Chromebook stackSource: Android Central

The internet has become more than just a fun tool and is now considered a necessity the same way electricity and indoor plumbing are. You can do without it, but you don't want to and your life will be a good bit more difficult. It's also filled with sites and scripts that are designed to harvest as much as your information as possible through malware.

A Chromebook is more secure than most because Google has a vested interest in blocking as much of this sort of behavior as possible because its ad business relies on data collection under a strict privacy policy. If you block all ads and scripts and third-party content when you use the internet, Google doesn't make any money. That's why the company spends so much money and time to make Chromebooks secure.

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As good as Google's efforts might be, they sometimes aren't enough. Especially when it comes to things like tracking cookies and "bad" ads. The internet is huge and millions of people will come in contact with something before Google finds a way to blacklist it. There is something you can do though — install a few extensions that can make the internet a better place. Here are our picks of the best Chrome extensions when it comes to online privacy and safety.

AdGuard AdBlocker

AdGuardSource: Chrome Web Store

AdGuard isn't necessarily the very best adblocker. It can use the same blacklist as all the others but it does use a little more processing power to do its thing than Ublock Origin (our next pick). AdGuard is the best all-in-one blocking tool for someone who doesn't want to use more than one extension, though.

it gets a special shout-out here (and a hearty recommendation) because it blocks crypto-mining. A website can hijack your CPU to mine cryptocurrency for it while you are visiting a web page. Some websites tell you this upfront as it can be a good way for a website to make a few dollars, but most don't. AdGuard stops a site from doing it unless you say differently.

AdGuard AdBlocker

AdGuard AdBlock is the best "keep it simple" all in one blocking tool for most users. Just install it and go.

uBlock Origin

UBlock OriginSource: Chrome Web Store

An ad blocker that's open-source and easy on your CPU and memory. If you choose to install a stand-alone mine blocking extension, this should be your ad blocker of choice. it's also easy to turn on and off for the times when you want to allow ads to support a specific website.

uBlock Origin

UBlock Origin is a powerful adblocker that is easy on system resources and is a perfect match for a stand-alone coin-mining blocker.

Anti Miner

AntiminerSource: Chrome Web Store

Anti Miner is open source and only does one thing — blocks websites from hijacking your CPU and memory to mine cryptocurrency. There are several miner blocker extensions available on the Chrome store, but Anti Miner is one I've found that doesn't hit your processor about as hard as a coin miner would anyway so it's our top pick in the category.

The extension has a small UI when you click it to allow you to whitelist a website or allow mining for a limited time so you can support your favorite places on the web.

Anti Miner

Anti Miner only does one thing, but it does it really well — keeps a website from using your CPU to mine cryptocurrency for its owner..

Ghostery

Ghostery does a great job of blocking trackers that want to know where you are, what site you came from, and what sites you're going to next. They track you, which is why they are called trackers. You probably don't want them to be tracking you.

Ghostery works without any setup though you can create an account and customize things if you like. it's also easy to pause, which is important because many website design elements will be falsely identified as social trackers because social trackers are crafty and mimic them.

Ghostery

Ghostery can stop a website or online service from tracking what site you came from and where you go next. It's an essential privacy tool for everyone.

Flashcontrol

Flash ControlSource: Chrome Web Store

Adobe Flash is a horrible thing. Page elements and ads that use it will eat your CPU cycles and have a huge memory footprint, Flash is notoriously insecure, and anything that plays by itself — especially if there is audio — is annoying and needs to go away.

Flashcontrol stops Flash elements from playing on every web page. You'll see a grey box instead, and if you want to see the content you click it and it appears. Don't use the internet without it.

Flashcontrol

Flash is horrible. It eats away at your system resources and has been a vector for malware since forever. Say goodbye to Flash with Flashcontrol.

Disconnect Facebook

Disconnect FacebookSource: Chrome Web Store

Facebook is so good at tracking your every move when you have your browser open that you need a standalone extension to stop it. Disconnect Facebook will kill Facebook trackers and pixel trackers and stop them from following you when you leave a website that has them running.

Using this extension doesn't stop you from opening Facebook and using your account, but it will stop Like and Share to Facebook buttons from appearing on websites, too, but if you want to keep Zuckerberg out of your business that's the trade-off.

Disconnect Facebook

Facebook has taken cookie tracking to new heights, which means new lows for privacy. This tool puts an end to it all without affecting your Facebook account.

DuckDuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

DuckduckduckgoSource: Chrome Web Store

DuckDuckDuck Go Privacy Essentials is a swiss-army-knife of privacy tools for Chrome that all work without any tedious setup.

Install the extension and grant it permissions, and it will block ad trackers, force encrypted connections if possible, use DuckDuckDuckGo for private searches, and give you a simplified privacy grade of a website's terms of service so you don't have to try and decode the language.

The internet will never be truly private, but DuckDuckDuckGo's Privacy Essentials gets you most of the way there.

DuckDuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

DuckDuckDuck Go's browser kind of sucks, but you can get most of the privacy benefits with this awesome extension!

NoScript

NoscriptSource: Chrome Web Store

NoScript blocks JavaScript, Flash, Java and other executable content to run without you saying it's OK on every website.

It requires a bit of setup so that you can allow scripts to run where you want them — places like your bank's website — but it can be worth it if you want maximum protection from data theft or remote execution exploits like Spectre and Meltdown.

NoScript is open-source and you'll find all the help you need getting it set up at the extension's online forums.

NoScript

NoScript lets you take control of web-language scripts so they run when you want them to instead of automatically. It's worth the small learning curve to set it up.

Privacy Badger

Privacy BadgerSource: Chrome Web Store

Privacy Badger comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that blocks content based on what websites do with your data.

What it does is send the Do Not Track signal to websites you visit. Since DNT is easily and frequently ignored, it will block trackers that don't honor the request. It also removes outgoing "click" tracking requests on Facebook, Google, and Twitter with more sites being added soon.

Privacy Badger and the EFF are all about your privacy, but do things in an elegant and effective way. I highly recommend it.

Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger comes from the EFF and blocks web tracking in a new, intelligent way. It's a great tool from a great organization.

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