Top 5 Security Plugins For Firefox, Chrome And Internet Explorer
Which browser is the most secure web browser? That's a question that is hard to answer, and Internet users usually mention the web browser that they use when asked the question. There are some differences in the architecture of browsers.
Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, for example, make use of sandboxes that prevent that the whole web browser is attacked if malicious code is executed in a tab in the browser. (Update: Firefox supports multiple processes and sandboxing as well now).
Additional differences become apparent when you look at browser plugin support. Thousands of extensions are available for some browsers and only a handful for others. Chrome and Firefox users may pick from thousands of browser extrensions while Internet Explorer users only from a handful.
Extension can be a very effective way of adding additional protection to the web browser. This article covers the top 5 security plugins for IE, Chrome and Firefox. If you know of a plugin that is missing in the list let us (and everyone else) know about it in the comments.
Update: We replaced extensions that are no longer compatible or available with suitable alternatives.
Tip: Check out our list of best extensions for the Firefox web browser.
No Script - The one add-on that many security experts do not want to live without. No Script can block script execution on websites. It does so on all websites by default with the option to enable specific scripts temporarily or permanently. The add-on can prevent script-based attacks (most of them are) if used correctly.
Last Pass - The password manager for Firefox. It can generate and remember secure passwords, fill out forms and even auto-login the user into websites. The three important security-related features are secure password generation, password storing and auto login. Secure passwords have the weakness that they are hard to remember. It is simply easier to remember 123456 than f&z_cU!;re4xZ especially if you consider that unique passwords should be used one every website. With Last Pass users get unlimited secure passwords with the need to only remember the master password. The auto login feature can be very effective against phishing attacks as it won't work on phishing websites that use a different URL than the original.
uBlock Origin -- a content blocker for Firefox that blocks advertisement and other annoyances on the Web. Simply to use yet powerful interface.
No Redirect (not compatible with Firefox 57+)- A versatile add-on that handles several things at once. It will reveal the destination URL of short URL services and prevent that Internet providers and other companies use DNS hijacks to show their (search pages). This does happen for instance with many major ISPs if the user mistypes a domain extension.
Link Extend (not compatible with Firefox 57+) and Web of Trust - Link Extend and Web of Trust provide similar functionality. They provide website ratings to inform the user about potentially dangerous websites. Both display ratings in major search engines but also in a toolbar for the active page.
CS Lite - Cookie permissions on a per-site basis. Allows the user to block or allow cookies permanently or temporarily.
Backup: Febe Firefox Backup. It is always a good idea to create regular backups to be prepared when data gets corrupted or deleted. Febe is a Firefox add-on that can backup all profile data of the web browser including bookmarks, settings, extensions, and passwords.
Tip: Check out our best Chrome extensions guide for additional suggestions.
uBlock Origin -- Same as the Firefox add-on. Great content blocker.
Last Pass - The Last Pass password manager is also available for the Google Chrome web browser. Extension support is currently only available for dev releases of the Google browser. The functionality, on the other hand, is similar to that of the Firefox add-on. It is possible to generate passwords, store them and use the auto-login feature.
Script Safe -- Provides Chrome users with options to block certain browser technologies and features that sites may abuse for fingerprinting.
Flash Block - This is the closest to the No Script Firefox add-on. Flash Block will only block Flash content but not other script related objects.
McAfee Site Advisor bookmarklet - There are not many Google Chrome extensions yet. Bookmarklets try to close that gap by allowing all Google Chrome users - and not only those that use a dev version - to make use of additional features. This bookmarklet will display McAfee Site Advisor ratings when executed. Comparable to Wot or Link Extend with the difference that it has to be executed manually.
Adsweep and Adblock+ - Two options to disable most advertisement that is displayed on websites. These add-ons are more about the annoying objects on websites and less about security. They can, however, be helpful in situations were rogue ads are displayed that spread malware.
Backup: Fav Browser - Fav Browser 2 can backup and restore all settings of Google Chrome 2, 3 or 4.
Last Pass - Did we mention that we love Last Pass? The password manager is available as a plugin for Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It offers the same functionality on all supported web browsers including password generation and secure storage of passwords.
Web of Trust or Trend Protect - Both display ratings for the active websites and websites that are listed in the major search engines (Google Search, Yahoo Search, MSN). They can be used as an indicator if a site's potentially dangerous to visit.
IE7 Pro - A great plugin for Internet Explorer (not only 7 but also Internet Explorer 8) that offers ad blocking and many additional features. It comes closes to the No Script Firefox add-on. The ad blocker includes a Flash Blocker. Another interesting module is userscript support which can be also beneficial to security.
Backup: Fav Backup - You can use the tool to backup and restore Internet Explorer profile settings.
Only four for Internet Explorer. Do you know of additional Internet Explorer security add-ons? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for recommending WOT in your list. I am happy to tell you that WOT works with Firefox, Internet Explorer (as you already mentioned), and Chrome.
We have had over 7 million downloads and our community has rated 24 million websites. We are happy to be helping web surfers worldwide stay safe while the shop, search and browse on the Internet. Please join us!
Web of Trust
How about a mention of Adblock Plus for Firefox?
I thought about including Adblock but I think that NoScript serves that purpose better.
Was going to post the same question as Sri as I was reading. Nice article, thanx Martin
As I wrote the article I realized once again that Firefox users have so much choice and the other web browser users so little. I could have easily added five or even ten additional security add-ons for Firefox.
Any thoughts on a future article comparing or highlighting up&coming browser alternatives, Martin? I love(d) FF & Opera, but w/ success comes unnecessary bloat and unwanted features. Some new choices that play well w/ JRE & Flash would be refreshing.
You mean browsers that are not Firefox, Opera, Chrome, IE or Safari?
Last Pass for Firefox is quickly becoming a favorite addon. It does what it does very well and easily. Heads up appreciated on that.
Only thing I wonder about is whether or not their server being unavailable temporarily could effectively lock users out of their sites (and if you haven’t saved passes locally).
That’s a good question Dwarf. My understanding is that you won’t get your data if their server is not available. Maybe they should implement something that would allow a user to store the data offline as well.
You mean browsers that are not Firefox, Opera, Chrome, IE or Safari?
*I’m loading up to test-drive Midori and Konqueror in a Win XP VM. Looks like a dozen or more options out there.
what about ‘key scrambler’ for IE ?
You forgot about Handy Password cute password manager utility. It works both as Internet Explorer and Firefox panel and is very useful to save passwords. Utility has random password generator and automatic form filler too.
Password manager: http://www.handypassword.com/