GOOGLE makes it easier to avoid dodgy Chrome extensions.
Two icons added to the Chrome Web Store on Wednesday help users identify add-ons they can trust.
Extensions can be installed in Chrome in order to modify the functioning of the browser.
For example, they can store your passwords for you or translate foreign web pages into a language you can read.
But although they are very useful, cybercriminals can use extensions to wreak havoc on your PC.
Hackers, for example, have been known to use fake extensions to install malware on devices capable of stealing IDs or banking details.
In a blog post on WednesdayGoogle has announced two new badges for the Chrome Web Store, its marketplace for in-browser extensions.
They will appear under the title of add-ons listed in the store to help determine if they are trustworthy.
First, the featured badge, which looks like a ribbon, is affixed to extensions that follow Google’s best practices.
According to the search giant, this means that they “provide a pleasant and intuitive experience” and “respect the privacy of end users”.
To earn the badge, an extension must also have a clear and useful product page for users, with quality images and a detailed description.
The second icon is the Established Editor Badge, which takes the form of a check mark housed inside a multi-pointed star.
To obtain it, the publishers of an extension must be verified and have a “positive track record” with Google services.
Google says badges “do [easier] for users to find great extensions while acknowledging the publishers who create them. »
Dubious extensions disguised as legitimate extensions are prohibited by Google.
The company monitors and attempts to keep the Chrome Web Store free of them, but they sometimes slip through the net.
In 2020, malicious Chrome extensions downloaded by over 80 million people were discovered by cybersecurity enthusiasts.
Questionable tools available through the Chrome Web Store allowed hackers to take control of your phone or spam you with ads that reduced your gadget’s battery life.
Over 300 harmful extensions have been discovered by AdGuard, which builds a range of ad blocking and privacy protection software.
The downloads were disguised as ad-blocking tools, games, themes and wallpapers. They have now been removed from the Chrome Web Store.
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