Google Chrome is the only internet browser everyone thinks of when accessing the internet from a computer or laptop. Despite being the most user-friendly browser in the world, Google Chrome is not the safest, by any means. In recent years, poor reviews are piling up due to its lack of privacy and personal data protection.
Around the globe, more than 64.73% of internet users access the internet using Chrome (source). Google, as the most influential advertising company, can also easily access the data of millions of Chrome users. There are tons of applications and websites lurking on the internet that are designed explicitly for compromising Google Chrome’s security. To avoid falling victim to them, users need to install some Chrome browser extensions. We have curated below a list of Google Chrome security extensions that will keep you safe from hackers and phishing attacks.
Top 10 Google Chrome Security Extensions
1. Secure GMAIL
Your email works as a center stage in managing all your different social media accounts and application logins. Thus, you must be extra vigilant to keep Gmail safe. In addition to this, Gmail contains sensitive information related to business and personal life. Hence securing your email should be the top priority for individuals and companies.
With the secure Gmail extension, a user gets to encrypt their email with a password before sending it to somebody else over the internet. Once the recipient receives the mail, they can use the password to decrypt the message you sent. The recipient must install the Secure Gmail extension on their Chrome browser in order to receive the passkey for the mail they have received.
2. AdBlock Plus
The display ads you get to see everywhere on the internet are used to pay the bills for many websites and blog owners. Sometimes, these ads pop-ups in your browser unexpectedly, which results in loss of focus and annoyance. Adblock Plus provides users with a shield to block intrusive advertisements that disrupt web browsing. Pop-ups, video ads, and flashing banners fall under this category. By default, the extension allows acceptable ads to display on the browser.
These ads will be less intrusive and are sometimes necessary for a website to provide free content to viewers. But if you are annoyed by those ads, you can turn them off. Once you make the changes by tweaking the settings, you can surf the internet without getting hit by intrusive ads that bothers you. By clicking on the Adblock icon, you can see how many ads have been blocked for the current website, as well as across all of your browsing history.
If an element is missing from the extension, then you may consider it an advertisement. Then you can click on the block element button in the settings and then select the item on the web page that you want to be blocked.
Blur has two critical functions.
- Blur can be used as a password management extension. It helps users to create strong and unique passwords for their every account. It saves up the password using the super-strong AES-256 encryption.
- It creates a layer of protection between the user and the services they sign-up for. It works by providing users with a one-off masked email address and using it as a login. Any emails which are sent on the Blur service will be mailed to you, without the direction. As a result, if a data breach happens and a hacker gets your one-off email address, your primary email address will remain hidden and protected. The hacker will only get his hands on the email provided by Blur.
Blur is available in two categories. The first one is free, which includes the above-mentioned two functions. Then there is a premium version that masks your credit card details. It works precisely like email masking but offers protection to your credit and debit card credentials. Lastly, if you are looking to add one more layer of protection to your Chrome experience, you can install Blur masked phone numbers.
4. HTTPS Everywhere
You might have noticed that some sites start with HTTPS, while others begin with HTTP. HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, and “S” stands for security. HTTPS in a website’s URL means the connection is encrypted, and the website has a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. HTTP, on the other hand, is more vulnerable, so visiting a website with HTTP could potentially contain hidden phishing links that are waiting to be clicked.
With the use of the HTTPS Everywhere extension, you are making your own secure connection with the HTTP URL. ISimply put, this extension will encrypt your connection and keep your information protected. But keep in mind, this extension isn’t foolproof, and it sometimes fails to encrypt websites. In the case of failure, you will be notified before the page loads onto your browser. As a result, you can choose if you want to go back or visit the website.
Note:- If it isn’t extremely necessary to visit the website with HTTP, then you can open a similar website that is present in the same search result but with HTTPS protocol.
Ghostery is one of the most used free Google Chrome security extensions. The main task of the Ghostery is to keep the ads away from your browsing experience and hide your information from the various trackers set by the websites. There are four different level blocking settings that you can choose from. The higher you go, the stricter the blocking protocols will be applied by the extension.
