Easy ways to tell whether a Google Chrome extension is real or notNovember 10th, 2017
Google Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the world with millions of people using it on a daily basis and on all kinds of devices. If you are one of them, you are most likely using one or more internet browser extensions along with it as well. Good browser extensions add useful functions and make our lives easier.
The problem is that as with other software, there have been reports of false or malicious extensions available for Google Chrome as well.
Here are some tips on how to tell whether a browser extension is the real deal or not:
- Check whether the app is not just a fake imitation of a trustworthy one
there have been cases when users have been tricked to download and install malicious browser extensions thinking that they are using the real and trusted ones instead. Such was the case with the false WhatsApp or AdBlock extensions and other recent cases. In order to tell whether an extension is real or false, look at the rating of the extension, as well as the browser extensions developer information. If it is not what you expect – then the extensions is possibly false.
- Take the time to read user opinions
True, not all user opinions found online are reliable, but take the time to get an overall glimpse of what the public is saying about the extension you are planning to install before doing it. If there are many complains you may want to think twice before using this particular extension.
- Check its permissions requirements
Make sure you take a closer look at the permission which an extension asks for before installing it. If it is asking for way too many permissions, you may want to reconsider installing it, as it may access your private data, track your activities or steal information from you.
- Make sure you control how the extension updates itself
Even if you are certain that an extension you have already installed is trusted, there is no guarantee that some malicious code lines cannot be added with any future updates of the extension. This is why you should closely monitor which browser extensions require automatic updates and control what kinds of updates are downloaded and installed on your browser. Let only those extensions which you are absolutely certain about to update themselves automatically.
- Stay clear of the “applications” tab in Chrome Web Store
Some developers create applications which mimic trusted extensions, and when you perform a search for a certain type of extension on Chrome Web Store, a list of applications come up first before the actual browser extensions, so make sure you don’t click on them and download them instead of downloading the extension you really need.
In conclusion: try not to become too paranoid and suspicious about the extensions you install and use on your google Chrome browser, but still makes sure that you remain alert about the possible risks as well as learn how to identify the possible tell-tale signs that you are dealing with a false or malicious extension instead of a real and trusted one!
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