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  1. Google Chrome now warns you of extensions from untrusted devs Google has added new protection capabilities for Enhanced Safe Browsing users in Chrome, warning them when installing untrusted extensions and allowing them to request more in-depth scans of downloaded files. The Safe Browsing feature, available in Google Chrome since 2007, warns you of dangerous events when visiting malicious websites (e.g., sites trying to steal your credentials, downloading harmful files) by checking URLs against a list of unsafe sites stored within Chrome. Enhanced Safe Browsing, available to Chrome users since May 2020, significantly increases protection from dangerous sites, downloads, and extensions by adding faster, proactive safeguards and warning about password breaches. "Since the initial launch, we have continuously worked behind the scenes to improve our real-time URL checks and apply machine learning models to warn on previously-unknown attacks," Google said. "As a result, Enhanced Safe Browsing users are successfully phished 35% less than other users." Upgraded to flag untrusted Chrome extensions Starting with Google Chrome 91, released last month, a new Enhanced Safe Browsing feature is rolling out to all users to alert them if they're installing an extension made by an untrusted developer. "Enhanced Safe Browsing will now offer additional protection when you install a new extension from the Chrome Web Store," Google added. "A dialog will inform you if an extension you're about to install is not a part of the list of extensions trusted by Enhanced Safe Browsing. "Any extensions built by a developer who follows the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies, will be considered trusted by Enhanced Safe Browsing." Untrusted extension warning (Google) New developers will have to build up trust over at least a few months until they will be added to Enhanced Safe Browsing's list of trusted devs. Until then, extensions they publish on the Chrome Web Store will be flagged as untrusted, and Chrome will notify users of what data the extensions can access. While starting as untrusted even though they release extensions compliant with Google's Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies, all will reach trusted status according to Google. At the moment, almost 75% of all Chrome Web St extensions are marked as trusted, with the number to grow as more and more developers will become trusted. Enhanced protection against risky files Enhanced Safe Browsing was also upgraded in the latest Google Chrome release to provide even better protection against risky files downloaded from potentially malicious sites. When a downloaded file is tagged as unsafe, users are now offered the option to request a more in-depth Google Safe Browsing analysis. "After a short wait, if Safe Browsing determines the file is unsafe, Chrome will display a warning. As always, you can bypass the warning and open the file without scanning," Google said. "If you choose to send the file, Chrome will upload it to Google Safe Browsing, which will scan it using its static and dynamic analysis classifiers in real-time. Uploaded files are deleted from Safe Browsing a short time after scanning." Improved download protection (Google) Google Chrome now warns you of extensions from untrusted devs
  2. Your favorite browser extensions might not work with the new Firefox [for Android] Don't expect too many add-ons for the mobile browser (Image credit: Mozilla) Mozilla has been busily beavering away on a new version of Firefox for Android, and its work is nearly done. The browser has been rewritten from scratch, and this explains why the project has been so many months in the making. But with the launch now not far away, there's some slightly disappointing news about browser extensions. At the moment there is just one extension – yep, one solitary extension – that works with Firefox for Android. If you're a fan of uBlock Origin, then you're in luck, but things are quite so rosy if you like the idea of kitting out your browser with a wide range of add-ons. Support for uBlock Origin is currently limited to the Firefox Preview Nightly build, and Mozilla says that it should be available in the Firefox Preview build by the middle of this month, before spreading to beta users. After this, things aren’t going to improve a great deal – and certainly not very quickly. In an FAQ about extension support in Firefox for Android Mozilla says that it is "working on building support for other extensions in our Recommended Extensions program". The list of recommended extensions currently consists of fewer than 100 add-ons, so there's a high chance that those that you have come to know and love on the desktop will not be supported any time soon. Limited extensions It's fair to say that there a lot of familiar names in the "recommended" list, but it is far from exhaustive. If you're wondering how Mozilla decides which ones to lend support to, the company says that it is "prioritizing Recommended Extensions that cover common mobile use cases and that are optimized for different screen sizes". Take a browse through the list and you'll get an idea of what could be supported in Firefox for Android over the coming weeks and months. But if you're hoping that other extensions you use will be migrated, perhaps don't hold your breath. Mozilla says it has no news about when extensions that are not part of the recommendation program will be supported. If you want to try out the Firefox for Android Beta, you can download it from Google Play. In addition to this, there are the Firefox Preview Nightly and Firefox Preview builds available for testing, but these are more likely to be problematic by virtue of their pre-release status. Source: Your favorite browser extensions might not work with the new Firefox [for Android] (TechRadar)
