As times change, the best Chrome extensions will change. Don’t believe in an extension simply because it has a lot of installs or reviews. Those are easily bought. Ideally, you should try out Chrome extensions before you decide to stick with them. But, that also means uninstalling your web browser each time you find a nefarious one, and that is a hassle and a half. So, here are a few Chrome extension suggestions to get you started.
The team at Web Paranoid has created a system to help identify fake and scammer websites. It uses metrics from a wide variety of different sources, and like other tools, it ranks them and then comes up with a safety score. However, unlike other tools, this one alters its ranking system based on the type of website you are looking at. For example, having a new domain is perhaps not a bad signal for a website that is “About” a new technology (like AI). But, a brand new domain for “Granny’s old Fashioned Cheese logs, est 1661” is probably a danger sign.
Picking password tools is very difficult because you have no idea who is going to see the passwords and who has access to what you enter. Though, you have to remember that this is also true of web browsers, and they are quite happy to save your passwords for you. This is a handy extension because it can be used for more than just one person. You can set up different teams with different passwords for different platforms. If you have several social media accounts on the same networks, such as having several TikTok accounts, then this tool is far easier to use when entering passwords than trying to save them all to your web browser.
This is a tracker blocker, which is handy for two reasons. Firstly it makes it far more difficult the hackers and nefarious online entities to monitor your movements and activate malware. Secondly, it stops you from supporting websites that you don’t want to support. If that ugly left-wing news site wants to track people so it can sell more advertising space, then it will be out of luck when you use Ghostery. This is better than the “Do Not Track” functions that web browsers have been promising to implement correctly, but never have because they never work as required (or with any degree of transparency).
These types of sites and extensions are “Okay” to a certain degree. You certainly shouldn’t trust them because it is very easy to spam a bunch of positive reviews on these things. Plus, there are some entities that place negative reviews on these sites so that small businesses pay to have the negative reviews removed. The only upside of these websites is that some of the worst websites will have awful reviews. You see this sort of thing all the time with poor-quality Amazon e-books. The reviews seem to show 7000 top-score perfect reviews and then 200 absolutely awful and negative reviews. The 200 is the real number of people who bought the book and hated it, the 7000 are spam reviews that were bought by the author. An extension like Site Jabber helps you identify similar issues. You can see how some websites have simply awful reviews, which may help save you from getting scammed.
Mostly all the antivirus extensions are terrible. In truth, you need antivirus software on your computer so that when the web browsers fail and let the malware through, your virus checker catches it. However, Windows Defender isn’t bad because it acts like a large filter. It isn’t good enough to protect you all by itself, but it does identify malware and problems that have affected other Windows Defender users, and since Windows Defender is installed automatically on all Microsoft PCs and laptops, it has a pretty extensive virus/malware library.