Whereas many people shop on Black Friday for the experience, Cyber Monday is more of a purist’s shopping day: It’s about the deals, and the deals only.
You’ve probably made sure your computer and Internet connection are up to the task, but what about your web browser?
Did you know there are a whole slew of FREE tools that can help you browse — and let’s be honest, shop — more securely and efficiently? They’re called browser extensions (think of them like apps for Chrome, Firefox and Safari), and they can do everything from find the best price to count down the minutes until a sale starts.
Here are 12 browser extensions to keep you secure, sane and on budget this Cyber Monday.
Browser Extensions to Keep You More Secure
With cyber attacks and stolen identities proliferating in the news, it’s important to take your security seriously while shopping online. These browser extensions should help.
Smart Cyber Monday shoppers have their information saved on their favorite websites so they won’t miss out on any hot deals… But that does mean a lot of login info to remember.
Stop using your pet’s name for every password (thereby leaving your billing information vulnerable), and, instead, use LastPass to create and save strong passwords for each retailer.
So you’ve spotted an awesome deal online — but you’ve never heard of the website. How do you know if it’s safe to give it your credit card information?
SiteJabber to the rescue. Using an easy red-yellow-green light system, it quickly shows you a website’s trustworthiness and level of customer service, based on reviews from their 700,000 users.
3. HTTPS Everywhere
In case you didn’t know, you’re only supposed to shop at sites that start with “https://”; the “s” stands for secure. Sometimes, though, sites have both secure and unsecure versions — and who are we to keep track?
HTTPS Everywhere ensures you’re on the secure version of every site, which helps protect you against surveillance and account hijacking.
4. Panic Button
You’re shopping for a watch for your husband. You have a million tabs open while you decide on the perfect style and best price. Then, all of a sudden, he walks in. Ah! What do you do?
Instead of freaking out and spilling your coffee all over the keyboard, just press the Panic Button. It hides all of your tabs with a single click — and best of all, saves them for easy shopping once he leaves the room.
Browser Extensions to Keep You Organized
The key to a successful holiday shopping season isn’t insider knowledge or crazy couponing; it’s staying organized.
We found a bunch of browser extensions that will keep you sane on Cyber Monday — or, really, any time of the year.
5. The Great Suspender
Speaking of all those tabs, are they taking up valuable memory and slowing down your computer? The Great Suspender unloads, suspends or parks your unused tabs — essentially putting them to sleep while you’re not using them — which will keep your computer up to speed on the big day.
Though this specific app is only available in Chrome, Firefox users can try Suspend Tab.
6. Cool Clock
Want to check a site every hour for new deals? Know of a deal that’s going live at a specific time? Don’t rely on your memory; use Cool Clock to set alarms, countdowns or hourly notifications. In Firefox, use Simple Timer.
7. Smile Always
Have you heard of AmazonSmile before? It’s a program that allows you to donate .5% of your eligible Amazon purchases to the charity of your choice. Only problem? You have to remember to sign in through the special portal, and nobody has time for that — especially on Cyber Monday.
The Smile Always extension automatically redirects regular Amazon pages through the portal, allowing you to effortlessly support your favorite cause. For Firefox users, there’s Smile Redirect; for Safari, AlwaysSmile.
8. Better History
You found the perfect price on a new KitchenAid… Only, you can’t remember what site it was on. It happens to the best of us.
Better History presents a comprehensive way to search through your history — and it also allows for easy deletion, in case you don’t want your kids seeing what presents you were looking at. Norwell History Tools is a similar extension for Firefox, as is Fetching.io for Safari.
Unlike Black Monday when you’re out fighting the crowds, Cyber Monday involves a lot of sitting and waiting. Though the anticipation might get your blood pumping, all that sitting isn’t good for your health.
Browser Extensions for Saving Money
The whole point of Cyber Monday shopping is saving money, right? If you’re nodding your head, these three browser extensions are not-to-be missed.
If you only download browser extension, make it this one. When you’re ready to check out, all you have to do is click on the Piggy button, and it finds and applies the coupon code that saves you the most money. Even better, you’ll also earn cash-back rewards at more than 1,400 stores.
11. Coupons at Checkout
If you want a little more control over your coupon codes, try Coupons at Checkout. When it comes time to complete your purchase, the coupon code box turns red if the extension has found available coupons. Once you click in the box, it displays them for easy picking.
Like its name suggests, InvisibleHand works in the background while you’re shopping, only appearing when it’s found a cheaper price on the item you’re looking at. Bonus feature: When you Google a product, it also shows you the lowest real-time prices.
Get ready for Cyber Monday by installing (and familiarizing yourself with!) these browser extensions now. We’re certain they’ll help you make the most of this digital shopping holiday.
Your Turn: Do you have a favorite browser extension? Any you planning on using any of these on Cyber Monday?
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.