29 Aug 2019

Browser Extensions and their dangers

A browser extension is a small software module for customizing a web browsers with additional features, modify web pages and integrate your browser with other services you use.

You should be particularly careful with browser extensions, they are like any other software and they will be running in your browser. A bad extension may use its access to snoop on your browsing, possibly capturing your debit/credit card information, usernames, passwords, gender, personal interests, GPS location etc.

Vulnerable browser extensions can be exploited by malicious websites through the extension  APIs (application program interface) to execute code inside the browser and steal sensitive information such as bookmarks, browsing history and even cookies.

This is why you need to be careful when installing browser extensions. An extension that looks harmless could be hiding malicious code or stealing your data.

How to manage browser extension

Make sure to research the reliability of a browser extension before installing it. Even a quick Google search should help.

Most people don't read the terms and conditions of an extension. These can highlight whether the extension has access to your information. If a browser extension claims it needs access to view or change your Web history, it's probably best to avoid it unless there's a good reason.

Make sure if adding a browser extension that its from a developer you consider reputable, well known or well reviewed with lots of users.

Install extensions from the browser store. Some browsers will show the permissions required by a browser extension

More tips for assessing the safety of an extension from mozilla