Let’s kick this off with a demand! YOU should be using Google Chrome for your internet browsing, or at the least Firefox.
You should not be using Microsoft Edge and especially not Internet Explorer. From my experience personally and with many customers, Chrome tends to keep you safer online and prevents many fake virus and the start point of many scams from even appearing in your browser (even without the help of the extensions we’re going to cover below). Whereas Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer will in many cases allow these fake scam popups and noisy alarming alerts. The point of which is to make you panic into calling an overseas call-centre claiming e.g. to be Microsoft ready to scam anyone and anybody!
There’s a popular “Scam-baiting” Youtuber who hassles scammers for a living. There’s some pretty sad videos out there of what kind of people scammers are… they’ll terrify and scam an old woman they’re ruthless and disgusting. The good news is there’s some simple steps you can take to make you a very hard target in the future.
The remainder of this article is a composition of very useful extensions for Google Chrome that can go a long way to improving your online security, quality of life, advertisement blocking and even workflow.
If you’re not familiar with an extension it’s essentially an add-on piece of software that plugs into Chrome to perform a specific function. They’re simple to install and easy to use. I’ll provide a link for each extension so all you have to do is click it and then click “Add to Chrome” and then in some cases click “Add extension” shortly after.
I’ve organised these useful extensions into categories. The security & advertising extensions in my opinion are must have and should not be considered optional, unless otherwise stated. You should definitely be using these tools!
Safety & Security
Ensures that any website you visit switches to a secure protocol otherwise known as HTTPS, essentially securely encrypted browsing. This protects you from many forms of surveillance and account hijacking and some forms of censorship. This is a no brainer for anyone.
An award-winning password manager, saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device. Handy way of making sure you’re using strong passwords on websites without needing to remember them. You can access them all through LastPass which has multi factor authentication (super secure storage for your passwords).
Most people don’t realise that many viruses and malware actually begin with misleading advertising, you click on something interesting without realising it’s an advert and then moments later your computer is screaming at you to call fake Microsoft… no thanks!
Ad blocking is A MUST have extension for anyone. It also commonly prevents YouTube advertising at the beginning of videos too.
CHOOSE ONLY 1 Of these advertisement blockers
uBlock Origin (our pick)
More powerful and uses less resources than AdBlock Plus, but can be a little more difficult to use. uBlock Origin is an efficient blocker: easy on memory and CPU footprint, and yet can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there.
The easier to use of the two options however it does use significantly more processing power when compared to uBlock Origin. AdBlock Plus like uBlock Origin allows you to surf the web without annoying adverts everywhere. It blocks pop-ups, tracking, malware and more.
Reduces data usage by using Google servers to optimise pages you visit. Really useful for anybody especially those of you suffering with slow internet speeds. Even if you don't, this extension will make your internet faster and allow you to use less downloads when surfing, win, win!
Quality of Life
Grammarly for Chrome
Make’s sure your messages, documents, social media posts and so on are clear and mistake-free, and impactful! Basically, wherever you write on the web you’ll look like you an English Professor... nice!
A very clean “to-do” list accessible from within your chrome browser to help you remember everything you have to do without rummaging around for a pen and paper to make note.
Increase your productivity by limiting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Wink, wink Facebook.
A word of caution.
There are many extensions “out there” claiming to be beneficial for you. Unfortunately, many of them are designed to track your usage behaviour and personal information in order to sell to advertisers and so on. It’s the world we live in, advertising makes the world go around. We’ve selected only the most trusted extensions for you, avoid the temptation to go and browse the chrome store for this that and everything as there are many problematic extensions. Keep it clean and lean!
LifeHacker have a great article you may be interested in reading further on How to Tell Legit Chrome Extensions from Malware.