  3. Google blocks paid Chrome extension publishing and updating Google Chrome extension developers who try to publish new paid extensions for the Chrome web browser or update existing ones started to notice last week that Google would reject these outright with the rejection message "Spam and Placement in the Store". The Chrome Web Store accepts free and paid extensions unlike most other web browser stores that only accept free extensions (developers may still request a form of payment or subscription using other means). A study published in mid 2019 revealed that 8.9% of all Chrome extensions fell into the paid category and that commercial extensions made up only 2.6% of all extension installations. Chrome Extensions Developer Advocate Simeon Vincent published an announcement on the official Chromium Extensions forum on Google Groups that provides information on the decision. According to the information, Google decided to halt all commercial Chrome extension publications because of a "significant increase in the number of fraudulent transactions involving paid Chrome extensions that aim to exploit users". The abuse is happening on scale according to the message and Google decided to disable publishing paid items temporarily as a consequence. Earlier this month the Chrome Web Store team detected a significant increase in the number of fraudulent transactions involving paid Chrome extensions that aim to exploit users. Due to the scale of this abuse, we have temporarily disabled publishing paid items. This is a temporary measure meant to stem this influx as we look for long-term solutions to address the broader pattern of abuse. If you have paid extensions, subscriptions, or in app-purchases and have received a rejection for "Spam and Placement in the Store" this month, this is most likely the cause. Developers affected by this will receive a "Spam and Placement in the Store" rejection. Vincent notes that developers should "reply to the rejection and request an appeal" to get the item published in the store; this process must be repeated for each new version of the extension according to Google. Google made the announcement on January 25, 2020 on the official Chromium Extensions group but developers who tried to update or publish paid extensions have run into the issues for days without any form of information. The only option that developers have at this point in time is to appeal the decision each time they publish an update or a new extension. Google has been criticized in the past for its handling of developers on the Chrome Web Store and in particular the rejection messages that often reveal little about the detected issue. Source: Google blocks paid Chrome extension publishing and updating (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Microsoft is now accepting submissions for Edge Chromium extensions Developers can now submit their extensions for Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge browser, the company announced today. The new Edge is set for launch on January 15, so Microsoft wants to have a robust Edge Addons store, also saying that if you're a developer and you have a Chromium extension, it likely won't take any additional work to port it to Edge. If you have created a new Edge Legacy extension, the last day to submit it will be tomorrow, December 17. It makes sense though, since beginning on January 15, Microsoft is going to start moving people to Edge Chromium. The migration of 900 million Windows 10 users is going to take some time, but it's clear that EdgeHTML is a thing of the past. Those that already have Edge Legacy extensions on the existing store will want to submit Edge Chromium extensions as soon as possible. Microsoft noted in the blog post today that if there's no Chromium extension available, then the extension won't migrate when the customer is upgraded. And since Edge Chromium currently doesn't have any kind of extension syncing, your customer will have to manually obtain that extension again. If you want to submit an extension for Edge Chromium, you can do so at the Partner Center Developer Dashboard. Source: Microsoft is now accepting submissions for Edge Chromium extensions (Neowin)
  5. Firefox users won't be able to sideload extensions starting March 2020, with Firefox 74. Mozilla has announced today plans to discontinue one of the three methods through which extensions can be installed in Firefox. Starting next year, Firefox users won't be able to install extensions by placing an XPI extension file inside a special folder inside a user's Firefox directory. The method, known as sideloading, was initially created to aid developers of desktop apps. In case they wanted to distribute a Firefox extension with their desktop app, the developers could configure the app's installer to drop a Firefox XPI extension file inside the Firefox browser's folder. SIDELOADING REMOVED BECAUSE OF ABUSE This method has been available to Firefox extension developers since the browser's early days. However, today, Mozilla announced plans to discontinue supporting sideloaded extensions, citing security risks. "Sideloaded extensions frequently cause issues