In the age of frequent cyberattacks, vulnerabilities in your browser can also leave your sensitive information susceptible — especially when you partake in activities like online banking or shopping that require disclosure of personal identity and financial details.
To help you complete your online security profile, we’ve rounded up popular security plug-ins (also known as extensions) for your Chrome browser to keep your data secure while you browse the web. The following extensions help protect your data, encrypt your online activity, and manage your passwords for optimum web safety.
Avast Online Security
Avast Online Security, which serves to both protect your browser and warn you of any dangerous websites you encounter, has more than 10 million users. The plug-in checks every website you visit for any risks, and finds and blocks phishing attempts. You can also see how a website you’re visiting has been rated by other Avast users to avoid accidentally entering areas of the web that leave your information vulnerable.
Most articles on how to increase online security start with the basics: strong passwords. Blur is a great tool to assist in this step. The plug-in creates and organizes encrypted passwords for a variety of your sites, and works on Chrome in addition to smart devices. The extension also offers tools for secure online payments to protect your credit card and billing information. (If you’d prefer a different password manager, check out another option like LastPass.)
HotSpot Shield VPN
With 500 million downloads and no account required, HotSpot Shield VPN is a popular tool used to mask your IP address and protect your data through encryption. The plug-in also boasts cookie blocking, tracker blocking, and malware protection. The extension also allows users access to blocked websites. Most features are available in the free version.
SurfEasy VPB offers security features that will appeal to those who live their lives on the go. The plug-in advertises its use of bank-level encryption, so you can have an extra layer of security when dealing with your banking needs via the web. It also protects you while using internet hot spots that are less secure than your traditional at-home password-protected networks. IP masking and anonymous browsing capabilities are also available.
Web Of Trust
With more than 1 million users, Web of Trust is another handy plug-in to warn you of phishing attempts, malware, and scams. It provides color-coded safety icons of sites you visit — red indicating danger, yellow indicating a need for precaution, and green indicating safe — so you don’t unknowingly expose your information at unsafe locations. You can also enable a warning pop-up to come onto your screen when you arrive at a dangerous site.
With more than 29,000 ratings in the Chrome web store, Zenmate VPN is a popular Chrome plug-in used to increase browser security. The extension allows you to roam the internet privately by encrypting your traffic, which protects your personal information from third parties. You can also mask your IP address by changing your geolocation.