Google Chrome comes with its own built-in security measures to warn you about dangerous websites and weed out phishing scams, but it never hurts to have more (or better) safeguards when you’re browsing.
Microsoft just released a Windows Defender extension for Chrome. It basically offers the same real-time protection as Google’s browser, but Microsoft claims that its extension can block 99 per cent of phishing attacks while Chrome only catches 87 per cent. Them’s fightin’ words.
We’re a little sceptical, however, since Windows Defender isn’t even that great of a security tool for Windows itself. Thankfully, there are plenty of other free extensions you can try out to keep your browser secure and your critical information protected from phishing and other bogus websites.
Avast is a well-reviewed antivirus service with a free Chrome extension that does the same thing as Windows Defender’s extension, but taps into a community of 400 million to help you figure out which sites are trustworthy.
Want to get super granular with your browser security? Check out uMatrix, a firewall extension that lets you block a website’s scripts and ads. You can also use it to go under the hood and see all the data a website is requesting at any moment, and whitelist any sites you feel you can trust.
Finally, HTTPS Everywhere does exactly what its name suggests, bringing an extra layer of security to websites you visit by forcing them to use HTTPS connections (preventing potential man-in-the-middle attacks).
Of course, all the software in the world won’t help if you don’t use a little common sense too: Don’t visit sketchy websites, don’t download random files, and be careful to whom you give your password. Still, with an extra Chrome extension (or two), you’ll have a lot less to worry about.