for users since they did not explicitly choose to install them and are unable to remove them from the Add-ons Manager," said Caitlin Neiman, Add-ons Community Manager at Mozilla. "This mechanism has also been employed in the past to install malware into Firefox," Neiman said. TWO-PHASE REMOVAL PLAN As a result, Mozilla plans to stop supporting this feature next year in a two-phase plan. The first will take place with the release of Firefox 73 in February 2020. Neiman says Firefox will continue to read sideloaded extensions, but they'll be slowly converted into normal add-ons inside a user's Firefox profile, and made available in the browser's Add-ons section. By March 2020, with the release of Firefox 74, Mozilla plans to completely remove the ability to sideload an extension. By that point, Mozilla hopes that all sideloaded extensions will be moved inside users' Add-ons section. Through the move, Mozilla also hopes to help clean up some Firefox installations where malware authors were secretly sideloading extensions behind users' backs. Since these extensions will now show up in the Add-ons sections, users will be able to remove any extensions they don't need or don't remember installing. TWO METHODS OF LOADING EXTENSIONS REMAIN Further, Mozilla's blog post on the matter today also serves as a notice for extension developers, who will have to update their extensions and make them available through another installation mechanism. There are currently two other ways through which developers can distribute extensions, and through which users can install them. The first and the most widely known is by installing extensions from the official addons.mozilla.org (AMO) portal. Extensions listed here are verified by Mozilla, so most are relatively safe, albeit the security checks aren't 100% sure to catch all malicious code. The second involves using the "Install Add-on From File" option in Firefox's Add-ons section. Users have to manually download a Firefox XPI extension file, visit the Add-ons section, and then use the "Install Add-on From File" option to load the extension in their browser. This option is usually employed for loading extensions that have to handle sensitive corporate data inside enterprise environments, and can't be distributed via the AMO portal. There was also a fourth method of loading extensions inside Firefox, but this was removed in September 2018, with the release of Firefox 62. This involved modifying Windows Registry keys to load custom extensions with Firefox installations. This, too, was abused by malware devs, and Mozilla decided to remove it. Source: Mozilla to stop supporting sideloaded extensions in Firefox (via ZDNet)
  6. A team of Belgian researchers discovered privacy issues in how browsers, ad-blocking, and anti-tracking implementations handle third-party cookie requests. A team of Belgian researchers from KU Leuven analyzed third-party cookie policies of seven major web browsers, 31 ad-blockers and 14 anti-tracking extensions and discovered major and minor issues in all of them. Major issues include Microsoft Edge's unwillingness to honor its own "block only third-party cookies" setting, bypasses for Firefox's Tracking Protection feature, and use of the integrated PDF viewer in Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers for invisible tracking. Cookie requests can be sorted into two main groups: first-party requests that come from the address listed in the address bar of the browser and third-party requests that come from all other sites. Advertisement displayed by websites makes use of cookies usually and some of these cookies are used for tracking purposes. Internet users can configure their browsers to block any third-party cookie requests to limit cookie-based tracking. Some browsers, for instance Opera or Firefox, include ad-blockers or anti-tracking functionality that is used in addition to that. Anti-tracking mechanisms have flaws The research paper, "Who Left Open the Cookie Jar? A Comprehensive Evaluation of Third-Party Cookie Policies", detailed information about each web browser, tests to find out if a browser is vulnerable to exploits, and bug reports are linked on the research project's website. The researchers created a test framework that they used to verify whether "all imposed cookie- and request-policies are correctly applied". They discovered that "most mechanisms could be circumvented"; all ad-blocking and anti-tracking browser extensions had at least one bypass flaw. In this paper, we show that in the current state, built-in anti-tracking protection mechanisms as well as virtually every popular browser extension that relies on blocking third-party requests to either prevent user tracking or disable intrusive advertisements, can be bypassed by at least one technique The researchers evaluated tracking protection functionality and a new cookie feature called same-site cookies that was introduced recently to defend against cross-site attacks. Results for all tested browsers are shown in the table below. The researchers tested the default configuration of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Cliqz, and Tor Browser, and configurations with third-party cookie blocking disabled, and if available, tracking protection functionality enabled. Tor Browser is the only browser on the list that blocks third-party cookies by default. All browsers did not block cookies for certain redirects regardless of whether third-party cookies were blocked or tracking protection was enabled. Chrome, Opera