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Five Essential Browser Extensions for Privacy and Security

Disconnect blocks thousands of tracking techniques that advertisers and data hoarders use to track users across the web behind the scenes. This handy extension can even make websites load faster because the additional trackers aren’t loaded. As a bonus, Disconnect is open source, a plus in terms of security. Caution: the use of this extension may break certain parts of some websites (such as social media components). What Disconnect blocks can be viewed and adjusted on the browser toolbar.


Adblock Plus (not to be confused with the closed-source Adblock) as its name suggests, blocks ads on the internet. While advertisements are used to support the free content that we know and love, the rise of “malvertisements” (malicious ads that are specially designed to load malware onto computers merely visiting websites) have made this plug-in a necessary precaution. Adblock Plus is also open source and does not partner up with large data-collecting companies to provide you with service (unlike Adblock). Caution: this extension is aggressive and may block legitimate website images. Adblock Plus can easily be disabled on user-specified web pages or domains.

Web of Trust (WOT) is one of the most popular website reputation checkers. This extension blocks  blocks websites automatically with negative feedback from its users and may help you identify phishing or fraudulent websites. Since WOT is community-based, you can also use the extension to warn other users of malicious websites.

Google Analytics Opt-Out Add-On (by Google) This extension helps you hold on to your data by requesting Google Analytics to stop tracking you on applicable websites. Unfortunately, this add-on does not prevent Google from recording what you search on its search engine.

DuckDuckGo gives you the option to search using its privacy-oriented search engine right in your address bar. DuckDuckGo’s search algorithms are similar to that of Google, so you surf the web as you always have without having creepy autocomplete suggestions or targeted ads (not that you’ll see any with Adblock Plus installed).

Written by Raymond Cao’17


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