Ghostery provides all of its core functionality for free, but it does have its pro plan costing $2 per month. The pro version will give you priority support, detailed statistics of your browsing, and the ability to change interface themes. That said, there is no additional protection which you will be getting by paying $2 a month.
Ghostery will notify you about any trackers that cannot be blocked and attempt to remove any personal or identifiable information. The intelligent tracking setting will optimize the browsing experience by allowing trackers that are necessary for websites to work and are known to keep the data secure.
If you have watched any Tech Youtuber, then the probability of you watching a sponsored video of LastPass is relatively high. LastPass is one of the highly recommended dedicated password managers, which is extremely necessary if you want to make your browsing experience phenomenal while keeping your data secure and private. LastPass, unlike other password managers, works straight within the browser. Thus, it’s a great choice if you are looking for a lightweight Chrome extension.
In addition, we found out that LastPass offers the best free plan among password managers. Aside from this, the free version also comes with privacy-friendly features. LastPass mainly serves the purpose of keeping track of your accounts and passwords. On the other hand, LastPass lets you store the autofill content, such as addresses, payment methods, and band details. This will allow you to doge the default autofill feature, which is presented by Chrome. Which, as the reputation of Google is, undoubtedly used to collect the personal information of the user.
7. Avast Online Antivirus Chrome Extension
Avast has been a household name that keeps the computer protected from viruses for decades. The extension from Avast warns users when they are visiting a suspicious website. There are times when you enter the wrong URL by misspelling the domain name. Google does not recognize that you have written the incorrect URL and sends you to the incorrect URL. The extension can save you from this by auto-correcting the mistake.
Meanwhile, nowadays every website uses some form of analytics to track down the information stored in cookies. Using the chrome extension prevents the website from accessing the data since the extension runs a community rater that alerts users that this website has been rated as dangerous by other users. With this extension, you are also getting an Avast password extension for Chrome.
8. Pure VPN
Pure VPN is Google Chrome’s security extension that takes privacy to the whole next level by providing higher-level encryption. It keeps your data safe from hackers by masking your IP address. Moreover, with this extension, you get to browse safely with no ads popping out here and there on websites because the extension blocks unwanted ad pop-ups and protects the user from malware attacks.
Unfortunately, there is no free version of the extension, but you do get a 7-day free trial. Also, it does not keep any logs of your browsing history. An individual can easily access websites that are blocked in their country or region by using this extension. Many VPN extensions suffer from low bandwidth speeds. This is not the case with Pure VPN since it comes with dedicated servers, which allows users to share bandwidth. In less than 2 minutes, you can set up the extension and start using its features from your chrome browser.
9. Click & Clean
You might have cleaned up your cookies, browsed some content in incognito mode, and cleared out your cache. All of these settings are available in Google Chrome from the start. But Click&Clean offers all these settings and more with a greater depth through an access panel. Moreover, with this extension, you actually get to delete your browsing history, either immediately as you move to the next web page or after you close Chrome. It gives users the ability to remove specific pages that are stored in Chrome’s cache. Likewise, a user can run a privacy check and scan for the malware on a website.
The Click&Clean toolbar can be accessed straight from the extension, and you can choose how you want to delete the data present in the cache, cookies, and your browsing history. In addition to this, you can set the time for automatic deletion of your data from your cache and history.
10. Privacy Badger
Last on our list is the privacy badger which is basically a script that works as a tracker blocking extension on Chrome. Developed by Electronic Frontier Foundation (FFF), Privacy Badger was not designed to block ads in the first place, but during our testing, we found it blocking some advertisements from displaying.
This extension was developed to protect your data and keep your browsing private. In order to block the latest trackers deployed by websites, it receives constant updates and patches. Once you install the Privacy Badger on your Chrome, you can see what level of tracking is done from each website. Tracking levels are color-coded, making it easier for users to find which websites are utilizing intrusive tracking to obtain personal data about them.
These were some of the best Google Chrome security extensions which you must install in your Chrome to keep your data safe and privacy intact. Most of these are completely free and offer incredible features to keep you protected from malware and hackers.
If we had to choose our personal favorite from all of these, we would choose Blur, which protects your login details and provides one-time email addresses so that hackers cannot access your email address.