17 Chrome and Firefox extensions for your privacy and security
Here we list some extensions that focus on security and privacy. Most of them work in Chrome, it is now the most popular browser with a share of about 40% in Russia, but many of the extensions are also released for Firefox.
In general, the set of useful extensions can be divided into five categories:
- Blocking ads
- Hiding and faking information (IP, geolocation, user agent)
- Clearing Browser Data
- Privacy settings
- Protection against malware and mining scripts
A number of browsers are based on the Chromium engine, and its extensions are compatible with Brave, Opera and Vivaldi.
The most important extension that you need to install for yourself, as well as for all your friends and relatives, is an ad blocker. This is an absolute must have for everyone. Here are the most popular ones:
- Adblock plus (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Android, iOS)
- Adblock (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge)
- uBlock Origin (Chrome, Firefox)
- Ghostery (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge)
It’s hard to recommend a specific ad blocker, they all do a good job. Someone prefers the fastest Ghostery, someone is used to the old AdBlock Plus.
results benchmarks in February 2019, how long does it take to process a page with different ad blockers. Despite the overhead, they all ultimately speed up page loading.
At the end of the article, there is a vote for the best ad blocker.
Hiding certain information: referrer, user agent, IP address and geolocation. Protects against online trackers and even allows you to change your IP address in the server response.
A simple and powerful extension to switch between different user agent strings.
WebRTC is an open source real-time communication framework. It is commonly used for video calling and conferencing via browser or mobile devices.
The WebRTC Protect extension protects the user from IP address leakage via WebRTC. The extension is small and easy to use.
Protection against disclosure of “Seen” status in chats. Works with web messengers WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Web Telegram, etc., as well as on sites facebook.com and messenger.com.
Blocks the “Viewed” status, the last activity indicator and the “User is typing …” indicator.
Hiding or faking your geographic location.
Clearing Browser Data
Click & Clean (Chrome, Firefox, Edge)
Popular extension for clearing temporary data in the browser. Of course, there are corresponding settings in the browser itself, but this extension provides many more customizable options and advanced cleaning settings.
A minimalistic but highly functional extension for managing privacy settings. It features a simple interface.
More advanced privacy settings manager in Chrome. There are more settings and options for managing security settings and cookies. It also allows you to delete browsing data, for this there is a large set of options.
Privacy Manager can perform network monitoring, change cookies, and manage IP addresses via WebRTC.
Privacy Badger (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android)
The Privacy Badger extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) automatically detects and blocks trackers and malicious scripts based on their behavior. There is a list of permissions for individual items such as video players and interactive widgets.
Developers explainthat they like Disconnect, Adblock Plus, Ghostery and other similar extensions and ad blockers, but “they don’t provide exactly what they want.” Testing has shown that all of these solutions require some amount of manual configuration to work effectively to block non-standard trackers. Some are using an unacceptable business model of excluding customers from the money block list. Therefore, EFF released its own extension for tracking blocking.
An advanced open source cookie manager. Allows you to edit, add, manage, create and search for cookies. Also allows you to change the expiration date of cookies and import / export them.
Protection and safety
The extension against cryptominers not only stops mining scripts, but also serves as an indicator on which sites such malware is installed. Site owners consider this to be a legitimate micropayment model, when readers pay with their resources for an information access service, but in this case it is ethical to warn users about the charge.
Parental Controls: Block adult content sites. Although it can be bypassed, however, like any blocking.
HTTPS Everywhere (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Firefox for Android), the extension is included in Brave, Tor and Onion (iOS) by default
Joint development Tor project and Electronic Frontier Foundation… On many sites, not complete, but partial or incorrect support for HTTPS is implemented. For example, the unsecured HTTP version is loaded by default, or on HTTPS pages, separate links point to it. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes some of these problems by modifying requests on the fly.
Each extension contributes to web page parsing and memory consumption, so it is advisable to set the required minimum and no more. For example, “antivirus” extensions are largely useless and only waste CPU and memory resources, and sometimes even inject unnecessary ads into the browser. how the Avast antivirus extension did it…
If you use other useful extensions to protect your personal data and security, add in the comments.