and other Chromium-based browsers that use the built-in PDF viewer have a major issue in regards to cookies. Furthermore, a design flaw in Chromium-based browsers enabled a bypass for both the built-in third party cookie blocking option and tracking protection provided by extensions. Through JavaScript embedded in PDFs, which are rendered by a browser extension, cookie-bearing POST requests can be sent to other domains, regardless of the imposed policies. Browser extensions for ad-blocking or anti-tracking had weaknesses as well according to the researchers. The list of extensions reads like the who is who of the privacy and content blocking world. It includes uMatrix and uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus, Ghostery, Privacy Badger, Disconnect, or AdBlock for Chrome. The researchers discovered ways to circumvent the protections and reported several bugs to the developers. Some, Raymond Hill who is the lead developer of uBlock Origin and uMatrix, fixed the issues quickly. At least one issue reported to browser makers has been fixed already. "Requests to fetch the favicon are not interceptable by Firefox extensions" has been fixed by Mozilla. Other reported issues are still in the process of being fixed, and a third kind won't be fixed at all. You can run individual tests designed for tested web browsers with the exception of Microsoft Edge on the project website to find out if your browser is having the same issues. Closing Words With more and more technologies being added to browsers, it is clear that the complexity has increased significantly. The research should be an eye opener for web browser makers and things will hopefully get better in the near future. One has to ask whether some browser makers test certain features at all; Microsoft Edge not honoring the built-in setting to block third-party cookies is especially embarrassing in this regard. (via Deskmodder) Now You: Do you use extensions or settings to protect your privacy better? Source
  7. One of the main advantages of the upcoming Microsoft Edge web browser that is based on Chromium is that it supports multiple extension stores. Microsoft Edge users may install extensions from Microsoft's own extensions store for Edge, or enable an option in the web browser to unlock extension installations from the Chrome Web Store as well. But how different are the extensions designed specifically for Microsoft Edge, and the extensions offered by Google on the Chrome Web Store? Are there any extensions available exclusively that Chrome users cannot install? I decided to compare the available extensions for the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser that are offered on Microsoft's Edge extensions store with what is being offered on the Chrome Web Store. Microsoft's Edge extensions store list 117 extensions. The number of extensions on the Chrome Web Store is unknown as Google does not reveal it. The following extensions are unique to Microsoft Edge. Note that alternatives may be available on the Chrome Web Store for some of them. ClassLink OneClick -- offers access to web apps and files. Download music from VK -- VK music downloader. Easy Video and Audio Downloader -- media downloader (does not work on YouTube). Ebates Rakuten: Get Cash Back For Shopping -- shopping extension. Eno from Capital One -- shopping assistant. FlipGive Max -- shopping extension. Marker: Screen capture tool for professionals -- screenshot extension. Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant -- shopping extension. MyPoints Score -- shopping extension. Rutoken Plugin for Edge -- digital signature, encryption, and 2FA extension. TrueKey (McAfee) -- password manager. Video Downloader Professional for Edge -- media downloader. Vonage Integration Suite -- communication extension. Wikibuy -- shopping extension. A total of 14 extensions are exclusive and may be installed in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. That leaves 103 extensions that are not unique and also available on the Chrome Web Store. Some users may wonder why Microsoft bothers with its own extensions store if most extensions are available on the Chrome Web Store as well. We need to look at the extensions that are unique in more detail to answer that question. The three main categories are shopping, media downloads, and Enterprise functionality. Shopping may come as a surprise to many, media downloading not so much. One of the limitations of Chrome extensions is imposed by Google policies. Extensions may not offer functionality to download media from select Google properties such as YouTube. Microsoft does not impose the same limitations on extension developers (Mozilla, Opera, and other browser makers don't either). Closing Words Maintaining an extension store for the Chromium-based Edge browser offers several advantages. It gives Microsoft full control over extensions including its own vetting and verification process. One of the main advantages is that extensions may offer features and options that Chrome extensions don't support in that form. Source: These Extensions are exclusive to the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  8. However much you love your chosen web browser, you have probably enhanced its capabilities through the use of add-ons. Finding decent, reliable add-ons can be tricky, and this is why Mozilla is launching the Recommended Extensions program. This editor-curated program will surface the very best vetted extensions for Firefox, and it is due to roll out in