A lot of users around the world have numerous kinds of browser extensions installed in their browsers. SEO professionals, developers, coders, etc., and even the young generation have them installed on their computers and their browsers. Those browsers are available for mobile devices too.
What comprises part of these extensions?
Online translators, content detectors, ad blockers, plag busters, and vice versa, are the most common kinds of browser extensions in use today. YouTube video downloaders and other kinds are common too. Some of them are really very good.
However, some of them are quite dangerous and can be more than saucy. They are in fact harbingers of viruses and cyber-attacks. They also lead to malware and ransomware too.
What is the awareness level of the general public about the level of maliciousness in browser extensions?
That’s the main thing. Only a small number of users are aware of how bad these extensions really are. Despite the best efforts, they slowly get to know how bad the extensions are. At times, the antivirus software they use is often ineffective in blocking those extensions from doing their bad stuff.
Browser extensions – what are they and what is their modus operandi?
Browser extensions are basically plugins present in internet browsers. They help add more functionalities and give users an enhanced internet experience in information search, downloads, and vice versa. They can even find email addresses, and grammatical errors getting fixed along with a wide array of functions.
Well-known browsers often provide officially certified official and safe browser extensions to customers (Microsoft Edge, Opera, Google Chrome, Brave, etc.). Their extensions are tried and tested, worth the price, and also definitely worth using. The ones posing bigger risks are ones from unofficial sources.
Browser extensions coming from unofficial sources are quite risky. In fact, they are one of the biggest sources of passage for cyber attacks. Yes, they have viruses and malware, and spyware too. Once users activate those bad extensions, their data is stolen and the systems are compromised.
It is thus important to note that browser extensions should do their job properly. They should require permission and consent from users. Even when it comes to reading and changing the web content of websites for users, they should still ask for permission and consent. Browser extensions not doing this are hence in a lot of trouble.
Google Chrome’s curious case explained briefly
The case of Google Chrome is quite a unique one as extensions in this browser require the ability to read and change the entire data of all websites visited by users. Yup, Google Chrome requires that. IUt sounds concerning. Also, official stores pay negligible attention to such problems.
Considering the case of the official Google translate extension for Chrome, the Web Store page states that it collects user activity, location, and website content the information collected. Yet it needs all kinds of data from all websites to work properly. Users only find out about it only after they install the extensions. Terms and conditions are often ambiguous.
Why do users install browser extensions?
A vast majority of people using the internet add extensions for various purposes. They want to download interesting videos, look for contact information, access other key information, and help run web apps and games. This is where hackers find a way to hack those systems.
Anti DDoS Protection measures are being optimized to deal with browser extensions. Unverified browser extensions may help users download saucy content. But the issues coming, later on, are dangerous and can cause data to go poof. Moreover, for users, it can become both a headache and a heartache. Yes, they don’t want any of them.
Adware and ad blocking extensions – what to know
Adware extensions require permission to change a website’s content. That does not mean overturning the content but to show ads on websites users visit. The extension earns money from users clicking on those affiliate ads linked to sites of companies and advertisers. They analyze search queries with diligence.
Ad-blocking extensions block unwanted popups and ads. At times, they are used to counter adware-related issues. Yet, installing these extensions carefully is needed. They can be a part of something quite nefarious, unfortunately.