Written by Chris Powell
In the ocean that is the modern internet, Google’s Chrome web browser has evolved into a fairly ship-shape solution to navigate your webpages. However, there still are some treacherous waters out there when surfing the web. Plenty of distractions exist. Lots of sharks loom about ready to chow down on the sites you visit. These five free extensions and add-ons will secure, enhance, and protect your web browsing with Google Chrome.
- AdBlock Plus – It does what it says; block distracting ads on websites you visit. When 50 million people use a product, something must be going right.
- Ghostery – When you visit various websites, little footprints of data are stored in your browser which other websites can access to get a better understanding of your surfing habits. They can potentially send you targeted ads based on your web history. This extension blocks web footprints and actually can help webpages load quicker, since tracking information isn’t needing to be accessed.
- HTTPS Everywhere – For those of you who aren’t familiar with some web acronyms, http stands for “hypertext transfer protocol” which is the set of computer directions web browsers follow to get to your webpage of choice. Unfortunately, http:// websites are subject to intercept by network traffic sniffers, such as your curious 12-year-old nephew with a laptop on your home wireless network. To combat this data grabbing, https:// was created to enable a secure connection to the website you’re visiting. HTTPS Everywhere automatically adds an “s” to your www.com address for you.
- Web of Trust – Sometimes we click on a website and cross our fingers in hopes we won’t stumble onto a website… that might inadvertently embarrass us. The Web of Trust is focused on internet safety, and this Chrome extension is a quick and easy way to make sure the weblink you’re clicking on is a safe one. Just look for the green circle
- AdBlock for Youtube – This extension focuses on removing the pre-video ads in Youtube. A nice enhancement to the previously-mentioned AdBlock Plus. Over 3 million users have found this to be helpful in their Chrome usage
It’s important to be aware of the potential threats associated with normal web browsing. But equipping yourself with the proper tools will help make sure your time on the internet is secure and more efficient.
What extensions or add-ons for Chrome do you use to surf the web more securely? Give us a shout in the comments below!
Chris Powell has been a professional technologist for two decades. Currently he is the IT Manager for the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University, an instructor with Whatcom Community College’ Community Education, and is owner of Chris Powell Associates, a technology consulting business serving Whatcom County.