What is a browser extension, you ask? It is similar to an app or plugin for your browser that adds features and functionality to your browser. Extensions are small software modules that help customize a web browser’s functionality, and are widely used. There are literally thousands of them used for navigation, shortcuts, security, ad blocking, gaming, etc., etc. The list goes on and on.
There are extensions for almost all the popular browsers. The right web browser can make using the web more responsive, flexible and provide better security through downloadable extensions. Google Chrome delivers a great browsing experience to its users. It’s expandable and customizable and their extensions are available at the Chrome Web Store. We have compiled a list of some of the top Chrome extensions you may want to consider installing to help make your online experiences more enjoyable.
There is a caveat to using extensions. They have the ability to collect a lot of data about users. Just take caution and be sure to “read and change” the permissions when you install them as appropriate. Also remove the ones you do not recognize or use.
When it comes to password protection and management, LastPass is a good option. LastPass is a freemium password tool that saves your passwords or generates new and secure ones every time you log into a website, and syncs them when you need them. With LastPass, you can easily access your online accounts, enter credit card details and fill out online forms in a few clicks.
Password Checkup lets you know when your accounts have been affected by data breaches. When you log into an online account and your username and password have appeared in a data breach known by Google and is no longer safe, you will receive an alert. At that time, you should reset your password.
The most popular extension for Chrome claims to be AdBlock. As of this writing, there are more than 10 million active users. AdBlock blocks most ads from showing on Chrome, and speeds up your browser experience. It is especially beneficial when there are malicious advertisements on the web designed to trick people into downloading something that could harm their computers. You also have the luxury of seeing unobtrusive ads, whitelisting your favorite sites or blocking all ads by default.
StayFocusd is designed to help you stay focused and stops you from getting distracted on time-wasting websites, particularly social media, news media sites, etc., when you are trying to work. You can set a time limit on the sites you want to block and once you’ve reached it, StayFocusd blocks access to those sites and reminds you to focus on your work.
Evernote Web Clipper
Use Evernote Web Clipper to capture and store anything on the internet and keep it all in one place. Sure, you can use Chrome’s built-in bookmarks option, but Evernote is more powerful. It allows you to save web content, webpages, images, screenshots, articles, selected text and emails and transfer it into your Evernote account. It even acts as an annotate tool to highlight and add visual callouts and has a share option.
Using Pocket is another way to keep track of web content. You can save webpages, articles and videos to view later while having the ability to add tags to help you find them more easily when needed. Anything in your Pocket will automatically be synced to all your devices, even without an internet connection.
Momentum is a tab page that replaces the default Chrome landing page. It has a customizable dashboard that comes with a scenic background, daily inspirational quote, photo, weather, time, your to-do list and quick links widgets for your favorite sites.
Again, these are only some of the top extensions offered by Google Chrome. To see and learn more, check out the Chrome Web Store.