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Chrome Extensions for Privacy, Adblocking and anti-tracking

01-09-2011 | Remy van Elst

Twitter recently started monitoring everything logged in users do on the web so that they can get "more relevant" followers. Facebook does this for a long time nowdays via their like buttons (even non-logged in users) and I think google also has a big share in this. I don't like that, so I try to block it mostly. The purpose of this article is to inform you about chrome extensions that help you block these things. (I'm not going in to the fact that chrome is a google product, who knows how they monitor me that way. I btw use chromium, the open-source version, but this all should also work on the normal chrome) So lets kick off! I want to note that there are some extensions that are doing the same thing. I do not think it is bad for chrome, I've not noticed any stupid side-effects of it.

Adblock for Chrome

AdBlock blocks all advertisements, and it has no configuration. I've whitelisted a lot of open source related websites, but most of the sites have huge and disturbing ads which I absolutely hate. LINK

Disconnect

Disconnect blocks tracking by sites like Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Google. It also depersonalizes searches by disabling identifying cookies and you can see in real time what is blocked and what not. LINK

Facebook Disconnect

Does what the name says, blocks all third-party traffic to facebook, but lets you use facebook normally. LINK

Do Not Track Plus

Also a tracking blocker. Has a lot of options, but the GUI config seems a little cluttered to me. You need to read some things two times, but it works. LINK

Ghostery

This is a nice one. Also block a lot of things, but was started as an informative tool. It has a nice alert bubble (which can be turned off) to show you how you are tracked on the websites you visit. Has a special feature, Ghostrank, to collect anonymous data on which websites track you with what. LINK

Google Analytics Opt-out (by Google)

This is an official google extension, simply blocks the google analytics service. No other statistic services, just google. I mainly use this so that my own visits to my websites are not counted in analytics. LINK

ScriptNo

This is IMHO the most important one. It is like the firefox NoScript, and it lets you block all, some or no javascript, on a per site basis. It is really awesome. I cannot say anything else of it, it just works great. Does exactly what it says, and it does it very well. LINK

HTTPS Everywhere

https-everywhere

This is also an important one, it helps you use HTTPS on a lot of websites. Just so that you are less likely to get a man-in-the-middle attack. I used to use KB SSL Enforcer, but that sometimes gives errors on websites that have no SSL site, but do have SSL enabled. (a lot of PLESK websites have that.) Just install and forget about it, but you are more safer on public wifi, or other networks where you may be monitored. LINK

MVPS Hosts file

LINK. This is what I used before the handy ad block extensions. It blocks ads, and a lot of unsafe and malicious websites. It is a little more tricky to setup, but for the Win platform they provide a nice .bat script. On a Linux platform you have to add the contents to the /etc/hosts file.


Tags: adblock, chrome, disconnect, do-not-track, eff, ghostery, google, hosts-file, https-everywhere, noscript, tracking,