- Google Chrome is a popular browser of choice for many people. But despite its widespread adoption and extensive support for plugins and add-ons onboard, it is still far from a privacy-friendly browser.
- Google’s Chrome Web Store hosts a tonne of browser extensions for various categories, including privacy, which you can install to keep your online identity private.
- Google Chrome privacy extensions block all sorts of adverts, trackers, and malicious websites from spying on you so you can browse the web without worrying about any tradeoffs.
Google Chrome is the most popular browser of choice for many people. A significant reason for this widespread adoption is the extensive support for plugins and add-ons onboard that further extend Chrome’s functionality and enhance the overall browsing experience.
However, despite having the largest market share of web browsers and offering such diverse features, Chrome is still far off from a privacy-friendly browser. There are numerous factors that can be attributed to the poor user privacy on Chrome. But, without digressing into discussing these, let’s check out some of the privacy extensions that can help you strengthen your privacy on Google Chrome.
Best Google Chrome Privacy Extensions
Google’s Web Store is home to a wide range of extensions, ranging from those falling into categories such as productivity and tab management to privacy and security, among others. We’ve already covered the best Google Chrome extensions you must use in one of our earlier posts. For this one, we’ll check out the privacy-focused Chrome extensions. [You can also use these extensions on other Chromium-based browsers like Brave, Edge, Vivaldi, as well.]
Just so you know, privacy and security are two separate entities in the world of online privacy and security: privacy refers to protecting your user identity online, whereas security is more about keeping your personal data protected from the prying eyes and malicious motives on the web.
1. DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
DuckDuckGo is a popular privacy-focused search engine that helps you browse the web privately without any tradeoffs. It offers a browser extension for Chrome, which protects you on a few different fronts. Enabling the extension changes your browser‘s default search engine to DuckDuckGo so you can search the web without the fear of being tracked. Besides, the extension also forces sites to use encrypted connections to make it harder for companies to track your browsing behavior, and it even lets you opt for GPC (Global Privacy Control) to limit websites from sharing and selling your personal data.
2. Privacy Badger
Privacy Badger is another essential privacy extension for Chrome to protect yourself from trackers. What separates it from some of the other tracking blockers is that, instead of keeping a list of trackers to block, the extension automatically discovers trackers based on their behavior (i.e., if they violate user consent). To do this, it forwards your opt-out request to GPC to opt-out of data sharing and selling and also sends out a Do Not Track signal to companies to tell them not to track you, after which, if the trackers ignore the request, Privacy Badger will learn to block them.
You get three sliders: red, yellow, and green, on the extension, which help you identify the tracking status for websites. Red is for content from third-party trackers that is completely disallowed. Yellow identifies third-party domains that track you for the functioning of necessary web functionalities. Green denotes there could be third-party domains that may or may not be tracking you.
Get: Privacy Badger
Ghostery is one of the best ad blocker extensions on Google Chrome. It is a powerful ad blocker that blocks all the annoying, invasive ads and stops trackers from tracking your every move on the internet. As a result, not only do you get a more private (less-targeted) browsing experience, but the website also appears clutter-free, which in turn improves its page-loading speeds. All the information about blocked ads and trackers appears in a dashboard so you can see a detailed view of everything in one place. In addition, the dashboard also lets you manage blacklisted trackers and websites manually to let you add or remove entries yourself.
4. uBlock Origin
uBlock Origin is a wide-spectrum blocker, which is essentially a kind of ad blocker that blocks ads, trackers, and malware sites using various publicly available lists of adverts, trackers, and malicious websites. By relying on these filters, uBlock Origin increases its effectiveness since it now covers a broader spectrum of websites/ads/trackers to block instead of a fixed subset of the entire collection.
Get: uBlock Origin
5. WOT (Web of Trust)
Web of Trust is one of the must-have privacy extensions on Chrome. As its name suggests, the extension helps you stay safe on the web by warning you of dangerous sites, scams, malware, phishing attacks, rogue web stores, and other online threats in real-time. Each website you visit gets a reputation score, displayed in an icon next to the SERP results. All of these scores are categorized into three groups: red, yellow, and green. Red indicates potential dangers, yellow signals to tread carefully, and green signifies safe websites. You can also use WOT to block ads and other websites with a premium subscription.
Get: WOT (Web of Trust)
We cannot stress the importance of using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) enough: it is an essential service that you must install on all your devices you use to go online. Using a VPN, you can access the web privately and securely and also unblock geo-restricted content in your region. All your internet traffic goes through an encrypted and secure channel, which brings down the chances of someone snooping on your online activity and personal data significantly. If you already use a VPN service, you can install its extension on your browser to get started. However, if you do not use one, we recommend NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN extensions or checking out our detailed listicle for the best VPN services to find one that suits your requirements.
Protecting Your Identity Online With Chrome Privacy Extensions
All of the privacy-focused Google Chrome extensions we’ve mentioned in this list should help you block ads and trackers and prevent them from tracking your activity on the internet. So, you can visit your favorite websites and shop online without worrying about being tracked or having trackers generate your online profiles to sell your data or use it to serve you relevant adverts.
Having said that, do note that these extensions only help you improve your online privacy, and in no way do they add to your online security. To get the latter, you need Chrome extensions for security that help you keep your personal data protected on the internet.