Malwarebytes has released their browser protection add-on for Firefox and Chrome. It has a few features other similar extensions don't have. Malwarebytes states using their add-on can increase your speed by blocking activity that normally takes up bandwidth and increases load times.
"Malwarebytes Browser Extension delivers a safer and faster web browsing experience. It blocks malicious websites and filters out unwanted content (resulting in up to three times faster webpage load times). The filtering is not based on definitions, so the extensions can block previously-unidentified fake tech support scams and their tactics".
Two Browser Guard features that are unique are the ability to block tech support scams, which can stop a browser from closing easily, and eliminating the clickbait items that say "you may be interested in..." that often appear at the bottom or sides of a page. Two of the most familiar names that produce these are Taboola and Outbrain.
Other features include:
- Identifies and stops browser lockers, browser hijackers
- Blocks third-party ad trackers
- Blocks web pages that contain malware, stops in-browser cryptojackers (unwanted cryptocurrency miners)
- Blocks the downloading of potentially unwanted programs, including toolbars and pop-ups.
My experience with the extension is that it works well for the most part. It blocked most ads. I didn't notice a speed increase but I normally have add-ons that perform the same function so I wouldn't expect an increase. It stops the clickbait ads, greatly reducing the visual clutter on the sites that use those services. I haven't come across the tech support scams so I couldn't test that.
Malwarebytes Browser Guard is a good extension if you like set it and forget it - it has basic settings that are accessible and useful, but if you like more control another option like uBlock Origin might be a better fit.
There are some issues with this extension. It may ask for an email address to activate the extension. Malwarebytes states they are doing this to improve product communication with the customers.
I found that Browser Guard blocked several legitimate sites. The function that let's you go to the site anyway often kept blocking the same site over and over. A few sites has problems displaying properly. Given that Browse Guard recently exited beta status some bugs might be expected and will probably get worked out.
You can download Malwarebytes Browser Guard here:
Malwarebytes Browser Guard
(supports Chrome GA (General Ability) version only)
Malwarebytes Browser Guard
You can find more Tech Treats here.
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