Most modern browsers support extensions. Browser extensions add additional features to your browser, which significantly enhances your online browsing experience. However, by adding extensions on your browser, you’ll have to let go of the smoothness of a stock browser.
The fewer extensions you have installed, the speedier your online browsing experience. When you install programs like antivirus software, they often install their own browser extensions without your permission. These unnecessary extensions slow down your browser, so it’s useful for uninstalling those as well.
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Each web browser has its own extensions. Removing an extension, add-on, or plug-in from one browser–like Chrome–won’t remove any similar extensions from your other installed browsers–like Firefox or Internet Explorer.
How to Uninstall Extensions in Google Chrome
- Open Chrome, click the Menu icon at the top-right.
- Head over to More Tools and click Extensions.
- You will see a list of all extensions that you have installed on your Chrome browse. To remove an extension, head over to the right-hand side of the extension and click the Trash Can icon.
- Before the final process, you will be asked to confirm the extension’s removal. Click Remove to uninstall the extension.
Do Chrome Extensions Pose a Threat?
Chrome extensions are used by millions of users for their added functionality and convenience. Most extensions on the Chrome browser are safe to have. For instance, you can have apps like Grammarly for performing spell checks or a password manager extension to store your passwords.
Although Google is straightforward and has a rigorous quality assurance process where they vet each extension, some apps are disguised to appear as a safe extension while they have malicious codes within.
A hacker can covertly inject malicious code in the extension and have you believe that the app is free of malware. Plus, the developer of the extension may sell the extension and the third-party who may inject tracking scripts, popups ads, and other nasty bits of codes in the extension.
The best way to keep yourself secure on the web and stay safe from potentially rogue extensions is to remain cautious at all times. This means:
- Make a habit of reading the permissions requested by the app
- Always question yourself, do you really need to have this extension installed on your browser?
- Do a bit of research. For example, see how many people are using the extension. Is the extension developed by a well-reputed developer and what are the users saying about this extension?
- Observe how laggy your Chrome browser is getting. For instance, keep a close look at the performance of your device by heading over to the Task Manager. If you notice getting weird advertisements, slow performance, or unnecessary tabs opening, it’s probably a sign that an extension is faulty.
Protect your Online Privacy
You shouldn’t compromise your online privacy and security over the convenience of an extension. While an extension might add comfort to your life, it can affect it in ways you have never imagined before.
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If you’re about to install an extension, make sure that it has good reviews and a fantastic rating given by the community. Only install an extension if you fully trust it; otherwise, stay clear!