Browser Security and Internet Privacy Add-Ons

And They're Free!

internet privacy
Stay secure with these browser add-ons.

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You can never be too careful when it comes to browser security and Internet privacy. There are several measures that you can take to avoid becoming a victim of hacker exploits. One is to install some of the following browser security add-ons, which are designed to guard you against browser flaws. Another important aspect of surfing the Web is your Internet privacy. Some of the following add-ons serve to help protect that Internet privacy in several unique ways.

Adblock Plus

What We Like
  • Blocks annoying ads.

  • Allow ads vital for website economy.

  • Available for many browsers and mobile devices.

  • App is free and open source.

What We Don't Like
  • Can break some web pages.

  • Pausing on website must be repeated when the page is refreshed.

Adblock Plus prevents certain banners and other advertisements from being downloaded and therefore displayed when you visit a Web page. A fully customizable integrated filter gives you the ability to block specific ad types or to stifle the majority of advertisements altogether.

Flagfox

What We Like
  • Simple to install.

  • No configuration needed.

  • App provides easy-to-understand information.

What We Don't Like
  • For Firefox only.

  • Can miss icon in browser.

Flagfox provides instant access to a website's server information. A small flag denoting the server's country of origin is automatically displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser window.

FlashBlock

What We Like
  • Blocks Flash animations from loading.

  • Customize what to allow or block.

What We Don't Like
  • For Firefox only.

  • Not necessary for modern computing.

FlashBlock automatically blocks all content on websites from any of the following Macromedia types: Flash, Shockwave, and Authorware.

Netcraft Toolbar

What We Like
  • Available for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.

  • Mobile versions available.

  • Report malicious URLs.

What We Don't Like
  • Not easy to interpret data.

  • Must have basic security understanding.

The Netcraft Toolbar helps protect you from phishing attacks by blocking access to suspicious URLs. Drawing from its large database and relying on community input, Netcraft employs a giant "neighborhood watch scheme" to actively collect URLs involved in phishing.

NoScript

What We Like
  • Customize what websites and JavaScript to trust.

  • Single-click options easily in extension.

What We Don't Like
  • For Mozilla-based browsers only.

  • Not for novice users.

  • Causes some websites to become unstable.

NoScript allows executable content such as JavaScript to run only if it is being hosted on a domain that you trust.

Quero Toolbar

What We Like
  • Set a default search engine.

  • Block pop-ups and ads (with subscription).

  • Zoom in or out on web pages.

What We Don't Like
  • For Internet Explorer 11, 10, and 9.

  • Must subscribe to block ads.

  • Doesn't support Microsoft Edge.

Quero Toolbar is intended to be used as a replacement for IE's address bar. Pop-up and ad blocking is taken to the next level, allowing you to not only block standard pop-ups but to stifle even some Google ads from appearing. Most importantly, it can protect you from certain types of phishing attacks.

ShowIP

(Photo © Jan Dittmer).
What We Like
  • Simple and unobtrusive.

  • No configuration needed.

What We Don't Like
  • Only provides IP address.

  • Must do research to find more information about a web page.

  • Works only in Chrome.

ShowIP displays the IP address of the web page you are currently viewing right in your browser's status bar. In addition, it gives you the ability to query services such as whois and Netcraft via IP or Hostname.