Chrome browser security has been a rollercoaster in 2021. After a few major security incidents, including a malicious browser extension with over 2 million users, we think it’s important keep track of what Chrome does with your information.
One oft-forgotten piece of Chrome security is periodically cleaning up your Chrome extensions.
For those who don’t know, Chrome extensions are add-on programs that can be installed into your personal Chrome browser, to change what Chrome can do—whether it’s modifying an existing function, or adding a new feature entirely. This includes tools like adblockers and password managers.
Like a mobile app, Chrome extensions come with permissions—they need to be able to access some of your data in order to function—but when those permissions change, or the extension is sold to new management, that means you might be sharing unwanted or unsafe access to your data.
For this reason, it’s smart to keep an eye on the extensions you have installed, and periodically remove the ones you aren’t relying on anymore. Here’s how you can do it yourself:
How to clean up your Chrome extensions
- Open Chrome browser on your laptop or desktop computer
- At the top right, click the menu icon (three dots), hover over “More Tools”, and click “Extensions”.
This will open a tab containing all of the active and inactive extensions installed in your Chrome profile. This includes a short description of each extension, so you can identify any which might no longer be useful to you.
From this view, you can make changes like:
- Turn extensions on or off.
- Remove extensions (uninstall them).
- View more details.
Clicking “Details” to get a deeper view of what that extension is capable of, and modify the way it’s allowed to access your information.
There isn’t a “perfect” way to configure every extension, but it’s worth knowing that good extensions can sometimes go bad. A good rule of thumb is:
If you aren’t using it, either turn it off or remove it entirely.
Repeat that process for all your extensions once every six months, and you’re off to a good start.
Need a little more protection for your team? Try a DNS web filter
COVID has ramped up malware and phishing scams, and a DNS Filter can act as a strong line of defense for your company network. DNS filtering can block suspicious internet requests before they reach your company devices, to preemptively stop phishing sites and other threats from loading.
If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, Our favorite tool for this is called DNSFilter. As always, we’d love to help you find a solution and roll it out for your team. Get in touch below.