Chrome, which is one of the preferred browsers, has a large database of extensions that not only provides greater flexibility but also increases its functionality. A user only has to visit Chrome Web Store, search for an extension and install it in the browser to enrich the browsing experience.
However, since installing an extension in Chrome means giving it permission to reside in your browser, therefore, many times these extensions can be a threat to privacy, especially when they are compromised or malicious, since a malicious extension can track all and each of your browser’s activities, resulting in more ads and pop-ups as you browse the web. Also, in the worst case, an infected extension can steal your saved password and user IDs, making your data security vulnerable.
But, this does not mean that all Chrome extensions are malicious and we should avoid using them. Therefore, in this article we have summarized some important tips to install the Chrome extension that are infection free.
Thoroughly check the developer’s name and website
The first is the first. Before proceeding with the installation of an extension in your Chrome browser, look for the developer and their website that developed that extension. This is one of the first steps that will help you differentiate between a malicious and a genuine extension.
You can search the developer name just below the extension name as offered by. Now, by clicking on the developer’s name, you will be redirected to the developer’s website, where you can find more information about the developer and his work. However, in case you can’t find a developer website or the website hasn’t provided much of the information, then you have to do a little more research at the end. And after investigation, if you find anything suspicious about the developer of the extension, then it’s best to avoid installing that extension.
Never ignore the description
This usually happens with many of us, right after reading one or two lines we ignore the rest of the description that is provided with the extension. It is highly recommended that you review the full description to the end, which not only helps you better understand the functionality of the extension, but also gives you a complete overview of the extension you are about to install.
Find the permissions you are asked for
An extension needs some kind of permission to be able to perform its task effectively. This is why every time you choose an extension and click Add to Chrome, a permissions window appears containing all the permissions you need. Read each and every permission that an extension is requesting and assess that the permissions requested by an extension are really genuine.
For example, a text editor extension is asking for permission for your location or for your online activities, so there could be a catch. So, first look for permission, and if you find it appropriate, install the extension, otherwise just leave it.
Read user reviews and comments
Just like before buying any product from an e-commerce website, we check user feedback and comments, in the same way, we should check user feedback before installing any Chrome extension. Although criticism can be manipulative and paid, but it is not so difficult to differentiate between a genuine criticism and a false one.
Reviewing the patches not only helps you save your browser from faulty extensions, but it also lets you know the common issues that the user was facing after installing that extension. Also, if you come across a lot of paid or fake reviews, it’s best not to install such an extension.