Use these Chrome extensions to stay safe and manage your privacy online.
As good as Google’s efforts might be, they sometimes aren’t enough. Especially when it comes to things like tracking cookies and “bad” ads. The internet is huge and millions of people will come in contact with something before Google finds a way to blacklist it. There is something you can do though — install a few extensions that can make the internet a better place. Here are our picks of the best Chrome extensions when it comes to online privacy and safety.
AdGuard isn’t necessarily the very best ad blocker. It can use the same blacklist as all the others but it does use a little more processing power to do its thing than Ublock Orgin (our next pick). AdGuard is the best all-in-one blocking tool for someone who doesn’t want to use more than one extension, though.
it gets a special shout-out here (and a hearty recommendation) because it blocks crypto-mining. A website can hijack your CPU to mine cryptocurrency for it while you are visiting a web page. Some websites tell you this up front as it can be a good way for a website to make a few dollars, but most don’t. AdGuard stops a site from doing it unless you say differently.
An ad blocker that’s open source and easy on your CPU and memory. If you choose to install a stand-alone mine blocking extension, this should be your ad blocker of choice. it’s also easy to turn on and off for the times when you want to allow ads to support a specific website.
No Coin is open source and only does one thing — blocks websites from hijacking your CPU and memory to mine cryptocurrency. There are several miner blocker extensions available on the Chrome store, but No Coin is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t hit your processor about as hard as a coin miner would anyway so it’s our top pick in the category.
The extension has a small UI when you click it to allow you to whitelist a website or allow mining for a limited time so you can support your favorite places on the web.
Ghostery does a great job of blocking trackers that want to know where you are, what site you came from and what sites you’re going to next. They track you, which is why they are called trackers. You probably don’t want them to be tracking you.
Ghostery works without any setup though you can create an account and customize things if you like. it’s also easy to pause, which is important because many website design elements will be falsely identified as social trackers because social trackers are crafty and mimic them.
Adobr Flash is a horrible thing. Page elements and ads that use it will eat your CPU cycles and have a huge memory footprint, Flash is notoriously insecure, and anything that plays by itself — especially if there is audio — is annoying and needs to go away.
Flashcontrol stops Flash elements from playing on every web page. You’ll see a grey box instead, and if you want to see the content you click it and it appears. Don’t use the internet without it.
Facebook is so good at tracking your every move when you have your browser open that you need a standalone extension to stop it. Disconnect Facebook will kill Facebook trackers and pixel trackers and stop them from following you when you leave a website that has them running.
Using this extension doesn’t stop you from opening Facebook and using your account, but it will stop Like and Share to Facebook buttons from appearing on websites, too, but if you want to keep Zuckerberg out of your business that’s the trade-off.