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In today’s world, you need all the security you can get. An antivirus is great, but we recommend a blended security solution What Security Software Should You Be Using in Windows 10? What Security Software Should You Be Using in Windows 10? Despite being bundled with its own security tool, Windows 10 needs additional software to keep your data secure and make your online experiences safe. But which security software should you choose for WIndows 10? Read More . This reduces your chances of falling victim to new threats like ransomware 5 Sites and Apps to Beat Ransomware and Protect Yourself 5 Sites and Apps to Beat Ransomware and Protect Yourself Have you faced a ransomware attack so far, where some of your files are no longer accessible? Here are some of the tools you can use to prevent or solve these problems. Read More and zero-day exploits.

Many antirivus companies offer free browser extensions that you can install without using the full product. Let’s take a look at Avira’s Browser Safety (ABS) extension and see how it stacks up to other powerful web protection Completely Secure: 11 Must-Have Firefox Addons For Security Completely Secure: 11 Must-Have Firefox Addons For Security Think about the browser you're using to view this article right now. Is it safe? Is it secure? You'd be surprised by those answers. Read More .

Getting to Know Avira Browser Safety

Head to the Browser Safety homepage to add it to your browser of choice. As of this writing, you can install the extension on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari can’t use it yet, but if you visit the page in those browsers you can enter your email address. You’ll get a notification when it’s ready for them.

You won’t find many options to configure using Browser Safety. Click the extension’s icon on your toolbar and you’ll see that it automatically blocks all kinds of tracking around the web. ABS also enables Do Not Track in your browser, but most sites don’t honor this Does "Do Not Track" Protect Your Privacy? Does "Do Not Track" Protect Your Privacy? Does enabling "Do Not Track" in your browser really protect your privacy? Do websites respect your wishes, or does it simply provide a false sense of security? Let's find out... Read More and you can easily turn it on in your browser manually anyway.

Website Protection

Aside from tracking protection, ABS offers safe browsing by protecting you from harmful websites. In Google and Bing searches, you’ll see a little a green check or red X to show if a site is safe or not. This provides a nice alternative to Web of Trust, which breached its users’ privacy You Should Uninstall Web of Trust Right Now You Should Uninstall Web of Trust Right Now You should consider uninstalling WOT right now. Why? Because Web of Trust has been caught collecting and selling user data. Even worse, this data hasn't always been successfully anonymized. Read More a few months ago.

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Is Avira Browser Safety a Necessary Extension? Avira Malware Website

If you try to visit a website that ABS thinks is unsafe, it will block your access. You can tell it to never block that site or visit it anyway in the case of a false positive. Clicking Take me away! redirects you to Avira SafeSearch. This is an inferior search engine that still includes unsafe sites in its results page for some reason.

The other half of Browser Safety’s security protection is blocking downloads that contain extra crap bundled in OpenCandy: The Reason You Should Never Just Click "Next" OpenCandy: The Reason You Should Never Just Click "Next" Clicking "next" repeatedly is the quickest way of installing apps on Windows - until you find you installed other programs on your computer without realizing it, thanks to OpenCandy. Let's do something about that. Read More . Unfortunately, a lot of popular free software includes extra junk you don’t need, so weeding it out sounds like a great help.

However, ABS fell flat in our testing. We downloaded uTorrent, a BitTorrent client known for bundling in loads of garbage The uTorrent Mining Scandal: Charity or Cash Grab? The uTorrent Mining Scandal: Charity or Cash Grab? Is µTorrent distributing Litecoin mining malware? Read More , and didn’t hear a peep out of ABS. It didn’t have a problem with CutePDF either, which bundles similar offers.

Is Avira Browser Safety a Necessary Extension? Avira Price Comparison Firefox

On Firefox and Opera (not Chrome), ABS also includes a price comparison tool 7 Price Comparison Websites You Should Bookmark Right Now 7 Price Comparison Websites You Should Bookmark Right Now Price comparison websites help you find the item you want at the lowest price possible. Read More . When shopping on a compatible site, Avira will provide links to the same product available for less elsewhere. It promises that sites it links to are always safe, and offers coupons to try on the site you’re using. These coupons looked like a copied and pasted list right from RetailMeNot or a similar website The 3 Best Online Coupon Sites to Save You Money The 3 Best Online Coupon Sites to Save You Money Coupon sites are one of the best and easiest ways to save when shopping online. From quick deals to guides on how to control your budget, here are the best coupon resources on the Web. Read More . It offered deals like “25 percent off appliances storewide” instead of coupon codes.

Features Better Found Elsewhere

While Avira Browser Safety’s feature set sounds great at first, once you examine it you’ll find that this extension doesn’t really offer you anything useful.

