Many of the things you can do to protect your privacy online are behavioral. Chances are, you already know these. You use complex passwords and change them frequently, you don’t access sensitive data using public wifi, you know how to recognize phishing attempts, etc. In fact, protecting your privacy online can seem like a full-time job.
Fortunately, there are plugins, extensions and apps that you can use to automate at least some of this work. If you select and use the right ones, you’ll be able to surf the internet with more confidence. Take a look at the top thirteen plugins for privacy protection. The list is in no particular order.
1) Privacy Badger
Privacy Badger is a privacy extension that works with Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Android. The tool can block ads, and stop third parties from tracking your behavior on the web. It works by detecting sources that may be tracking your movements online, then it blocks those sources from loading content onto your browser.
ScriptSafe keeps you safe online by blocking potentially harmful scripts from running. This includes flash. This add-on works for both Chrome and Firefox. To allow flash and other scripts to run on specific websites, simply enable them. You can also enable all pages within a single domain. This means you don’t have to continue enabling scripts page after page.
Ghostery is both an ad blocker, and a user privacy tool. That means it blocks trackers as well as ads. This free add-on works for virtually any browser or device. This includes:
- Firefox For Android
Disconnect is a VPN that allows you to surf the internet in relative privacy. This VPN was created in 2011 by two former Google engineers and has become one of the most popular virtual private networks available.
In addition to providing a secure connection to the internet, Disconnect also has a visualization tool that allows you to see the sites that are tracking your behavior across the net.
5) HTTPS Everywhere
This is another great extension that was built for you by the same folks who created Privacy Badger. In this case, HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that works with Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. Its function is to encrypt your communications with many of the websites you visit. This, in a sense, turns any site into an HTTPS site.
Blur was designed to protect your payment information, passwords, and other data from cybercriminals. It also uses masked email addresses to protect you from spam, masks your phone number and blocks tracking.
Blur works exceptionally well, but there are a couple of caveats. First, in order for it to work, you have to supply a lot of personal information. Next, your password information is stored locally and could be lost if you don’t back it up.
7) AdBlocker Ultimate
AdBlocker Ultimate is a Chrome extension that blocks ads. This includes YouTube commercials, pop up and pop-under ads, and banners. It also stands out from other adblocking add-ons in that there are no whitelisted ads. You can also use the extension to block tracking.
Adblock Plus is arguably the most popular adblocking plugin. It works with Chrome as well as other mobile browsers. Like other ad blockers, it allows you to surf without seeing the most common types of ads and prevents you from falling prey to malware disguised as advertisements.
However, unlike AdBlocker Ultimate which blocks all ads, ABP does allow some ads to be whitelisted. The idea is that businesses who rely on advertising to remain profitable should be allowed to display reasonable, safe ads.
Passwords are a tricky thing. Complex passwords are safer but difficult to memorize. LastPass is a security manager that helps take care of this. It stores and autofills passwords for you so that you can use better passwords without worrying about forgetting or losing them.
If you want to browse the internet anonymously, share files freely, and not worry about being throttled by your ISP, a VPN could be your best solution. In fact, if you are a student discreetly using services such as Trust My Paper, EZTV, Grab My Essay, Torlock, or Studicus to get help with school work, stream content, or share files you may need the extra security of a VPN. PureVPN is inexpensive and easy to set up.
11) Team Password
It’s complex enough to manage passwords for one person across multiple emails, bank accounts, software logins, etc. When password management involves a team of workers, some of whom might be sharing accounts, things can get really sticky.
Team Password is a password management tool that was designed specifically for teams. It keeps login IDs and passwords safe and coordinated, allowing teams to continue working on projects without being held back by the complexities of shared logins.
12) Click And Clean
Jared Wells, an IT analyst at FlippingBook says, “I strongly recommend people clear their internet history frequently. It helps to protect your privacy and improves your computer’s performance. Unfortunately, many people fail to do this simply because it’s a time-consuming task.
That’s why I encourage people to use the Click and Clean extension for Chrome.’ With this tool, users can clear their browser history and cache, etc. simply by clicking a button or using a keyboard shortcut.
13) Duck Duck Go
Your search history says a lot about you, perhaps more than you care to share. Standard search engines track your searches and store your data.
Many forward that information to websites and advertisers for marketing purposes. In addition to this, anyone accessing your computer has the ability to see what you’ve searched and when.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that eliminates these risks. It offers free searches without tracking your behavior. You can use it by accessing it directly or adding it as a Chrome extension.
14) Privacy Analyzer
Each time you visit a website and enter search details, or simply browse their pages, you will be potentially leaving more information about yourself than you realize.
Data is collected in order to identify and monitor your behavior using tools such as browser fingerprinting and IP lookups.
Although this information cannot be used to directly identify you personally the profile data can be so uncannily unique and accurate that it makes it fairly obvious that the search details relate to you.
Privacy.net has created a useful privacy analyzer tool that allows you to see just how exposed your data is each time you use your browser.
The tool allows you to conduct a test so that you can see just how easy it might be for a malicious site to detect logged in accounts without seeking your permission to do so.
The test is safe to use and won’t compromise your security in any way but it will prove invaluable in evaluating your browser privacy and whether you need to make any adjustments to protect your data.
Everyone wants to surf the internet while maintaining their privacy and security. The plugins, extensions, and add-ons described here can be used to accomplish that.
Nicole D.Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor at BestEssayEducation and a number of platforms for marketing specialists. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. At her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.