Chrome extensions are not always secure. You can protect your browser from suspicious extensions by following these easy steps. There is nothing better than Chrome extensions. One of the thousands of tasks they can accomplish is helping you write better, keep pesky ads at bay, or save you money while you shop. As with Android apps in the Play Store, Chrome Web Store extensions aren’t always what they seem. Malware is a concern, and you certainly don’t want to compromise your privacy and security by downloading an adblocker.
It’s important to ensure that the Chrome extensions you install are safe. You may take your online security for granted, but even extensions on your browser can expose you to a variety of threats.
Apparently, Google has noticed that Chrome extensions’ quality and security aren’t consistent. This is why Google has launched a new verification system for extensions and creators. In the process of browsing extensions to download, you’ll begin to notice two new symbols on reputable options, each denoting a different way that a particular extension and/or its publisher has been certified as legitimate.
Extensions can improve your browsing experience, but if you’re not careful, they can also steal your data, change your browser’s settings, or redirect your searches to shady sites.
Here are some tips to ensure your Chrome extensions are safe.
Check for Featured badge
A blue-ribbon icon on specific extensions indicates the “Featured” status. Google awards this badge to extensions that “follow our technical best practices and meet a high standard of user experience and design.” This badge’s great because it indicates that Chrome’s team hand-reviewed the extension rather than awarding it based on an algorithm or other program.
They look to see if the extension has a clear store page describing its functions, that it’s functioning for those who download it, that it’s utilizing the latest Chrome APIs, and, most importantly, that it respects user privacy. Google doesn’t have the best reputation for protecting user privacy, so it’s good to see the company at least admitting that it’s worth ensuring extensions aren’t stealing your data.
Chrome Web Store
You should use a credible web store when installing Chrome extensions. Installing extensions for your Chrome browser is safest through the Chrome Web Store. Over 190,000 extensions and web apps are available there. Whatever you’re looking for, whether a password manager or an extension to improve your creativity, I’m sure you’ll find it here.
Even though the Chrome Web Store is a legitimate place to get extensions, there are still a few shady Google Chrome extensions you should avoid installing. Thus, it is still good to verify the extension’s credibility before installing it.
Established Publisher badge
Google awards the Established Publisher badge to publishers who demonstrate adherence to the company’s developer program policies and who have verified their identity with the company. This badge appears as a checkmark next to the publisher’s website. The badge is another excellent way for users to trust the extension they’re interested in installing because it means Google knows who they are. If the developer tries anything funny, their account will likely be deleted.
Research the developer beforehand.
If you plan to install an extension, you should always do your research to verify the developer’s legitimacy.
If a developer has a complete website or a public profile, you can distinguish a professional from a fly-by-night security risk. The extension is likely safe to use if the website matches the software on the extension.
Don’t forget to check out the reviews.
A customer who has had a shady experience with an extension will likely report it in the comments. Alternatively, you might want to stay away from the site if the comments are mostly old and you cannot find any recent ones. Keep the extensions you download up-to-date to decrease the chance that they have been compromised.
Be sure to read the description carefully.
Before you download anything, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Review all permission requests before downloading anything.
An extension that requests access to your camera without any reason is a major red flag.
As Chrome extensions make browsing online so much easier, they are a huge convenience. Don’t get too excited and ensure that any Chrome extensions you install are safe.Since you now know how to protect yourself from harmful Chrome extensions, you can focus on other ways to tighten your overall online security.
Click here to know more about 7 Hidden Features in Gmail.