Posted: 24 Aug 2012 07:27 PM PDT
Chrome, though briefly, recently surpassed the much-hated Internet Explorer to become the most popular browser in town. Launched in 2008, this freeware application has quickly outclassed Firefox making it quite a hit among Linux users old and new. And, despite the Google-made browser not being open-source, its free roots (that is Chromium) make it a viable choice for FOSS lovers.
Based on WebKit, Chrome is popular thanks to its blazing speed, and an even faster development cycle. The main reason for the Google-made browser's success, though, is that it proves to be fast, simple, and secure as compared to other browsers. Moreover, its minimalist interface has sparked a new competition amongst its rivals like Firefox, Opera and IE. Finally, coming to security, Chrome frequently checks itself against blacklists (one for malware and other for phishing) making it more secure as compared to its rivals.
That said, the free browser doesn't come with a complete security suite out of the box. There are many open doors from which hackers could intrude your privacy, despite the fact that Chrome is one of the most secure browsers around. Thankfully, though, there are some great extensions you can install to save yourself from the prying eyes of hackers.
So, without further ado, here's a list of the best security extensions for Google Chrome:
Google SSL Web Search
This extension, once installed, lets you change your search provider to use SSL by default. Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a commonly used protocol for managing the security transmission of messages on the Internet. An encrypted SSL connection makes sure that all data passed between the browser and the web site server is encrypted by the sender and decrypted by the receiver. SSL can thus prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to sensitive, confidential, or personal information such as phone numbers or addresses. Of course, you won't Google your own credit card number; however, there's a slight chance that your search history might be intercepted by your ISP or a rogue hacker. SSL will surely help you avoid that predicament.
If you use a shared computer, then you might not want to show your bookmarks to other users. Solving that little problem comes Secure Bookmarks, a cool extension that lets you password-protect your bookmarks. Once installed, you can create new bookmarks that will only be accessible to you and those who have your password.
Secure Password Generator
This is a really handy extension. Whenever you sign up for new sites, simply use this extension to generate a random, secure password for you. This would save you from the vulnerabilities of choosing a ridiculously predictable password.
WOT (Web Of Trust)
Web Of Trust is a nifty little extension that alerts you of malicious sites and indicates you how safe the site you're visiting is. It's a crowd-sourced safe-surfing tool that shows traffic light signals besides each site, so that you can rest assured that the site you're visiting is safe. How WOT works is millions of its users rate each site, and the ratings then are, in turn, used to give you an indication of the site's reputation.
Ghostery is a free extension that detects trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed by ad networks for invading your privacy. So, if you're worried about Facebook, Google, et al. watching over you in a creepy way, then by all means, install this extension.
McAfee Secure URL Shortener
Oh, those tiny little URLs are all over the web. Some of them can be trusted, and many look suspicious. To solve that problem, McAfee has come up with a neat solution. Whenever you shorten a URL with McAfee's Secure URL Shortener, it gets checked using McAfee's Global Threat intelligence information. Thus, whenever you, or your friend shortens a link with the extension, you can rest assured that the link is safe, and can be trusted.
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