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Do not let Chrome reveal your data to everyone



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Firefox, Safari, Brave, even Microsoft Edge have taken steps over the past year to protect you from the trackers that collect your browsing history. Chrome is not there yet, but later this year: Google recently announced that it will soon start doing a better job of protecting your privacy with your Chrome browser.

But you do not have to wait for Google to include new privacy controls to get full coverage of other popular browsers like Firefox and Safari. With the addition of multiple Chrome privacy extensions, you can block trackers that track your browsing activity and make it harder for your browser footprints.

Fingerprints are a particularly sneaky way for advertisers to monitor your web activity: when you visit a web page, the browser and device settings leave you with tips for you and your system and look together, these tips create a unique set of features that advertisers can use identify your individual device and then track you without your consent.

Chrome extensions can also help you manage cookies – small-sized websites stay on your computer to store your website settings, such as address and other personal information. The social buttons on a webpage may also remove the cookies on your computer. The advertiser can use this file, called a third-party cookie, to track you on the web with a social button on the page.

Here's how to protect your privacy by using multiple Chrome extensions.

How to Add and Manage Chrome Extensions

Stage 1. Sign in to the Chrome Web Store and click Extensions on the left.

Step 2. Using the search box in the upper left corner, enter the name of the extension you are looking for. Below are three Chrome extensions that you can get started with.

Step 3. In the search results, find the extension you want and click Add to Chrome.

Step 4. A dialog will appear that shows which permissions will have your browser extensions. If you approve, click Add extension.

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Touch the menu on the right.

Photo by Clifford Colby / CNET

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

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

Chrome's Home Privacy Enhancement Kit

While Google adds tools that give you more control over what you share – and do not share with websites – these privacy-enhanced extensions can help you manage what information websites are collected for you on the web.

Cookie AutoDelete (Chrome Extension). This extension will automatically delete the unused cookies from your closed tabs and allow you to keep the cookies you want by adding them to the allowed list. Once you install, the extension will not delete cookies. You must first enable auto-cleaning, which allows you to add the cookies to the cookies you want to save, such as keeping your game progress.

uBlock Origin (Chrome Extension). Using a collection of third-party lists and internal filters, uBlock Origin is a broad-spectrum tracker blocker that will not be able to withstand system resources. Expansion gives you very little control over what you block. You can leave the extension in easy mode – which has a slight touch when blocking so as not to interfere with websites – or choose Mid, Hard or Nightmare mode ranging from a sensible approach to preventing tracking to blocking everything – and creating the network is almost unusable

Privacy Badger (Chrome Extension). Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, monitors third-party trackers who monitor your browsing on websites and block their ability to track your activity without your permission. Privacy Badger works very much like UBlock origin, but is designed to be easier to use by giving you simple sliders to control how much or a bit you want to block. If the extension breaks a page, you can click the Disable button to turn it off for the site.

Keep in mind that you may need to set up the extension settings if you find that some of your favorite sites are behaving strangely after you turn them on.


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