6 browser plug-ins that help protect your privacy and data

Updating web browsers, devices, and apps is a great way to protect your data and privacy. In addition to using a security-centric browser such as Brave, you can update the security settings of your current browser to increase control over the amount of data collected, thereby improving overall privacy. By using the security-centric browser add-on, you can further protect yourself online.

Next, we’ll introduce you to six browser extensions to help you get online more securely.

HTTPS Everywhere

The HTTPS Everywhere extension is available through a partnership between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the TOR Project. Many websites use secure connections already, but some don’t, leaving their visitors vulnerable to threats, like having malware delivered to their devices. If you’re visiting an unprotected website, HTTPS Everywhere checks to see if it offers a secure connection. If one is available, the add-on forces the site to use that connection.

With the exception of Safari, HTTPS Everywhere works with most other browsers.

Privacy Badger

This is another extension from the EFF. Privacy Badger stops advertisers and third-party trackers from monitoring your tracking where you go on the internet, and if it suspects an advertiser is tracking you without your permission, it blocks that advertiser from loading content in your browser. The extension also has a color-coded guide so you know what sites are and aren’t safe.

Privacy Badger is available for most web browsers, except Safari.

Avira Browser Safety

Security software maker Avira offers an Avira Browser Safety extension that can help safeguard against infected ads, unwanted applications hidden in downloads, as well as flag malicious websites that might appear in your search results. The company also said the extension can help prevent browser hijacking, which is when unwanted software alters a web browser’s settings without permission, making it easier to inject unwanted advertisements into a browser.

Avira Browser Safety is available on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, and is free.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard

Malwarebytes Browser Guard blocks trackers and other threats to keep your data safe against web pages that contain malware. It also protects against technical support scams, where a “specialist” from Microsoft calls or messages you to say they have identified a virus on your computer and can remove it for a fee, and virtual credit card skimmers, where your credit card information is stolen when you buy something online. The add-on also blocks popups, which has the added benefit of loading web pages faster.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard has over 9 million users. Many people find it useful, but others find that the extension breaks some websites or misses some trackers. We recommend making your own assessment before choosing to use Malwarebyte Browser Guard.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard is available for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

uBlock Origin

On the surface, uBlock Origin seems like another ad blocker, but it also blocks third-party trackers and domains known to belong to malware sources based on a community-generated list. If you use a VPN — and you really should — this extension also has a WebRTC blocking feature, ensuring your IP address is well hidden.

uBlock Origin is available for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.


Have you looked at a long URL and wondered what those random letters, numbers, and symbols mean? Some of that gibberish is probably a web tracker. Web trackers are an array of techniques — like installing cookies on your browser and monitoring sites that use share buttons attached to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter — companies use to collect data on you based on the sites you’ve visited. ClearURLs gets rid of the web tracker and cleans up the URL. Then, if a site like Google tries to reinsert that tracking element back into the URL, ClearURLs stops it. You can access a report from the extension that shows you how many elements were blocked. This extension also makes sharing URLs with friends and family less messy, which is a plus.

ClearURLs is available for free for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.