Chrome’s New Update Warns You if You’ve Installed Malicious Extensions

Chrome’s New Update Warns You if You’ve Installed Malicious Extensions

The Google Chrome browser is absolutely phenomenal – it’s fast, versatile, and works exceptionally well with the rest of the Google ecosystem. And now, with update 117, the Chrome browser will be getting a new neat feature – malicious extension warnings.

Brought to our attention by the folks at ZDNet, version 117 of Google Chrome will now warn a user when they have installed a malicious extension, with a captioned warning on the ‘Privacy and Security’ page.

Users can visit the Privacy and Security page by clicking the verticle dots in the top right corner, then Settings, then Privacy and Security. Browsing data settings and cookies can also be managed on this screen.

An example of an extension being flagged as malicious in Chrome. Image: Google

What a malicious extension is and does when installed into a browser can vary greatly. For example, it could simply be eating into your system resources more demandingly than an extension should, or it could be taking direct control of your browser, launching malicious websites and basically hijacking the program.

For the malware warning to appear, however, the extension will need to be flagged as malicious on the Chrome store.

“We have designed this change to keep the ecosystem safe for users while limiting the chances that this will impact genuine extensions. If an issue is resolved, the notification is automatically cleared. The notification will not be displayed for an extension when the developer has been notified of a possible violation and has been given time to address the issue or appeal,” developer relations engineer for Chrome extensions Oliver Dunk said.

If you’d like to try this out as an experimental feature, you can visit the Experiments screen (by typing chrome://flags/#safety-check-extensions into the URL bar and hitting enter) and then set the highlighted option to ‘Enabled’ (thank you Bleeping Computer for those instructions). It may already be enabled on your browser, as it was for me – I was warned about an unsupported extension that I have now uninstalled, thank you Google. There’s no timeline on when this feature will be officially released.

This is a pretty terrific feature that only makes Chrome a stronger browser – but if you’re looking to try out some alternatives, here are some to consider.

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