The anti-tracking features are okay, but you can get more control with the best extensions for securing your privacy Control Your Web Content: Essential Extensions to Block Tracking and Scripts Control Your Web Content: Essential Extensions to Block Tracking and Scripts The truth is, there is always someone or something monitoring your Internet activity and content. Ultimately, the less information we let these groups have the safer we'll be. Read More . One of the top tools for this, Disconnect, allows you more control over what you want to block and makes whitelisting a particular site easy. We already mentioned how enabling Do Not Track in your browser is something you can do alone in seconds.

Having the extension block unsafe sites and label them in Google is mostly redundant. Modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge know which sites contain malware and already warn you when accessing them. Google is smart about dangerous sites and won’t recommend them at the top of its results.

You can’t always trust these tools Web Of Discretion: When Not To Trust Web Of Trust Web Of Discretion: When Not To Trust Web Of Trust Web of Trust scores a website based on criteria like trustworthiness, reliability, privacy, and safety. These scores aren't determined by Internet security experts. They're generated by normal people like you and I. Sounds like it... Read More to make the right call, so you have to use a little common sense. Hopefully, most users don’t need a browser extension to tell them that Free-Screensavers.com is a shady site.

ABS’ supposed blocking of software that includes extra crapware didn’t work at all. You can instead circumvent unsafe downloads by only downloading software from reputable sources 9 Cleanest & Safest Websites to Download Free Software for Windows 9 Cleanest & Safest Websites to Download Free Software for Windows Downloading software can be dangerous. Visit the wrong site and you might accidentally download malware. We have compiled free software download sites you can trust. Read More and using Unchecky to automatically deselect bundled software offers How to Automatically Skip Bundled Junkware on Windows How to Automatically Skip Bundled Junkware on Windows Here's a free tool that helps you skip bundled junkware when installing programs on Windows. Read More .

Is Avira Browser Safety a Necessary Extension? cute pdf crapware

Providing links to other sites so you can easily compare prices is convenient, but this is another place where Avira’s tool is bested by others. The extension’s URLs likely contain affiliate links that help the company make money. You can get better results with a dedicated comparison tool 3 Money-Saving Price Comparison Extensions To Install Now 3 Money-Saving Price Comparison Extensions To Install Now The right money-saving browser extensions will save you a few bucks without making you do much. Today, we'll look specifically at price comparison. Read More that compares historical prices, too. We weren’t impressed with ABS’ coupon codes — instead check out extensions that will really help you find the best coupons Automate Deals and Save Time Shopping Online - Every Time! Automate Deals and Save Time Shopping Online - Every Time! You don't need to spend hours researching prices, hunting down coupon codes, and signing up for emails you don't want in order to get good deals online. Read More .

You Don’t Need Avira Browser Safety

As we’ve seen, Avira Browser Safety offers little to the end user. Even worse than the above considerations are the past privacy and security concerns that antivirus extensions have caused. Antivirus browser extensions can interfere with your browser’s normal functions and even snoop on your traffic, like Superfish did Superfish Hasn't Been Caught Yet: SSL Hijacking Explained Superfish Hasn't Been Caught Yet: SSL Hijacking Explained Lenovo's Superfish malware caused a stir, but the story's not over. Even if you removed the adware from your computer, the same vulnerabilty exists in other online applications. Read More . This is all on top of the tracking your antivirus already does Is Your Antivirus Tracking You? You'd Be Surprised At What It Sends Is Your Antivirus Tracking You? You'd Be Surprised At What It Sends Read More .

Assuming you’re using a good antivirus The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs You must know by now: you need antivirus protection. Macs, Windows and Linux PCs all need it. You really have no excuse. So grab one of these ten and start protecting your computer! Read More , you can skip ABS without concern because your antivirus program watches for online threats just fine. There are better extensions for tracking protection and price comparisons, modern browsers already protect you from unsafe sites, and the crapware blocking by this extension doesn’t even work. If you really want a second opinion on what’s safe or not, you could do far worse than this tool, but common sense is a much better shield.

For more on website security, check out the sites that are most likely to infect you with malware Which Websites Are Most Likely to Infect You with Malware? Which Websites Are Most Likely to Infect You with Malware? You might think that porn sites, the Dark web or other unsavory websites are the most likely places for your computer to be infected with malware. But you would be wrong. Read More .

Do you use Avira Browser Safety or another antivirus browser extension? Let us know why you keep them installed and if you’ll try some of these alternative tools down in the comments!

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  1. Doc
    February 9, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Firefox already has WebRoot's list of malware-infected sites built in, although there are some false positives.
    I've also installed NoScript, just so untrusted sites don't get JavaScript rights; I've found NoScript, Disconnect, and AdBlock Plus to be invaluable for browsing safely.