How safe are browser extensions?

Matt Adkisson 15 Nov 2018

Which browser extensions can you trust? Secure Browser is here to help.

While it makes a great title, not ALL browser extensions are evil. In fact, most can be helpful. The problem is that each and every browser extension, no matter its intended function, has the capability to turn your digital world upside down. Given the amount of personal data users store and share on the web, web browsers have emerged as one of the largest and most vulnerable attack surfaces for cybercriminals. If a browser extension gets compromised or, even worse, is designed to be malicious from the start, your most sensitive data could fall into the wrong hands.

What is a browser extension?

Think of extensions as specialty apps being used by your browser. They can perform a myriad of functions, from searching the web for the best retail price of an item to watching your grammar and offering corrections when necessary. Similar to app stores, you can find a wide variety of extensions available for every mainstream browser. Google has the Chrome Web Store, Mozilla has Firefox Add-ons, Apple has the Safari Extension Gallery, and so on.

browser-extensions-2example of browser extensions

Browser extensions are double-edged swords because while they can be immensely useful at their desired functions, they are able to see everything that passes through the browser. They have the capability to track all of your movements and log every keystroke. As we’ve now seen with the recent leak of private Facebook messages, third-party browser extensions provide a common entry point because they can essentially see every keystroke a user types into the browser.

To stay protected against this type of compromise, user awareness is key. You should only install extensions from reputable developers who have earned your trust over time, and follow the less is more principle. Also, consider alternative web browsers like Avast Secure Browser that are designed with security and privacy in mind and will provide an extra layer of security before you unknowingly install malicious apps or add-ons.

Browse in safety

Without proper browser security, many of your accounts’ security measures can be rendered moot. Bad actors don’t need a key to unlock your account when they have control of the entire entryway. Avast researchers identified this threat two years ago and began focusing on a solution. Now that solution — Avast Secure Browser — is fully developed and ready to protect users from malicious URLs and spying eyes.

Avast Secure Browser is a Chromium-based browser with more security tools and features than your average browser, and that’s because it was developed by cybersecurity experts. You create, store, and access personal data all day long through your web browser, and in turn your web browser should be equipped with smart security that is robust enough to protect you and your info.

Download Avast Secure Browser for free and take control of your privacy, your security, and your time online once and for all.

--> -->