20 plugins and extensions for a secure browser

With add-ons, plugins or extensions you add extra functions to the browser with which you explore the internet every day. These extensions personalize your browsing experience. We look at extensions that improve the security of your internet traffic in all kinds of areas. Which one you want to use depends on the extent to which you want to protect your privacy.

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Tip 01: Adblock Plus

Available for: Android, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon, Opera, Safari, Yandex

Websites need ads to stay alive because that's often their only source of income. But everyone has been annoyed by irrelevant pop-ups or an exciting video that starts unsolicited. Adblock Plus owes its popularity to the fact that it blocks banners, pop-ups and the commercials for movies. The result is an ad-free website in which there are no white areas, because Adblock Plus renders as if there were never any advertisements. It is possible to change the assertiveness of the browser extension by modifying the filter lists. This way you can continue to support your favorite websites by showing advertisements on those pages. Also read: Whitelisting: help your favorite websites out of harm's way.

Questionable revenue model

Eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, starts with so-called 'acceptable ads'. These are advertisements that meet certain criteria. For example, the placement of the ads must not interfere with the reading experience, they must not be too large and they must be clearly distinguishable from the rest of the website. Publishers who follow the guidelines can be whitelisted, but big companies like Google have to pay for this. In the Adblock Plus preferences you will see these acceptable ads if you check the option: Only allow non-intrusive ads.

An https connection encrypts the data, making it unreadable for third parties

Tip 02: HTTPS Everywhere

Firefox, Firefox for Android, Chrome, Opera

An ordinary http connection to a website is easier to intercept by hackers than a connection to the secure version https. Banks or shops therefore use the https protocol by default. An https connection encrypts the data, making it unreadable for third parties. The HTTPS Everywhere extension works discreetly in the background. The plug-in checks whether the website you want to visit also offers an encrypted https connection. If that is the case, he ensures that the secure connection is made immediately.

Tip 03: Ghostery

Android, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, iOS, Internet Explorer, Opera

Do you get fed up with ads that keep haunting you? This has to do with tracking cookies that follow your surfing behaviour. Ghostery is a smart, free plugin available for the popular browsers. At a glance you can see how many trackers on the website are ready to follow you. You can then turn them off via buttons. You can do this manually or immediately make short work of all trackers.

Tip 04: PanicButton

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera

You open an 18+ video and your mother-in-law is suddenly in the room? PanicButton is an extension that lets you close multiple tabs in no time. Thomas Greiner has developed this extension for Chrome, Safari and Opera, for Firefox there is also an extension from another maker. You can set the extension to open a neutral webpage when you click the button. PanicButton remembers the closed tabs so that you can continue watching afterwards.

Beware of antivirus add-ons

The big absent from this article are the antivirus extensions. We find them too unreliable. Often these are disguised toolbars that do not have the same quality as the standalone product. An example is AVG Web TuneUP which, according to the manufacturer, would warn us about unsafe search results. According to experts, the javascript in which this Chrome add-on is written contains so many flaws that this product actually makes your PC more insecure. And what about Avast Online Security Extension, a toolbar where ads appear constantly?

Tip 05: Web of Thrust

Android, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, iOS, Safari, Opera, Yandex

For those who are awake with all the nonsense you can experience while surfing the internet, there is a tool called Web of Thrust, WOT for short, a Finnish product. Based on a color indication, you know whether a website is safe or unsafe. WOT is free and available for just about all major browsers. On the homepage of WOT you can have every website scanned for reliability, discretion and child safety. Since WOT shows this information in colors, a version for the colorblind has even been created.

Forgot to enable private mode? You can still do a big cleaning with Click&Clean

Tip 06: Click&Clean

Chrome, Firefox

If you forgot to turn on the private mode of your internet browser, you can still do a big cleaning while surfing to erase all traces of your surfing activities with an external tool, Click&Clean. With this add-on, you can delete browser history, download history, temporary files, cookies and private data with one click. In addition, it is possible to quickly switch to private navigation.

To update

The security of your system is highly dependent on the software that is up-to-date. Security vulnerabilities are regularly found in internet browsers, which the producer then tries to repair like the weedest. So regular updating remains the message. This is even more important in the case of extensions for browsers, because you are installing extra functionalities for which the developer of the browser is not responsible.

Tip 07: WasteNoTime

Chrome, Safari

The biggest threat to internet use remains unbridled loss of time. You may have no idea how much time you lose on certain websites. WasteNoTime helps you spend your time more efficiently. The Time Tracker feature produces a report on the websites that take up most of your time. And when you know that, there's the Time Quota, a feature that blocks certain websites when you've already spent a certain period of time on that site that day.

Tip 08: Disconnect


The Disconnect browser extension for Chrome prevents Facebook, Twitter and Google from tracking you using cookies. Disconnect also provides information about how secure a website is and ensures that other internet users cannot access your personal information. The Disconnect icon next to the address bar shows the number of blocked requests and the websites they come from. At the bottom of the Disconnet panel you can read how much bandwidth and time you have gained by this filter.

With Disconnect you prevent Facebook, Twitter and Google from following you with cookies

Tip 09: NoScript

Firefox, SeaMonkey

The setup of NoScript is very simple and efficient. This extension disables javascript, java and other plugins by default to create a more secure browsing environment. When a website appeals to this technology, you will notice this by the NoScript icon in the status bar. Some websites don't work well without java, javascript or other plugins, so if you trust the website anyway, you can add this address to the whitelist. From that moment on, that site may still use scripts and plug-ins.

Tip 10: Get rid of cookies quickly


This is Firefox's cookie monster. Self-Destructing Cookies automatically deletes the cookies when you close the window or tab of the relevant website and no longer need the cookies. That way, your cookie collection will remain wonderfully empty. Interesting for those concerned about their privacy. This security feature perfectly complements blacklist solutions such as Adblock and Ghostery.

Manage the extensions

To manage your extensions in Chrome, click on the three dots at the top right. Then you choose the assignment More tools, where you put the function Extensions finds. This will take you to Chrome's extension manager where you can disable or permanently remove extensions. In Firefox, click the button with the three lines and then choose Add-U.S. This will make the tab Add-out of control opened. In Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon and choose Manage extensions. In Microsoft Edge, click the button with the three dots in the top right and then click Extensions.

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