When you are installing Chrome extensions, you need to make sure that those add-ons are safe to use. It’s easy to take your online security for granted, but your browser’s extensions can also create all kinds of attacks.
Extensions can be very useful in enhancing your browsing experience, but if you’re not careful, they can steal your data, change important settings in your browser, or redirect your searches to shady websites.
Here are the best ways to make sure your Chrome extensions are secure.
1. Use the Chrome Web Store
When installing extensions for your Chrome browser, the safest way is to use a trusted web store. The Chrome Web Store is the safest place to install extensions for your Chrome browser.
There are over 190,000 extensions and web apps in the store. Whether you are looking for a password manager or looking for extensions to fuel your creativity, you are likely to find something suitable for you.
Although the Chrome Web Store is a legitimate source for getting your extensions, there are some shady Google Chrome extensions that you should not install. And therefore, you should still verify the reliability of the extension before installing it.
2. Research the Developer
Before installing an extension, you should always do your research to verify the legitimacy of the developer.
To help you differentiate between a professional developer and an every night security risk, check whether the developer has an entire website or a public profile. If the website matches the extension’s software, the extension is likely to be safe for use.
3. Make sure the extension is updated regularly
Before installing extensions, make sure they have been updated recently. If an extension is out of date, it is less secure than a recently updated extension.
It’s no use using an extension that’s sitting on a pile of issues and was last updated years ago. When an extension hasn’t been updated, your best bet is to look for a more reliable alternative.
4. Check Reviews
Reviews are your best friend! Checking reviews of other people who have used the extension will help you gain insight into the service based on other people’s experiences.
Reviews allow you to assess the average experience of those using the app. If a large majority of reviews are negative, look for similar extensions with more positive reviews. You can find reviews of an extension in the Chrome Web Store. While reviews are helpful, you can’t rely on them all you find, so it’s important that you know how to spot fake and useless reviews online.
5. Use the Chrome Extension Source Viewer
It is for everyone who understands programming and knows how to identify malicious code. Chrome Extension Source Viewer allows you to view Chrome Extension’s code without downloading it.
Since it’s hard to know which browsers are protected from Surface, the Chrome extension Source Viewer gives you the opportunity to dig a little deeper.
6. Install Antivirus Software
Installing antivirus software acts as a good firewall to keep you safe. Reliable antivirus software helps you keep track of everything that goes into your browser. With extensions, antivirus software can search for malicious code on your behalf.
However, antivirus software can only do so much for your online security. To avoid having too many extensions in your browser, install only the ones you really need.
Comprehensive ways to stay safe online
Chrome extensions are a great convenience because they can make browsing online so much easier. But it is important that you do not get too excited and make sure that all the Chrome extensions you have installed are safe to use.
Now that you know how to protect yourself from harmful Chrome extensions, you can focus on other ways to strengthen your comprehensive online security.