One of two Google Chrome extensions has the potential to reveal your personal information

The true powers of the browser are unlocked when used together with services such as extensions. Image

Users should be extremely careful with browser extensions that require numerous permissions

Extensions are popular because some of them are really useful. Don’t like YouTube ads? Extensions can help you with this. Want to make it easier to deal with too many ads on your website? There are extensions for that. There are thousands of other use cases as well, and extensions have been developed to ensure that function is fulfilled. Data removal company Incogni reports that it has analyzed the risk profiles of 1,237 Chrome extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. The study reveals that 1 in 2 Chrome extensions (48.66%) have a high to very high risk impact, requesting permissions that could potentially expose Personally Identifiable Information (PII), distribute adware and malware, and log anything users do, including passwords and financial information they enter while online.


1 in 2 (48.66%) Chrome extensions have a high to very high risk impact

The impact of risk is defined, first of all, by the permissions that a given extension requires during installation.

1 in 4 (27%) Chrome extensions collect data.

Chrome extensions used for writing are the most data-hungry – 79.5% collect at least one data point, collect the most data types on average (2.5), are also the riskiest, request the most permissions, with one of the highest average impact scores at risk (3.7/5.0).

Almost half of the 1,237 Chrome extensions analyzed have a high impact risk score, a measure of the potential consequences if an extension is or becomes malicious.

While just over 1 in 4 (27%) of all reviewed Chrome plugins collect user data, nearly 4 in 5 (79.5%) writing assistance plugins do.

Writers, bloggers and language learners should pay special attention to how they extend their browsers. Writing extensions collect the highest number of data types (2.5 on average) and have the highest average risk impact scores (3.7/5.0).

Drilling down into the types of data writing plugins collect, 56.4% collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and 33.3% collect location data. That’s a lot of trust in a company that wants to monetize its interaction with you.

According to Alexandras Valenti, Information Security Officer at Surfshark:

“Users should be extremely careful with browser extensions that require the following permissions: read and change all of your data on all websites you visit, record sound, browsing data, read clipboard, record desktop, file system, geolocation, storage , and video recording. The general advice in such cases is to use common sense when granting permissions to browser extensions. For example, why would an ad blocker need access to audio recordings or access to your file system? If in doubt, just don’t use that particular plugin. There are many alternatives for each supplement.”

While installing extensions only from trusted developers with a history of ethical software development and high user ratings provides some level of protection, it’s not always a guarantee. Extensions, like any other proprietary software, may change hands without notice.

Source: Techweez

Source: PC Press by

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