Google Chrome has introduced a new feature that will alert users if their browser extensions contain malware. This development comes as a response to the increasing number of malicious extensions that are often linked to disruptive ads, scams, and fraud.
These harmful extensions, frequently created by scammers or malicious actors, can potentially steal personal data or even take control of devices. They typically operate by injecting ads, redirecting to affiliate sites, and tracking search history, among other damaging actions. Despite Google’s efforts to label and remove these extensions from the Chrome Web Store, they often remain active in users’ browsers, posing a continuous threat.
To counter this, Google Chrome is testing a feature that will notify users when an extension is removed from the Chrome Web Store, which usually indicates the presence of malware. The notification system is part of Google’s new Safety Check feature, designed to protect users from such threats.
The Safety Check feature for extensions is set to officially launch with Chrome update 117. However, it is currently available for public testing in Chrome 116 as part of the browser’s experimental “Extensions Module in Safety Check” feature.
Users can activate this feature by navigating to Chrome’s Flags page and enabling the “Extensions Module in Safety Check” flag. After enabling this feature, users must restart their browser for the changes to take effect.
This proactive approach by Google Chrome aims to provide users with a safer browsing experience, alerting them to potential threats before any damage can occur. As malicious extensions increase, this new feature is a significant step towards safeguarding user data and maintaining device integrity.