Browser extensions can Very useful, can fill the gaps in functionality, add cool new features and options, and usually just make online life more convenient.

At the same time, they can pose serious security risks-many people ask to see everything you see online, change some key settings in the browser, and they can communicate with developers (or with advertisers or other parties). ) Operate and communicate without your knowledge.

We don’t want to prevent you from using your favorite extensions, but you must make sure that the extensions you use are safe.

First, all the usual rules apply: keep your computer and its applications up to date. Run malware scans regularly. This will greatly reduce the risk of potential cunning extensions. In addition to these tips, here is how to conduct an audit.

How to detect threats early

Identifying the wrong browser extension is not an exact science, but there are some general instructions to follow. Before installing add-ons, be sure to research-check other users’ comments and comments on the web (if any). Check when the extension was last updated, because truly outdated and outdated tools may not be as safe as new tools, and be sure to look for signs that the plugin has recently changed hands.

It is important to ensure that the extensions you install come from official repositories, for example Chrome Web Store or Firefox browser add-ons Web portals. It allows you to be certain that the software you are installing is legal and safe, so be cautious about extensions you find elsewhere.

We are not saying that new, uncensored add-ons from unknown developers are bad, but you should be extra careful-can you find any information about the company or the people behind the tool? Is it clear how the expansion is funded, or is it a passionate project? For example, what clues can you get from the websites linked on the extended list page?

Double check the permissions required by the add-in. In some cases (Firefox), they will be listed on the web extension page; in others (Chrome), you will not see them until the software is installed. Considering what the add-on should do, please be aware of any permission requests that seem unreasonable or strange.

How to check Chrome extension

Extensions in Chrome.

Screenshot: David Nield via Google

To view the extensions you have installed in Chrome, click on the three dots (upper right corner) and select More tools with Expand. Click detail Beside any extension to display more information about it, including the browser permissions it needs to run and how much space it takes up on disk.


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