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So, we’ve already established that the internet has changed.
We’re bombarded with ads like never before, blocked from reading the news and scientific papers without payment, spammed by marketing companies in our inboxes, and targeted by scammers and scalpers on Amazon.
I wanted to share some tips I’ve picked up along my way about how to improve the time you do spend online.
Use uBlock Origin
uBlock Origin is a fantastic ad-blocker, an absolute must-have. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera. It blocks ads on YouTube automatically.
You can also right-click anywhere to block an element on the screen. This is so lovely for blocking ‘Upgrade Now!’ buttons/ads and of course, Twitter’s trending feed.
Protip: Go to easylist.to and click 'add it to your adblocker' under the Easylist heading. This will block ads on sites like Twitter!
Remove website paywalls
Bypass Paywalls is a must-have and has been the only browser extension to successfully get me past the NYT and WaPo paywalls. On Chrome, you have to manually install it (it’s easy though!) and once Chrome updates, the extension is removed and must be reinstalled.
12ft.io is also a great resource, and you can actually prefix any URL with
12foot.io/ and it will remove the paywall.
Remove all the junk in your email
Nobody respects email anymore. 99% of it is marketing garbage.
Try out Unroll.me to bulk-unsubscribe to newsletters. It will ask you to log in with your Google, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud or AOL account and will list your subscriptions one-by-one, allowing you to unsubscribe to them all easily.
Protect yourself on Amazon
There’s a browser extension called CamelCamelCamel, and it adds an orange Camel icon in your URL bar at the top whenever you’re looking at an item on Amazon. When you click the icon, it will show you a history of prices for that item, so you can see if the item is priced relatively higher or lower than usual.
Another great extension is FakeSpot, which points out likely fake reviews for an Amazon listing.
Don’t limit yourself to browsing the same few websites
Utilize free software
There are lots of free alternatives to accomplish whatever you want to do online. Here are a few I know of – if there are others I should add, leave a comment.