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Home / Tips and Tricks / Chrome does not care about your privacy. Install these browser extensions to help

Chrome does not care about your privacy. Install these browser extensions to help



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Hold your online privacy well and never let it go.


Sarah Tew / CNET

When it comes to protecting your privacy, Google's Chrome browser is not in the same class as Firefox Safari and Brave pairing in the past years have strengthened their tools for monitoring your personal browsing data. Chrome doesn't give you many tools for protecting your private information such as other privacy-conscious browsers, but Google said earlier this year that it's working to give you new software settings that will give you more control over what you share.

However, you don't have to wait for Google to include new privacy controls to get full coverage from other popular browsers. By adding some privacy-focused extensions to Chrome, you can block trackers ̵

1; which track your browsing activities – and make it difficult to "fingerprint" your browser.

Fingerprinting is a particularly cunning way that advertisers track your web activity: When you visit a web page, your browser and device settings leave hints about you and your system and viewed together, these hints create a unique set of features that advertisers can use to identify your individual device and then follow you without your permission.

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Chrome extensions can also help you manage cookies – websites with small files are left on your computer to store your website settings, such as address data and other personally identifiable information.

Social buttons on a webpage can also place cookies on your computer. An advertiser can use this file, a third-party cookie, to follow you via the internet via a social button on a page.

Here's how you can protect your privacy with a few Chrome extensions.

How to add and manage extensions for Chrome

1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and click on Extensions on the left.

2. Use the search box in the upper left corner and enter the name of the extension you are looking for. We provide three Chrome extensions below to get you started.

3. Search for the desired extension in the search results and click Add to Chrome.

4. A dialog box appears with the permissions that the extension has for your browser. If you agree, click Add Extension.

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Tap the menu on the right.


Screenshot by Cliffordord Colby / CNET

5. To manage the extension, in Chrome, click the More menu on the right (this is the menu with the three vertical dots) and select More tools and then Extensions.

6. On the Extensions page you can enable or disable an extension, remove it or click on Details to see more about the extension and what permissions it has.

Chrome Privacy Extension Starter Package

Until Google adds tools that let you have more control over what you share – and not share with websites – these privacy-focused extensions can help you manage what information websites collect about you on the Internet. Note that you may need to adjust the extension settings if you notice that some of your favorite sites behave strangely after you enable them.

Cookie AutoDelete (Chrome extension). With this extension, unused cookies are automatically removed from your closed tabs and you can keep cookies by putting them on the white list. The extension does not delete cookies after installation. You first have to enable Auto-clean, which gives you the chance to put the cookies you want to put on the white list, for example to keep your progress in a game.

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Lock your privacy with Chrome extensions.

uBlock Origin (Chrome extension). Using a collection of external lists and internal filter lists, uBlock Origin is a broad-spectrum tracker block that does not harm system resources. The extension gives you quite a bit of control over what you block. You can leave the extension in simple mode – which has a light touch when blocking not to break websites – or select Medium, Hard, or Nightmare mode, which varies from a reasonable approach to thwart trackers to block everything blocking – and making the web anything but unusable

Privacy Badger (Chrome extension). Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, watch out for third-party trackers who track your browsing on websites and block their ability to track your activity without your permission. Privacy Badger works just like the uBlock Origin, but is meant to be easier to use, giving you simple sliders to control how much or little you want to block. And if the extension breaks a page, you can click the disable button to disable it for the site.

HTTPS Everywhere (Chrome extension). Another EFF extension, HTTPS Everywhere, works to encrypt your web communication by automatically redirecting your traffic to the HTTPS version of a website if the encrypted version is available.

For more information about protecting your data online, browser that gives you online privacy out of the box, and the latest tools from Firefox to help you see who you are following online .


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