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PrivacyFix helps protect your privacy on the Web

Available for Firefox and Chrome, PrivacyFix can check your privacy settings at Facebook, Google, and other Web sites that track your activity.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Internet users can now better manage their privacy settings across the Web, courtesy of a new browser extension.

Released just yesterday, PrivacyFix supports Firefox and Google Chrome. The extension can automatically check your privacy settings across specific Web sites, including Facebook and Google. It then displays and explains your settings, giving you the opportunity to manage them directly.

After you install PrivacyFix, a window pops up in your browser showing you the default settings for Facebook to start. Can non-friends see your posts? Is Facebook sharing your profile with other sites? Is your name being used to "like" certain ads? These are just a few of the settings that you can view and manage through the extension. Clicking on a specific setting brings you directly to Facebook where you can turn it on or off.

A section for Google provides its own settings. And a third section for other Web sites lets you e-mail certain ones to request that they remove your personal data.

PrivacyFix also ranks different Web sites based on their security and privacy policies. It even reveals which advertisers and other third-parties track your activity at various sites.

How does PrivacyFix check your settings at Facebook and other sites? PrivacyChoice, the company behind PrivacyFix, asserts in its FAQ that your data remains completely private:

Privacyfix is engineered not to transmit or share any of your data (history, cookies or privacy settings). All of the ratings and calculations for Privacyfix happen inside your browser, using generic formulas and data sent from our server. The only data that your browser sends to our server is standard technical data (like your IP address), which we promptly delete.

PrivacyFix doesn't point you to all the privacy settings in Facebook, Google, or other sites, but it does focus on the most critical ones. At the very least, the extension can spare you from having to dig up the settings at each Web site yourself.