How to identify dangerous extensions in Google Chrome


Extensions are indispensable tools for the proper functioning of Google Chrome in various situations. Not that the Google browser is not a good one. But it is indisputable that these complementary applications have decisively helped the software to become the most popular in the world within its category.

One reason for using Chrome over the past few years was precisely its ability to use extensions. These are programs that complement my work and my productivity in the browser. I can’t live without them today. And I only switched to Microsoft Edge in 2020 because, in addition to its better performance, it was 100% compatible with all the extensions I use on a daily basis.

However, in certain situations, the same extensions that improve my life in front of the computer can turn into malicious instruments, which can open the computer’s doors for computer viruses, malware, and ransomware. And what could be a way to make your life more practical and productive can turn into much more serious problems.

Due to the high risk that some extensions pose to the integrity of users’ data, Google decided to enable mechanisms that allow the user to know which are these tools that have a high risk of damaging your computer. And in this post, we’ll take a closer look at this aspect, showing you better how these security mechanisms work.

How Google helps identify a malicious extension

The first recommendation is to review the permissions that will be enabled by that extension that you plan to install on your device. Within Google Chrome, take the following steps:

1) Open the Chrome browser and tap the three buttons at the top right of the page (to access the main browser options menu).
2) Here, choose More Tools> Extensions.
3) A panel will appear with all the extensions that are installed on Google Chrome, or rather, all those that you have given permissions to access your information.
4) Review each one, but remember that Google will also do the same for you.
5) If Google detects that some of the installed extensions are dangerous, it will issue a warning in red, with the information that that extension is violating the Chrome Web Store policy.
6) If you are seeing this warning, the most logical thing is that you disable that extension, and delete it immediately. To do this, move the switch next to the extension, so that it is gray, which indicates that it has been disabled.

Review permissions

Malicious apps and extensions want to get data from users at all costs. Therefore, be aware of the permissions you have enabled, as they can obtain information about usernames, passwords, or other data that are naturally confidential. If you see these permissions enabled within an extension that you suspect may be malicious, perform the procedure for deleting that software.

With these simple execution tips, you can increase the security of your equipment and the data stored on it. It is always better to prevent the integrity of your personal data than to have to remedy the theft of your information.