stages later this summer. Mozilla says that any extensions it recommends through the program will be highlighted across its portfolio of websites and products, including addons.mozilla.org (AMO) and on Firefox's Get Add-Ons page. The company is already identifying extensions it likes the look of, and will soon be reaching out to developers. Changes should be seen on AMO around June. When an extension is chosen, it will be badged to make it easier to identify as a recommendation. Mozilla also says that AMO search results and filtering will be weighted higher toward Recommended extensions In a blog post, Mozilla's Scott DeVaney explains how extensions will be selected for inclusion in the program: Editorial staff will select the initial batch of extensions for the Recommended list. In time, we’ll provide ways for people to nominate extensions for inclusion. When evaluating extensions, curators are primarily concerned with the following: Is the extension really good at what it does? All Recommended extensions should not only do what they promise, but be very good at it. For instance, there are many ad blockers out there, but not all ad blockers are equally effective. Does the extension offer an exceptional user experience? Recommended extensions should be delightful to use. Curators look for content that’s intuitive to manage and well-designed. Common areas of concern include the post-install experience (i.e. once the user installs the extension, is it clear how to use it?), settings management, user interface copy, etc. Is the extension relevant to a general audience? The tightly curated nature of Recommended extensions means we will be selective, and will only recommend extensions that are appealing to a general Firefox audience. Is the extension safe? We’re committed to helping protect users against third-party software that may—intentionally or otherwise—compromise user security. Before an extension receives Recommended status, it undergoes a security review by staff reviewers. (Once on the list, each new version of a Recommended extension must also pass a full review.) Participation in the program will require commitment from developers in the form of active development and a willingness to make improvements. More details will emerge in the coming months. Source
  9. How to Enable Extensions in Mozilla Firefox 67 Private Windows Mozilla Firefox 67 will introduce a new policy that will block extensions from running in private windows. The reason is as simple as it could be: since extensions sometimes need to access your data to work correctly and the private browsing mode is supposed to be, well, private, Mozilla believes that blocking add-ons by default can help guarantee no traces are left behind. And to do this, the company has decided to block all extensions by default in private windows, unless you specifically allow them to run. This change continues Mozilla’s efforts for increased privacy in Firefox privacy, and is likely to win the hearts of many users who believe this is the correct approach and do not agree with the data collection that happens in other browsers. Needless to say, the best of all is that Mozilla will still allow users to decide if they want extensions to run in private windows or not, as dedicated controls would be offered in several parts of the UI. The feature is already being tested as part of the Nightly version of Firefox, so you can already try it out right now if you install Mozilla’s testing browser. Beginning with Firefox 67, whenever you open a new private window, you’ll be provided with a notification that extensions are blocked. “Change to extensions in Private Windows. Any new extensions you add to Nightly won’t work in Private Windows unless you allow this in the settings,” the notification reads – the Nightly part will probably be replaced with Firefox once version 67 ships. A similar warning is placed in the configuration screens of extensions in Firefox browser. “Nightly is changing how extensions work in private browsing. Any new extensions you add to Nightly won’t run by default in Private Windows. Unless you allow it in settings, the extension won’t work while private browsing, and you won’t have access to your online activities there. We’ve made this change to keep your private browsing private.” Firefox 67 won’t come with a setting to let you enable extensions in private mode browser-wide, but instead you’ll have to set the new permissions individually for each add-on. There are two ways to do this. First and foremost, you can enable a specific extension to run in private windows when installing them. The notification that shows up when installing extensions makes it possible to “Allow this extension to run in Private Windows,” so you can quickly enable this behavior and that’s it. If you want to configure extensions that are already installed, you need to head over to the add-ons manager in Firefox 67. You can simply type about:addons in Firefox to see the installed extensions. Enabling them to run in private windows comes down to simply expanding the options of each extension and then checking the setting that reads “Run in Private Windows > Allow.” By default, this option is set to “Don’t Allow.” As per TechDows, you can enable all extensions to run in private windows by modifying a dedicated flag in the about:config section. The flag is called: extensions.allowPrivateBrowsingByDefault Keep in mind that for the time being, this is just an experiment, and Mozilla could further adjust it with more settings by the time Firefox 67 is finalized. According to the company’s release calendar, Mozilla Firefox 67 should be released to users on May 14, 2019, so the developing team still has some two months to make sure that everything is working as expected. If you install Nightly, keep in mind that this is an experimental browser and some things may not work exactly as expected. Source
