So even if a hacker manages to tap into your data stream he wouldn’t be able to decipher a thing.
2. Web of Trust
This extension displays a color coded icon (usually red, green or yellow) next to websites you visit indicating the reputation of the site. It’s a great extension to have if you’re not too sure about the credibility of a particular website. Also, since data for every site is crowd-sourced, you can be certain you’ll never step into unknown territory again.
Although Adblock is more of a utility extension than a security extension it does a remarkable job blocking ads that may be malicious and that’s why I decided to include it in this list. Another great feature with Adblock is that it blocks video ads on YouTube, saving you bandwidth and 30 seconds of frustration everytime you watch a video.
I’ve clubbed both these extensions together because they almost perform the same function- identifying and blocking web trackers. Trackers help build a profile about you and your interaction with a website among other things. But over the years websites owners and administrators have become increasingly sneaky, using this data to serve you more Ads. Ghostery and Disconnect identify these tracking and advertising scripts when you visit a website and block them for you.
5. Tunnelbear VPN (Virtual Private Network)
In this day and age using a VPN is important, if not essential to protect yourself and your digital data. If you’ve ever used public Wi-Fi, say, in a coffee shop or at the airport without some sort of protection, you’re a sitting duck. A hacker not 5 feet from you could be snooping on your data, trying his best to obtain confidential information and learn more about you. When you use a strong VPN it’s like having a private tunnel between your computer and a web server where all your data is encrypted and kept away from prying eyes. VPN’s can also help you circumvent geographically restricted content as well as allow you access to content blocked by your WiFi administrator. Tunnel Bear is my VPN of choice because of it’s user friendly interface and free VPN plan.
With the advent of link shortening services like Bitly and TinyURL, hackers have found an ingenious way of tricking people into clicking harmful cloaked links. But Unshorten.link is a nifty little extension that automatically expands shortened links, (like this: http://bit.ly/2dCPDmP) telling users exactly where the link is taking them and if its harmful or not. Pretty neat if you ask me.
Tell me in the comments section if you have a favorite privacy or security extension and why you like it. And if you’re not a Chrome user you may find the same plugins in the respective app stores of your web browser.
Note- In case any of the extensions cause undue problems you can turn them off by going to- chrome://extensions.