How to avoid being spied on with Chrome extensions

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How to avoid being spied on with Chrome extensions

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How many times do you use Google a day? According to Statcounter, 64% of people with Internet access use their browser to search for data, this translates to 2 billion users. However, according to a study by Awake Security, users download 33 million malicious software (malware) in just 3 months.

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Malware can spy on online activity and access passwords or personal data, among others. Some come from Google Chrome’s own extensions which, although most are harmless, others are used for spying. Google explains that it is working to prevent this from happening and that it usually removes these extensions as soon as it detects them, but many users can still fall into one.

Before installing an extension in Chrome, users must be very careful to ensure that they are not going to fall into a trap. So that you don’t fall for them, here are some tips that you can follow:

Check the ratings and reviews

If an extension has few ratings, it is a good idea not to install it because there is not enough external data, but if all your opinions are negative, we should not even think about the possibility of having it.

It is also a problem that all the comments have 5 stars or that several reviews are written by the same person. On the other hand, If the developer responds to the reviews it is a positive.

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Who is the creator of the extension

Before installing any extension it is very important to check if the person who created it is an official website. Malware is usually from extensions from unofficial sources.

Something to keep in mind would be that the extensions have a way to contact the developer directly and that it is official.

The date of the last update

An old extension can pose more security problems. Therefore, before trying any Google Chrome extension we should check the date of its last update.

Search in browser

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If the information provided through the extension is not sufficient, we can use the Google search engine. There, there will be external links to more detailed app ratings or direct access to negative or positive messages on social media about the service.

Privacy policy

We must not fall into the error of accepting the privacy policy without reading it, since that is where the extension warns you of everything the extension can do in the browser.

If you don’t want to read the whole document, Just search for specific words like ‘data’, ‘collect’, ‘track’ or ‘personal’. By looking for those words, we will already know if we are giving our data or allowing them to spy on us through the extension.

The permits

As with the privacy policy, nobody reads the permissions that come after the app is installed. That is a mistake, since from there We can find out if the extension asks to send personal data to third parties or strange permissions. If so, the best thing to do would be to immediately uninstall the extension and keep looking for an alternative that is really safe.

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