  10. Here’s how you can install extensions on Microsoft Edge from Chrome’s Web Store Around two weeks back we reported that Microsoft might allow users to install Chrome’s extensions on the new Microsoft Edge. Back then we weren’t able to test the theory since Edge wasn’t available publicly. However, Microsoft released the first build of Edge last nightand we finally got a chance to test the features. Among all the features is the ability to download and install extensions from Chrome’s Web Store. Microsoft hasn’t specifically advertised the feature but you can follow the steps below to download extensions. Open the new Microsoft Edge and navigate to Chrome’s Web Store. As soon as you open the Store, you will get a notification on the saying you can install extensions on Microsoft Edge. Click on “Allow extensions from other stores”. You will now get a pop-up. Click on Allow to confirm. Once done you can navigate around the store to look for extensions. Once you find an extension, just click on “Add to Chrome” to download and install the extension. We hope this tutorial helps you in installing extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Do remember that download and installing extensions from third-party can be risky. Make sure you’re absolutely sure about the extension before downloading and installing it on Microsoft Edge. Source
  11. The Best Chrome Extensions to Prevent Creepy Web Tracking Ad trackers follow you everywhere online—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Illustration: Elena Lacey Almost every site you visit tracks you to try and link your browsing history to your interests and, in turn, show you targeted adverts. One minute you’re searching for a new desk, the next adverts for that furniture website you looked at are stalking you around the web If you want to get a sense of how you’re being tracked across the web take a little time to read (and disable) the cookie options that appear each time you visit a new site. They’ll give you a sense of what technology each website is using to track its visitors and the information they gather. (The consent preferences on WIRED are controlled by parent company Condé Nast). With the Do Not Tracking setting in browsers becoming increasingly useless, web browsers are increasingly flexing their privacy credentials Apple’s Safari browser has boosted its anti-tracking tech and Firefox has blocked trackers by default since 2018. Google Chrome is also planning on getting rid of third-party cookies. However this won’t happen until 2022 and there are still significant questions about how the change will be implemented. In the meantime, your best best for stopping creepy web tracking is to move to a privacy-first web browser. For some people this step might be too radical or impractical at the moment. If that’s you, there’s another way to push back against online tracking: bring the blocking tech to your current browser. These browser extensions are a simple first step in improving your online privacy. Privacy Badger Privacy Badger is one of the best options for blocking online tracking in your current browser. For a start, it’s created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a US-based non-profit digital rights group that’s been fighting online privacy battles since 1990. It’s also free. Privacy Badger tracks all the elements of web pages you visit—including plugins and ads placed by external companies. If it sees these appearing across multiple sites you visit then the extension tells your browser not to load any more of that content. The organization says it doesn’t keep lists of what to block but discovers trackers as you browse the web and is more effective as time goes on. Like many of the extensions in this list the tool will also show you which trackers are blocked on each site you visit. This includes how many trackers and what type each website is using. You can disable the tool for individual sites and change settings if you don’t mind being tracked by some sites. There are Privacy Badger extensions for Chrome, Firefox (desktop and Android), Microsoft Edge and Opera. DuckDuckGo DuckDuckGo is best-known for its anonymous search engine that doesn’t collect people’s data. But in recent years the firm has also been moving more into privacy controls for the whole web (including introducing its own mobile browser). DuckDuckGo also makes an extension for Chrome. The Privacy Essentials extension blocks hidden third-party trackers, showing you which advertising networks are following you around the web over time. The tool also highlights how websites collect data through a partnership with Terms of Service Didn’t Read and includes scores for sites’ privacy policies. It also adds its non-tracking search to Chrome. Ghostery This New York-based firm—which has five different tools—is owned by the same company that was behind Cliqz, a privacy-focussed browser and search engine, which was shuttered earlier this year due to the impact of Covid-19. But Ghostery lives on. Its browser extension blocks trackers and shows lists of which ones are blocked for each site (including those that are slow to