Chrome Extensions and Online Security
Chrome extensions can help you safeguard your data from malicious code and preserve your online privacy. They can also stop invasive advertisements. However, these extensions can be a target for attackers.
To protect your Chrome browser extension, you should review the information an extension can access. You can also use tools like FuzzAPI to test for vulnerabilities in browser extensions.
uBlock Origin (formerly uMatrix) improves your web experience by blocking ads and trackers. It also helps websites load faster on your device by reducing the number of requests they need to make.
It uses various community-maintained block lists and allows users to customize the list with their own blocks and filters. In addition, it supports the use of custom domains and hosts files. It also offers features such as a powerful Element Picker and a tool to remove HTML5 audio/video tags.
Google recently changed how extensions work on Chrome and uBlock Origin is resisting these changes because they would restrict the extension’s ability to effectively block unwanted content on the web. uBlock Origin is available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Brave and Vivaldi.
Sometimes pages may not load or behave properly when uBlock Origin is enabled. If this happens, you can force uBlock Origin to reload a page by clicking the reload button or refreshing your browser window.
AdBlock Plus is an ad-blocking extension for web browsers that blocks ads, trackers and malware. It works with all major browsers including Chrome, Firefox and Opera. It also supports Android devices. It allows you to customize the settings and add filters. It also prevents websites from tracking your browsing history.
It also blocks social media buttons that track your activity on websites. This helps you save mobile data and battery life. It also stops malware spreaders from installing on your device.
The extension uses filter lists created by other users to block unwanted elements. These lists need to be regularly updated because ad tech companies are constantly working to get around blockers by switching up identifiers or element names. The extension also offers the option to allow “non-intrusive advertising” which is not blocked by default. You can also build whitelists and blacklists to filter what is blocked. The options are simple and easy to understand.
Google Safe Browsing
Google’s Safe Browsing feature is a great way to protect yourself from malware and other threats. It checks in real-time whether a website is a threat and warns you in case you click on a suspicious link or download an unsafe file. It also integrates with Gmail to make sure that emails are free from phishing attempts.
It works by scanning websites in search of potential malicious content and checking if they are on any lists of compromised sites, such as those that host malware or have been used in past phishing campaigns. It also uses host suffixes and path prefixes to prevent malicious actors from cycling through different subdomains or paths to generate new URLs.
If you want to enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Chrome, you can do so by clicking on the three dots and selecting “Settings.” Keep in mind that doing this will share more data with Google and allow it to tailor protections to your specific situation, but it’s worth it if you’re serious about online security.
HTTPS Everywhere is an open source browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Brave and Tor that automatically sets up a more secure HTTPS connection to sites that support it. It was created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
It uses a well-maintained database from EFF to map the URLs of popular websites to their secure version, then automatically rewrites links and other elements to use HTTPS instead of HTTP when it can be done without breaking the page. This helps protect you against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Fortunately, it’s no longer necessary to install this extension as major browsers now offer native HTTPS-only modes. In fact, EFF has announced that it plans to retire the plugin after 2022.