Browser extensions help with translations, conversions, spellchecking, shopping and blocking popup ads. They allow you to customize your browsing experience and can even change the way websites look (think dark mode).
Not all extensions are safe, however. First, you’re giving them access to a lot of information, such as your contact details. While some extensions simply store this data for convenience, others may use it to track you or even launch cyberattacks. Tap or click here to see why Mozilla blocked these dangerous extensions.
With billions of users worldwide, Google Chrome has an extension for just about anything you can imagine. There are bound to be some spammy or downright dangerous ones out there. Here are five extensions you should get rid of ASAP.
These cookies are bad
McAfee uncovered five Chrome extensions that do more than advertised. The extensions offer the ability to watch Netflix with others, get coupon codes and take website screenshots.
What you don’t know is that the extensions also track your browsing activity. Code is inserted into every e-commerce website you visit, modifying the site’s cookies. Then the extension creator receives affiliate payment whenever you make a purchase.
Here’s a list of the malicious extensions, along with their IDs:
- Netflix Party — mmnbenehknklpbendgmgngeaignppnbe.
- Netflix Party 2 — flijfnhifgdcbhglkneplegafminjnhn.
- FlipShope – Price Tracker Extension — adikhbfjdbjkhelbdnffogkobkekkkej.
- Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshotting — pojgkmkfincpdkdgjepkmdekcahmckjp.
- AutoBuy Flash Sales — gbnahglfafmhaehbdmjedfhdmimjcbed.
These extensions were installed more than 1.4 million times. There is a simple way to find out if you have any of the extensions in question. Here’s how to find and remove them:
- Open Chrome and click the three vertical dots at the top right.
- Hover your cursor over More tools, then click Extensions.
- The next page will be a list of extensions you’ve downloaded. If you have more than the page shows, you can search for an extension by its name or extension ID in the search box at the top of the screen.
- Once you find an extension you want to delete, click Remove and Remove again.
RELATED: Sick of Google Chrome? 6 alternative browsers to try instead
Be careful when installing any extension
No matter how many people use an extension, it can still have malicious features. Here’s what to watch out for and what you can do to keep your devices and accounts secure:
- Pay attention when installing any extension — See what permission any extension requests. Chrome will show you this information and more before you install an extension.
- Update your devices — Keep your computer and mobile devices updated to the latest version. Operating system and application updates safeguard you against the latest threats, and it’s your first line of defense against malware.
- Update Chrome — Open your Chrome browser and tap the three vertical dots to the right of your profile icon. From the drop-down menu, hover over Help and select About Google Chrome. You’ll get an Update Google Chrome button if one is available.
- 2FA is your friend — Use two-factor authentication and password managers for better security. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
- There are ways you can make your web browser more secure. Tap or click here to beef up Chrome and keep the cybercriminals out.
- Don’t forget antivirus software – Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!
10 bad Windows default settings you should change today