With the invention of the internet, almost everything is now one simple click away. Unfortunately, this luxury comes with certain consequences, such as companies being able track your every move as you browse. You might not know it, but the websites you and your clients visit are using one or more “trackers” to follow your browsing habits around the web and learn more about you. These internet shenanigans can come in many forms, like advertisement popups, unauthorized information gathering – you name it.
1. AdBlock Plus
While you surf the world wide web, there are certain things that track your information and compile it into a database. These “things” are better known as scripts. Scripts are invisible to the visitor’s eye, but their availability within the code of a website defines how the website behaves in response to certain click requests sent by the user.
Sometimes, scripts give you unwanted ads and annoying pop-ups while you are trying to navigate a web page. This is where an extension such as AdBlock Plus comes in handy. This extension blocks banner ads, pop-up ads, rollover ads, and more. It stops you from visiting known malware-hosting domains, can prevent data being sent to advertisers, and it can disable third-party tracking cookies and scripts. Essentially, ad blocker extensions like this one give you more control over your browsing experience.
2. Privacy Badger
Privacy Badger keeps an eye out for suspicious third parties tracking you while you browse different websites, then jumps to your defense by blocking their tracking cookies. Cookies keep tabs on your browsing history and internet behavior, and if an advertiser is tracking your cookies, this extension will automatically block that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. All in all, this little badger’s job is to blocks spying ads and invisible trackers – making it a good buddy to have by your side while you surf the internet.
You never know who could be looking over your shoulder, virtually of course, so it pays to use a Virtual Private Network, such as ExpressVPN. A VPN is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotpots and the internet. ExpressVPN will secure your web browsing against scammers, government agencies and everyone else. With a diverse geographic distribution of servers to choose from you can pick almost anywhere in the world to connect to. It’s simple to use and supports OpenVPN protocol. This particular VPN comes at a higher cost compared to others but is very secure, and some actually come at no cost, but offer limited protection.
4. HTTPS Everywhere
Generally speaking, there are two types of web URLs – HTTP and HTTPS. The difference here is the ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS, which stands for ‘Secure’. However, many web pages do not route you to the secure versions of their webpages automatically.
The HTTPS Everywhere extension takes care of that by rewriting requests to direct you to HTTPS-secured sites. So, if your browsing takes you to unsecured areas of a website, HTTPS Everywhere will redirect you to the encrypted HTTPS site and keep your sensitive data from leaking and third parties from snooping.
Keep in mind, there is no way to remain 100 percent secure against scripts, cookies or other internet shenanigans. However, the extensions listed above will make it much harder for bad guys to take advantage of any vulnerabilities through your web browser and limit the amount of information they collect on your internet footprint.