The Internet can be a dangerous place, but there are simple ways to protect yourself to prevent someone from stealing your information or getting into your computer. These are three extensions for Chrome and Firefox that everyone should have installed.
Created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation whose mission is to protect our online rights, this is the quintessential tool that everyone should have installed to secure their browsing experience. Many websites have an SSL certificate installed but more often than not their homepage is served up unencrypted.
HTTPS Everywhere fixes this by checking if there’s an HTTPS version of the website available, and if so it will forward you to that version. This protects you from snoops on your network who could otherwise see all of your traffic.
One of the reasons Apple and Facebook are cheering for the death of Flash is because it has traditionally been a prime avenue for attacking computers. That coupled with the fact that advertising networks gladly accept Flash banner ads means that someone with a nasty disposition can launch an attack using someone else’s delivery system.
Adblock Plus will remove almost all ads from every website you visit. Imagine being able to read an article without a popup, popunder, content locking ad or some other annoyance. Be careful, you will get spoiled.
Web of Trust
I highly recommend it to anyone who isn’t sure that they can tell a real site from a fake attack website. This extension displays an icon in your toolbar that will alert if you if the website that you’re viewing is fake or dangerous. It also asks your option on how much you trust the website and uses that information to help all of their users.
Even if you’re technically inclined and able to identify a fake website just by the clues presented on the page or in your browser, this is a good addition to your browser just in case you’re not paying close enough attention.
Finally, a Tip from a Pro
Keep the number of extensions installed in your browser to the bare minimum. The more extensions you have installed, the slower your browser will perform and your entire experience while using the Internet will degrade.
I have a dozen or so extensions installed, but the vast majority are deactivated because they’re useful but very infrequently needed. Just like putting your toys away as a kid, I open the “Manage Extensions” page in Chrome and activate the extension that I need. Once I’m done with it, I deactivate it again until the next time it’s needed.