Browser extensions are meant to make internet browsing easier and personalized, but are browser extensions safe? It depends. There are some potentially dangerous implications to consider when installing browser extensions.
Extensions Can Be Hijacked – Extensions are vulnerable to hacking. Unseasoned Web Developers may also be unintentionally putting your computer at risk with sloppy code that’s easily hacked, even if the extension’s purpose was not originally malicious. It’s best practice to stay away from browser extensions from non-reputable Web Developers because they are the most vulnerable to being hacked.
Extensions Can Be Sold – Let’s say a developer creates an extension and maintains it for a while. If a third party is interested in buying the extension, the original developer can sell the extension and the third party may insert additional features without the users’ knowledge. This can cause privacy and security issues.
Extensions Be Bad In General – Browser extensions can be created by any Web Developer who wants to create an extension. Extensions can put your browsing privacy at risk, even causing you to be vulnerable to things as serious as identity theft if they are hidden with malicious code.
Are Browser Extensions Safe? – How to Minimize the Risks
- Go through your extensions and evaluate which ones you really need and which ones you don’t. Remove any that you don’t regularly need or use.
- Only use extensions from trusted companies.
- Evaluate whether or not the developer would risk selling their extension to a third party.
- Pay careful attention to the permissions the extensions require. If it requires more permissions than necessary, don’t use it.