The CEO of Apple Tim Cook once said: “Our own data is being used against us with military efficiency. Every single day, billions of dollars exchange hands, and numerous decisions are made based on our likes and dislikes, our families and friends, our conversations and relationships, and our fears and wishes, our dreams and hopes. These scraps of information, each one harmless on its own, are carefully synthesized, traded, assembled, and sold.”
Wow! Those are some scary words. Unfortunately, it is accurate too. We are living in an era where we are a product, and our data is a currency. So, can we do anything about it? Though we cannot turn the clock back; however, we can use these five free browser extensions to protect our privacy online:
1. DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials
If you are in search of a one-stop-shop online privacy extension, then DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is your perfect match. This browser extension blocks are hidden, 3rd party trackers. It also features a built-in private search engine that surfs and searches without being tracked.
DuckDuckGo forces websites to use an HTTPS connection (when possible), and provides each side a strong “Privacy Grade” from A to F. Hence, you can test how protected you are. DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is available for Firefox and Chrome.
2. uBlock Origin
The issue with different ads blocking extensions is that they are bloated and force a drain on memory and CPU. However, uBlock Origin is amazingly lightweight with high effectiveness. It is also easy to whitelist a particular website while you can enforce and load thousands of filters.
uBlock Origin is an open-source available for both Firefox and Chrome.
3. Privacy Badger
This browser extension sends a signal called Global Privacy Control to pick you out of data selling and sharing. It also sends a “Do Not Track” signal that suggests companies not to track you. If these trackers take no notice of your instructions, Privacy Badger automatically learns to block them.
In addition, this browser extension replaces potentially useful and safe trackers (e.g. widgets, comments, etc.) with click-to-activate placeholders. It also removes outgoing link-click tracking on Facebook and Google.
Just like UC is a secure browser, Privacy Badger is also one of the secured ones and available for Firefox and Chrome.
4. HTTPS Everywhere
As the name tells, HTTPS switches thousands of websites automatically to HTTPS (bear in mind that it can’t make a connection to a secure site if that site doesn’t offer HTTPS as a choice). The browser extension also protects against several types of surveillance account hijacking, along with some kinds of censorship.
HTTPS Everywhere is available for Firefox and Chrome.
5. Avast Online Security
This popular browser extension for online privacy checks every website you visit to ensure everything is safe. It finds and blocks phishing websites and tracking cookies shows site ratings based on a community of over 400 million active users. It automatically opens when you bank or shop online.
Avast Online Security can be used for Firefox and Chrome.
Learning is Better than Losing
Yes, we have a lot to think about and learn about privacy online. Security programs like browser extensions might take some time, but do not forget that every passing minute will be worth it. As you learn to boost your privacy and secure your data, you will realize you don’t need to let the world creep into your digital life.