The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

chrome logo   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome BrowserGoogle’s Chrome Web Store hosts many extensions that can protect your security and privacy while using Chrome. Whether you want to block JavaScript, plug-ins, cookies and tracking scripts or force websites to encrypt your traffic, Chrome has an extension for you.

We’ve written about security and privacy add-ons for Mozilla Firefox in the past, but Chrome’s add-on ecosystem has taken longer to mature. If you swore off Chrome because NoScript, Adblock and other add-ons were only available on Firefox, it’s time to take another look. Mozilla Firefox isn’t the only web browser with a strong ecosystem of add-ons anymore.

NotScripts

NotScripts, inspired by NoScript for Firefox, prevents JavaScript from running on webpages you visit. You can add sites to NotScript’s whitelist to allow JavaScript from them, if you trust them. This prevents attacks that rely on JavaScript flaws, but many websites won’t work properly without JavaScript.

notscripts2   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

NotScripts has some limitations because of Google Chrome’s plug-in architecture, but it functions similarly to NoScript on Firefox. One of the limitations is that you’ll have to set up a custom password in a text file after installing it. This password encrypts your NotScript whitelist, preventing websites from snooping on it. NotScript provides you with instructions to add the password after you install it.

notscripts1   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

NotScripts also blocks plug-ins such as Adobe Flash. Try FlashBlock if you only want to block Flash content.

Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus for Google Chrome, developed by the same people that developed Adblock Plus for Firefox, can also block tracking scripts. Its default set of filters blocks tracking scripts in addition to ads, which is a is a more targeted approach than NotScripts. The advantage is that you can just set it and forget it, but the disadvantage is that it only blocks known threats.

abp   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

Ghostery

Ghostery isn’t just another tracking script blocker that operates in the background – it provides information. Whenever you visit a site that uses an ad network or tracking script, Ghostery pops up and provides you with a list. Ghostery provides information about the ad networks, links to their privacy policy and opt-out pages. Ghostery is special because it exposes hidden information in a user-friendly way.

ghostery1   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

Ghostery can also block all of these networks. The blocking is customizable, so you could also just block a single network.

ghostery2   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

KB SSL Enforcer

KB SSL Enforcer is similar to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s HTTPS Everywhere addon for Firefox, which we’ve covered in the directory. Many websites, including Wikipedia and Twitter, support HTTPS encryption but don’t send you to the HTTPS site by default. KB SSL Enforcer contains a list of websites that support HTTPS and automatically redirects you to the HTTPS version when you access them, protecting your browsing activity from prying eyes.

kb ssl   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

WOT

Web of Trust adds an icon to Chrome’s toolbar that displays a trust rating for the website you’re visiting. It also adds these icons to search result pages. Other users provide the ratings WOT shows, so you’ll know if other users have had bad experiences before providing your credit card number or any other personal information to a website. You can rate websites so other users will know if they’re trustworthy.

wot   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

If you’re not comfortable with Web of Trust’s crowdsourced system, McAfee’s SiteAdvisor is another good extension that rates websites for trustworthiness.

Vanilla Cookie Manager

Vanilla takes the same approach to cookies that NotScripts takes to JavaScript – it blocks them all by default. Websites often use cookies to track you online, but they’re also used to save your preferences and login information. If you want to enable cookies for a website, you can click the Vanilla icon in your address bar and add the site to your whitelist.

vanilla   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

SaferChrome

SaferChrome alerts you when websites transmit your passwords or credit card numbers in plain text. Websites should encrypt this private information when sending it over the Internet; the encryption prevents other people from snooping on the information in transit.

saferchrome   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

SaferChrome can also automatically redirect you to HTTPS websites, but it only does this on Facebook and Twitter by default. KB SSL Enforcer’s longer list of supported websites makes it more useful for this purpose.

Proxy Switchy!

Chrome’s answer to Firefox’s FoxyProxy add-on, Proxy Switchy lets you quickly switch between proxies from within Chrome. Even better, you can use Proxy Switchy to automatically switch between proxies on a per-website basis. Want to access one site through an anonymous proxy, another site through a work proxy and bypass the proxies for everything else? No problem.

proxy   The Top 8+ Security & Privacy Extensions For The Chrome Browser

Conclusion

Many of these extensions have limitations compared to the ones you’d find in Firefox, but Chrome’s extensions have come a long way. Firefox fans who wrote off Chrome because of its poor extension ecosystem might want to give it another try. Check out our list of the best Chrome extensions for more great extensions.

So, what awesome Chrome extensions did we miss here? With so many available Chrome extensions, I’m sure we missed some great ones. Let us know in the comments.

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11 Comments -

0 votes

Manish Motwani

Cool stuff. thanks.

0 votes

Amit Chandila

Great collection of Security & privacy Extension. Thanks

0 votes

Zutronic

Great tips for Chrome users!

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Thanks, everyone!

0 votes

thor

Instead of notscript its better to use scriptno.

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Interesting, I had no idea there were two competing NoScript clones.

What makes ScriptNo better?

0 votes

Cendecon

Awesome, I’ll have to give this a shot… thanks for the tips!

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Just a quick update — I’ve been informed by a reader that Vanilla doesn’t actually **block** cookies, which is true. Vanilla automatically clears the cookies at regular intervals or when you close the browser. I assume that it’s not possible to hook into Chrome from an add-on and stop cookies before they’re created.

This gives you the same privacy advantage as blocking cookies, but allows websites to work without breaking.

Either way, websites can’t build up a tracking profile on you.

0 votes

Andrew

Great list. I’ll add that if you want private browsing in Chrome, you can press Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) or Shift-N (Mac OS) to enter “Incognito Mode”. This won’t leave any search history or cookies after you’re done.

0 votes

Chris Hoffman

Yup, and that doesn’t even require any extensions!

0 votes

Alok

Do Not Track Plus, the best i have used