load), allows trusted and restricted sites to be set up and also lets people you block ads. The main Ghostery extension is free but there’s also a paid for $49 per month subscription that provides detailed breakdowns of all trackers and can be used for analysis or research. There are Ghostery extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera. Adblock Plus Unlike other tools here, Adblock Plus is primarily marketed as an ad blocking tool—the others don’t necessarily block ads by default but aim to be privacy tools that may limit the most intrusive types of ads. Using an ad blocker comes with a different set of ethical considerations to tools that are designed to stop overly intrusive web tracking; ad blockers will block a much wider set of items on a webpage and this can include ads that don’t follow people around the web. Adblock Plus is signed up to the Acceptable Ads project that shows non-intrusive ads by default (although this can be turned off). On a privacy front Adblock Plus’s free extensions block third party trackers and allow for social media sharing buttons that send information back to their owners to be disabled. There are Adblock Plus extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera and Yandex. Browse Differently Adding a privacy-enabling browser extension will definitely help your online privacy, but it’s not the only step that you can take. Moving to a privacy-first browser may be the next obvious step once you’ve tried out the experience with an extension. Extensions, for Chrome at least, are limited to the desktop browser so won’t do anything to stop you being tracked on mobile. For that you’ll need a to pick a new mobile browser. For added protection you may also want to start using a VPN to mask your web activity further. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. The Best Chrome Extensions to Prevent Creepy Web Tracking
  12. How to install extensions on Microsoft’s new Edge browser This Chromium browser works with your favorite Chrome extensions One of the best things about Google Chrome is its robust catalog of extensions. Microsoft’s new version of the Edge browser, which just launched for Windows 10, macOS, and mobile, is built on the same Chromium code base and can also tap into the Chrome web store. This means that it supports the same tremendously large selection of extensions, in addition to Microsoft’s own relatively limited selection of native extensions that are available through its store. In this article, I’m going to walk you through how to find and install extensions in Edge and ultimately get you set up with Chrome extensions. Gaining access to Chrome’s extensions means taking a few extra steps. But overall, this is an easy and fast operation that will help make Microsoft’s improved browser feel like home — that is, if Google Chrome is where you do most of your browsing. The first step is to download Microsoft’s Edge if you haven’t already. Once you’ve done that, proceed. Find the extensions menu Once you’ve opened Edge, click the ellipses on the right side of the browser window next to the profile picture With the drop-down menu extended, select “Extensions,” which is located about halfway down the list of options Download Edge extensions from Microsoft After you’ve clicked “Extensions,” a new tab will open in Edge. You can browse for Edge extensions in Microsoft’s Store, although, as mentioned before, its selection is lacking. (The add-ons are apparently still in beta.) Still, it’s simple to install extensions from this source if you find something you’d like. To open up Microsoft’s selection, click “Get extensions from Microsoft Store” in the left column of the “Extensions” tab, or the link to the right When you’ve found an extension you want, click “Get” on its page, and it will be added to the browser Enable Google Chrome extensions Let’s be honest, you’ll probably be better suited by gaining access to Google’s extensive catalog of extensions, so let’s route you there. To enable the installation of outside extensions, make sure you’re on Edge’s extension tab described above. Flip the switch next to the option “Allow extensions from other stores” at the bottom left corner of the screen. After you toggle it on, you’ll need to confirm in a pop-up window that you actually want to do this. You’ll be installing extensions that weren’t technically made for Edge, and it may affect performance, Microsoft claims. Hit “Allow” to proceed. Activating this option will allow you to install Chrome extensions Navigate to Google’s Chrome Web Store You’ll be able to find Google’s complete repository of Chrome extensions on this page. (If the link doesn’t open in Edge, you can simply do a search on Chrome Web Store.) As you add more extensions to Edge, they’ll populate the Extensions page Something to be aware of: currently, Google Chrome color themes (found in the Chrome Web Store under the “Extensions” link) don’t work with Edge. That might change, but at the moment, only extensions will work. Should you ever need to delete or switch off individual extensions, head to the “Extensions” tab again. There, you’ll find them sorted by the places where you downloaded them. Microsoft’s approved extensions and Chrome’s extensions will each be in their own section. I’ve installed a few of my favorite Chrome extensions on Edge, and, so far, things seem to be working as expected. Source: How to install extensions on Microsoft’s new Edge browser (The Verge)
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