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We spend a lot of time online. According to a recent Mashable article posted by Matt Petronzio on March 5, 2014, the average American adult spends 11 hours per day with electronic media. Of that, three hours is spent on social media, nearly one hour is spent on a smartphone and nearly one hour is spent on the Internet via a PC. Taken as a whole, the average American adult spends between 2 – 4 hours online every day.

We spend a lot of time online. To make your daily online life better, below is a list of the five coolest Internet Browser extensions.

 

1. Mask Me (Chrome & Firefox)


Reported on August 5, 2014 by Nicole Perlroth and David Gelles of the New York Times, a Russian crime ring, “has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, including 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses.” Unless you are living under a rock on Mars, on a daily basis it is becoming more and more clear that all your actions online are not only tracked, they are easily hacked. With password security breaches happening more often than the public cares to admit, the Internet of today more resembles the old Wild West than it does a secure bank vault.

For this reason, there is Mask Me. Mask Me – Chrome & Firefox – allows users to create throwaway email address, phone numbers and credits cards to ensure hackers, spammers and annoying marketers never get hold of your information. The extension works by the user choosing to mask a personal data entry with a randomly generated mask entry cloaking the real data.

For example: Mask Me will automatically generate a random email address when users are promoted for one. That email address will have automatic forwarding attached to it thus allowing email to arrive at the proper address without that address being disclosed.

Who Should Use Mask Me:Anyone and everyone who wants to stay secure online. Anyone and everyone.


2. Adblock Plus (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera, Android)


As it sounds, Adblock Plus is a simple extensions which allows users to block advertisements around the web. Adblock Plus kills ads from starting before Youtube videos, it kills banner ads, it kills pop up ads and it kills flashing ads. Adblock Plus kills ads. That’s all it does.

The extension is Open Source, it is free, it is secure and it is dead simple to install/setup. No one likes annoying Internet advertisements. Adblock Plus does away with them.

Who Should Use Adblock Plus: Unless you like banner ads, pop up ads and video ads playing before your Youtube videos, you should use Adblock Plus. No question about it.


3. Konami Code Test Discover (Chrome)


 

Up Up. Down Down. Left Right. Left Right. B A. If that string of directions makes you feel warm all over – especially in your fingers – congratulations, you are a child of the 1980’s/1990’s and you, my friend, played a lot of Contra.

For those not in the know, the Konami Code – sometimes called the Contra Code – was a direction/button mashing code which allowed gamers to significantly alter their video game playing construct. In terms of the Internet, entering the Konami Code into a bevy of sites significantly alters the website.

An example: Visit GeekandHype.com, Vogue.com.uk, NikDaum.com or Digg.com and enter the Konami Code. Trust us, you’ll love it.

If you loved those results, add the Konami Code Test Discover to Chrome.

Who Should Use Konami Code Test Discover: Adults who are secretly five-years old at heart and anyone who yearns for the game Gradius.


4. YSlow (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Android and iOS)


For the web and mobile developer constantly looking to optimize their web pages for faster loading times, the YSlow extension analyzes web pages and informs developers how to make them faster.

YSlow works by grading web pages based on one of three predetermined rulesets or a group of user created rulesets. Once defined, YSlow will:

  • Give the developer suggestions on how to improve webpage speed
  • Provide statistical analysis of webpage performance
  • List the major elements of a webpage
  • Grade every webpage based on current performance

In our Internet based world wherein fractions of a second can make the difference between traffic and ghost town, YSlow is a great tool for any web developer or mobile developer keen on optimization.

Who Should Use YSlow: Every web dev and mobile dev. Every dev. Every. Single. Developer.


5. Riffle (Chrome)


 

Riffle. For the Twitter marketer, the social media obsessed and/or the statistics loving social geek, Riffle – available for Chrome – enables users to get a quick at a glance breakdown of Twitter user profiles.

Active while in Twitter, the extension allows users to search for any Twitter profile, see how many tweets they have, how many people are following them and how many followers they have. The extension also allows users to view:

  • Average amount of retweets per profile tweet
  • Average amount of favorites per profile tweet
  • Top hashtags used by the profile in question
  • Top URL’s posted by the profile in questions
  • Average amount of tweets per profile per day
  • Third party apps used to post tweets

Living as a collapsible window in the right side of your Twitter profile, Riffle is a genius little app providing social analytic insight into your Twitterverse.


Those are my top five browser extensions. What are yours? Leave your favorites in the comments and don’t forget, you can reach me at the following social spaces: