Keep your browser safe while installing Chrome extensions

While Chrome browser extensions are an excellent way to enhance your surfing experience, they do pose certain risks that the majority of users are unaware of. Extensions are tiny programs that have access to virtually all of your online activity—they may intercept passwords, display ads on the websites you visit, and monitor your web surfing. Meanwhile, the majority of these browser extensions are compromised and repurposed as malware.

How can you keep your Chrome browser add-ons secure? What indicators should you look for in these extensions to assess the extent of your vulnerability after their installation? Learn how to avoid getting into trouble by reading the suggestions below.

Carefully read the description

It is critical to read the description of every Chrome browser extension before installing it. Extensions that monitor your browser history, clicks, and statistics often make this clear in their descriptions. A phrase stating that using the plugin “requires granting it permission to capture anonymized clickstream data” demonstrates unequivocally that the extension will collect and share your data. Keep an eye out for the phrase “to collect and share information about them” in the extension’s description.

Direct information

Another method to avoid downloading malicious Chrome browser extensions is to study the information shown on the profile page of the plugin in the Chrome Web Store. Most importantly, look at the “total number of users,” the “aggregate rating,” and the “number of users who rated it” to see if you can deduce anything. Take note that numbers and ratings may be fabricated.

Do not give permissions for extensions anyhow

When a Chrome browser extension asks for authorization to perform a function other than the one for which it was created, take a careful look at the circumstances. For example, a Facebook plugin that requests permission to “read and modify all your data on the websites you visit” is questionable.

Check the privacy policy

If an extension is connected to a Privacy Policy page, verify whether or not it tracks its users, but fraudulent extensions may conceal this information. However, extensions whose privacy policies indicate that they utilize browser cookies, pixels, Adobe Flash cookies, beacons, and an anonymous unique identifier should be avoided. These technologies are capable of collecting, storing, and sharing your data with other parties for market research, advertising, and other purposes.

Conduct the tests outlined above before installing any Chrome Browser extension to ensure your safety, safeguard your information, and prevent the installation of malware, keyloggers, or viruses.

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