13 Best Browser Extensions for Enhanced Privacy and Security

13 Best Browser Extensions for Enhanced Privacy and Security

Do you know what are the best browser extensions you can install so you get a more private and secure browsing experience?

We use the internet every day for so many things. We go online for entertainment, work, shopping, chat with our friends, or look up information.

A quick and easy experience it might seem, isn't it?

Well, that's not quite the case. You go to a website, and it is filled with ads and trackers that collect information about you to send to other companies. This information is used to analyze your online behavior, learn about your interests, and target you with ads.

Being tracked online means you have no privacy while browsing, and it also makes pages run slower due to so many ads and invisible codes.

The good news is that there are browser extensions designed to solve these issues. They aim to block annoying ads and stop trackers from following users online so they can have a more private and safe browsing experience.


uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is a free and open-source efficient blocker that blocks intrusive trackers and ads (including annoying Youtube Ads). Besides adding more privacy to your browsing, it can also speed up page loading.

Because some websites won't allow you to access the content when you have an ad blocker enabled, uBlock provides users a button to turn off the blocking on a specific website either temporary or entirely.

If you don't mind the ads on a specific website, you can add it to the Whitelisting Tab.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and as a Mac app for Apple computers


HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that forces websites you visit to use an HTTPS connection rather than HTTP.

It is highly important to only access HTTPS websites so they protect their online security while browsing online. Especially if you're going to provide sensitive information such as emails, passwords, or credit card information. You should know that using HTTP websites for money transactions can end catastrophically for your bank account. Also, you should never use HTTP websites when you're connecting to a public WiFi network as the connection can be easily intercepted and altered by hackers through packet-sniffing.

Although many websites nowadays switched to HTTPS themselves, this browser extension is still useful for a little while.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera


Decentraleyes

Decentraleyes is a browser add-on that blocks tracking by third-party content delivery networks (CDNs). Examples of such networks are Google Hosted Libraries, Cloudfare, Microsoft and Facebook.

Web developers use shared scripts on websites, scripts that are hosted on CDNs, for multiple reasons. To not have to do everything from scratch, to make it easier for developers to share scripts among them, to not have to host resources themselves, and to make pages load faster. Most CDNs are free (such as Google or Microsoft), which means users pay for it with their privacy. When you visit websites that embed scripts from such CDNs, those companies can track you everywhere.

When you use Decentraleyes, the add-on blocks the request made by the website to access the content delivery network and loads the locally stored resource instead.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera


Privacy Badger

Privacy badger is one of the best in the industry and it's been developed by Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization actively implicated in online privacy and security.

Privacy badger is an add-on that blocks third-party trackers from recording your online activity. It works by keeping track of the websites you go on and, if it notices that an advertising company tracks you across multiple websites, it automatically blocks that advertiser from loading more content in your browser.

Available for: Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Firefox for Android

The Cookie AutoDelete extension automatically removes cookies that are not being used, protecting you from tracking. With this extension, you can control all your cookies with a single tool.

Cookies are some files stored on your computer or device, that store a small amount of information about you. They hold information such as your online activity and data about your browser. This data is used by websites and clients to provide you with personalized pages based on your online behavior. So cookies are a great tool for companies to track your activity.

Cookie AutoDelete has more features related to cookies such as automatically deleting cookies from closed tabs, whitelist/graylist support for cookies, easily export/import the whitelist, clearing cookies for a domain, and seeing the exact number of cookies for a website.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox


uMatrix

uMatrix is a privacy-focused browser extension designed for advanced users as you must manually configure it. If you want a powerful blocker tool, you can take your time and learn how to properly customize it if you have the patience.

This extension gives you total control of where your browser is allowed to connect, what type of data it's allowed to download, and what it's allowed to execute.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox


NoScript

NoScript is a browser extension that identifies and blocks scripts on websites. It allows JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other plugins to be executed only by trusted sources.

This extension is not an install and forget about it type of tool. It must be configured to work properly and it can take time to find the perfect configuration so that pages won't break. If you don't have the patience to learn its ways, then uBlock Origin is a good and easy alternative.

Available for: Mozilla based browser


Ghostery

Ghostery is an open-source browser extension designed to provide a faster, cleaner, and safer browsing experience by detecting and blocking many third-party tracking technologies.

Ghostery automatically blocks ads and maintains your privacy with the enhanced anti-tracker. Smart blocking works in the background to block trackers that slow down pages and unblock trackers if the website's functionality is affected.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Edge, Cliqz


AdBlock Plus

AdBlock Plus is one of the most downloaded browser extensions because it stops websites from displaying intrusive ads. It is a free and open-source extension. If you are annoyed by those ads that pop up from nowhere, you'll love AdBlock Plus.

Unlike the other tools, AdBlock plus specializes in blocking intrusive ads so users can have a sleek web experience. It does have a list of known entities that use tracking and stops them from tracking you. It also has the feature to stop social media icons tracking. Still, to block tracking cookies from all sources, you should use it in conjunction with Privacy Badger or Disconnect.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, IE, Edge (beta), Yandex

When browsing the internet you'll come across many shortened links (bit.ly/2jRbfuK looks familiar?). Some use shortened links for good reasons, usually because the whole link takes too much space. But sometimes, shortened inks can hide dangerous sources. And the challenge here is that you don't know exactly where that link goes without accessing it.

Unshorten.Link solves this problem by revealing what's behind a shortened URL before you visit it. It also warns you if the link forwards traffic to a site with suspected malware hence enhancing your online security.

Available for: Google Chrome


LastPass

One crucial aspect of protecting your online privacy is using strong, hard to guess passwords everywhere. But when you have dozens of accounts for different platforms and services, how do you manage to keep track of all of them without going insane?

LastPass is here to help. It is a password manager browser extension to make creating passwords and storing them a no-hassle task. With this extension, you can generate strong passwords to improve your security, store and auto-fill passwords wherever you go online.

All the data you input in this app is encrypted and decrypted at the device level meaning, not even the company can decrypt your data. You can also add extra security to your LastPass account with multifactor authentication.

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE


Disconnect

Disconnect is another browser extension designed for privacy. Their free basic tool blocks major third-party companies from tracking the websites you visit by automatically detecting if your browsers connect to anything than the website you're visiting. Not only this is a great extension for improving your privacy, but by blocking tracking requests, the page and app loads will speed up.

All you have to do is install the extension and it will run in the background with the default settings. You are able to block or unblock third party requests in your toolbar view either individually or by categories (advertising, analytics, social).

Available for: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari


VPN

A VPN server encrypts all the outgoing and incoming internet traffic that travels form and to your browser, while also hiding your IP address and location.

VPN is one of the must-have tools in the privacy puzzle as it goes a long way to making your connection more private. There are more great VPN browser extension providers out there such as Nord VPN and ExpressVPN.

The downside of a VPN browser extension is that it only routes the traffic in the browser. You can get better privacy by using a native VPN app that will route all the traffic on your network.

If you're willing to invest in a VPN service, we advise you to go the native app route as you'll get more perks and it will cover all the browsers you're using.

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