How to stay safe from the dangers of free Browser Extensions

Web browsers have undoubtedly come a long way since the days of Internet Explorer. Alternatives such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox burst onto the scene and Microsoft’s long-standing browser all but began to fade away in terms of its popularity. It fell behind the times over the years, which ultimately led to its demise.

One of the biggest advantages to browsers such as Google Chrome is that you have the ability to install browser extensions. We’ll delve deeper into what these are later in the article. But, put simply, they are small add-ons which introduce additional features to your web browser.

Some of the most widely-used browser extensions include the likes of ad blockers, safe search plugins, and even VPNs. VPN browser extensions, in particular, have grown massively in recent years, especially due to the fact online privacy has become a hot topic.

There are a plethora of free VPN add-ons available across the web, and each of them is plain and simple to get up and running on your web browser. Just check out this ZenMate review to discover more about one of the most popular VPN browser extensions available right now.

Continue reading as we look into exactly what you can what browser extensions are and why you should be cautious about using them.

What are Browser Extensions?

Browser extensions are essentially a way of extending the functionality of what you would expect from a regular browser which has been freshly installed. Previously, extensions were unheard of, particularly in the days when Internet Explorer was the world’s most popular browser.

But now, web browsers have constantly evolved to adapt to changing times. Take the Chrome Web Store for example – there are a whole host of extensions and themes available via this particular online marketplace. Many of them just so happen to be free, so when it comes to customization options, the possibilities really are endless.

Be Cautious When Installing Free Browser Extensions

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to browser extensions, and it’s that they have the potential to wreak havoc on your system if you aren’t careful. You should be absolutely fine when it comes to browser extensions which are available on official web stores such as the one previously mentioned. This is because they have procedures in place to scan and review new extensions before they are made available to the public.

With that being said, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cautious when downloading extensions via online stores. There is every chance that you could fall into a trap and download a malicious add-on. This is why you should be especially careful before downloading any unofficial third-party browser extensions.

When you download a browser extension on Chrome, just be sure to take the necessary precautions. This is because they might just be collecting a huge amount of data without you even realizing it. In order to avoid this, you can take steps such as checking reviews, read up on the privacy policy to see what data they collect on you, and if something doesn’t seem quite right, it’s probably best that you steer clear of that particular extension.

Tips for Staying Safe Online

When it comes to browsing the web nowadays, it’s safe to say that you need to take the necessary precautions to prevent your personal information from getting into the hands of any potential hackers. So, in addition to taking care when downloading any browser extensions, there are some other things you can do to secure your online activity.

Internet security packages will alert you to any suspicious activity and ensure that any viruses and trojans remain well away from your system. But, if you’d like the ideal solution for safe and anonymous browsing, using a VPN is most definitely the way forward.

Conclusion

It should now be clear to you that you shouldn’t just download free browser extensions without regard for your online security. If you fail to take the necessary safety measures, you might just find yourself in a situation whereby your internet activity is being monitored or perhaps what you see will be modified.

Thankfully, web browsers such as Google Chrome have become wise at detecting potentially malicious browser extensions. But, this will only go so far, and you shouldn’t take it for granted. If you truly value your online security and privacy, the most effective way to protect yourself is to use a VPN.

There are both free and paid VPNs available on the market, and you’d be wise to get one set up on your devices so that you can enjoy safe and anonymous browsing online. A VPN and a solid internet security package go hand in hand. So, keep the malicious add-ons and would-be data thieves at bay by utilizing each of them on your system.

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