If you’re using a secure browser such as Tor, you are pretty secure. You can use a VPN in combination for an additional layer of security. A VPN combined with Tor will serve most of your secure online browsing needs as an individual.
However, not everyone uses Tor and there are several reasons for that. Tor takes forever to load. Click on the Tor icon and the browser will load in about a minute. Not only is Tor is really slow to load, but it's also slow to use because it routes your traffic through several nodes.
This is why many users prefer using their same old browser with some security-based plugins. While plugins still won’t make your browser as secure as Tor, they do offer some security over the default browser.
Here are some of the best browser extensions for 2019.
AdBlock Plus stays the number one favorite of Chrome and Firefox users. It is also available on other browsers such as Opera. With this extension, you won’t be disturbed by annoying ads on websites. It helps you block all types of advertising content including pop-ups and banners. It also blocks the malware and adware that is stored in some malicious ads.
AdBlock Plus is customizable and easy to use. You can whitelist certain websites and add your own filters for a more personalized experience. And since it’s open source and community driven, it has the advantage of getting regular contributions from hundreds of volunteers.
Ghostery is another privacy extension that stops ads on web pages. As it blocks trackers, Ghostery increases your anonymity and increases page loading speeds.
By blocking ads that take a lot of loading time, it can improve the performance of web pages. It also lets you block trackers on sites so you can avoid the services that collect your data.
The Ghostery dashboard is easy to use and can be customized according to your needs. They also offer a Rewards feature that lets you find high-value deals when you shop online. If you don’t want to use the Rewards feature, you can turn it off.
Disconnect helps you block websites that track your online activities. There are thousands of such third party websites that track you. Disconnect helps you stay hidden from them.
Disconnect also has VPN offerings to help protect you from hackers and government spying.
The Disconnect dashboard is easy and simple to use. When you install this extension, it will show you the number of tracking requests on every page you visit. You can block and unblock these requests at will. You can also whitelist some websites and blacklist others.
Privacy Badger stops advertising and tracking on web pages. If there’s an advertiser that tracks you over several websites without your consent, it will automatically be blocked and its ads will not load on your browser. The advertiser will not get any information about you from then on.
Like many other browser extensions, Privacy Badger also stops the loading of adverts, it is different in that it learns which advertisers need to be blocked. Looking from a technical viewpoint, Privacy Badger notices all third party websites that embed scripts, advertising, and images in the web pages you open. It also identifies canvas fingerprinting, cookies, and supercookies. Don't worry though, it is still easy to use.
LastPass is a password manager for your browser. It will remember all passwords as you enter them, so you don’t have to remember them. Once a password is remembered by LastPass, it will always keep it in its vault and automatically fill it in when needed.
If you find trouble in coming up with passwords, LastPass will help you generate strong hackproof passwords. It stores not just your passwords but also your notes. And you can easily share notes and passwords with your family and friends.
Other Plugins To Consider
While I’ve listed just five privacy extensions here, there are several others out there worth considering.
For example, HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that reconfigures your website request from HTTP to HTTPS to make your browsing experience safer. Another good extension is Unshorten.link. If you receive a shortened link from somewhere, it’s hard to tell where it is going to direct. It could direct you to a legit site or a malware-infested one. With Unshorten.link, you can see the contents of the page and decide if you want to visit it.
While all top browsers offer some basic inbuilt safety features (such as the incognito/private mode), you’ll need something extra to be fully protected when you go online. With the listed privacy extensions, you can stay away from trackers, ads, and get other privacy features.
However, if you’re planning to stay completely safe, it’s always best to use more than just than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You should use Tor or a VPN to have a more secure experience.