Here we can see, “How to Make Sure a Chrome Extension is Safe Before Installing It”
Chrome’s enormous ecosystem of extensions gives it a lot of power and flexibility. The concern is that these extensions can potentially steal data, track your every action, and even harm you. Before you install an extension, check to see if it’s safe.
Why Chrome Extensions Can be Dangerous
- When installing a Chrome extension, you’re effectively forming a trusting relationship with the extension’s creator. You’re allowing the plugin to stay in your browser and potentially track your every move. We’re not saying they’ll all do it, but there’s a possibility.
- A permission system has been put in place to prevent this, but any system is only as good as the individuals who use it. To put it another way, if you’re not paying attention to the permissions you grant extensions, they might as well not exist.
- To make matters worse, even trustworthy extensions can be hacked, changing them into malicious extensions that capture your data—most likely without your knowledge. In other cases, a developer may create a functional extension that earns no cash, then sell it to a company that will fill it with adverts and other tracking technologies to make a profit.
In short, there are numerous ways in which browser extensions can be or become dangerous. So, not only should you be cautious when installing extensions, but you should also keep an eye on them once they’ve been installed.
What to Look for Before Installing an Extension
There are a few crucial points to keep in mind when it comes to browser extensions to stay safe.
Visit the Developer’s Website for more information.
The developer is the first item you look at before installing a new extension. In a nutshell, you want to make sure it’s a valid extension. For example, if you’re installing a Facebook plugin that a random person created,
- You might want to take a closer look at what it’s doing.
- That’s not to argue that every extension created by a single developer is bad; it just means that you should research into it before blindly accepting it. Many reputable, trustworthy extensions offer beneficial capabilities to other services—for example, Ink for Google.
- The developer’s name is usually prefaced by “Offered By” and can be seen directly under the extension’s name.
- In many situations, you can learn more about a developer by clicking on their name—if one is available, it will take you to the developer’s website. Investigate and see what you can learn.
- If they don’t have a website or the name doesn’t lead somewhere, you’ll have to dig a little more. It’s a good thing there’s more on this list.
Read the entire description.
Read the entire description, not just a portion of it! Look over the entire description for anything suspicious, such as tracking information or data sharing. These details aren’t included in all extensions, although they are in some. And that’s something you’re curious about.
The description may be found on the right side of the app window, next to the extension photos. If you don’t read the complete description, you can miss something like the example above.
Pay Attention to the Permissions
When you try to add an extension to Chrome, you’ll get a warning about the rights it requires. There isn’t a granular “choose and choose” system for providing permissions here; instead, it’s an all-or-nothing approach. After hitting the “Add to Chrome” button, you’ll see this menu. Before you can install the extension, you must first approve these permissions.
Keep an eye on what’s going on here and consider what you’re reading. I’d be sceptical if a photo editing add-on requires access to everything you do online. When it comes to common sense, if something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.
Check Out the Reviews
Because you can’t always trust user reviews, this is the lowest guy on the totem pole. You can, however, check for recurring themes and content that is problematic.
- If there are multiple evaluations with similar wording, for example, it should raise an eyebrow. Many reasons this can happen, most of which are extremely suspicious (developers purchasing reviews, etc.). (developers buying reviews, etc.).
- Otherwise, keep a lookout for recurring themes, such as users reporting strange occurrences, guessing that their data is being stolen, or anything else that strikes you as odd, especially if numerous users say the same thing.
- Now, we’re not recommending that you read every single review. On some extensions, this could take a long time! Instead
Just a short glance should suffice.
Dig into the Source Code
The truth is, this one isn’t for everyone. Or even the majority of people! If an open-source extension, you can dig through the code (many are, but most aren’t). You probably already do this if you know what to look for. However, just in case, it’s worth mentioning.
The source code is frequently available on the developer’s website, as we discussed earlier. That is if it is available.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.
- Is it safe to install the Chrome extension?
It is deemed trusted when an extension is produced by a developer who respects the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies. It usually takes a few months for new developers to gain trust.
- Is it possible to hack browser extensions?
Browser Extensions eliminate the need for hacking.
However, it is possible that hackers will not need to get into the devices of real people. In certain circumstances, naive users knowingly download harmful browser extensions or mobile apps.
- What can you accomplish with a Chrome extension?
Google Chrome extensions are apps that you can install to alter the operation of your Chrome browser. These extensions can let you automate particular browser functions, tweak existing behaviours, and increase the usability of your product.
- Is it safe to add extensions that say “This is not a Recommended Extension”?
- How to tell if Chrome extensions are safe?