BNMC Blog

Do Browser Apps Put You at Risk?

Do Browser Apps Put You at Risk?

For the average PC user, the Internet browser is probably the most utilized piece of software other than your OS. Depending on which browser you use, you may decide to download additional software to give you features that you typically don’t have or give you functionality that is all new. Before you use these software add-ons, you should know that there have been several examples of this software working against users. Let’s take a look at how browser extensions work and how you can get better functionality without putting your data at risk. 

What Are Browser Extensions?

Essentially, browser extensions are pieces of software that bring external integrations to the functionality of the browser itself. In Chrome and Microsoft Edge, they are called extensions, while in Firefox they are called add-ons. There are all types of options to choose from. There are apps to help with browser security, productivity, communications, and much more. 

A problem that many users--business and otherwise--have with these browser extensions is that sometimes they can be vulnerable to infiltration (or they just flat-out spy on you). This presents a situation where, sure you are getting some enhanced productivity, but if the price is that you need to put your data at risk, that boost in productivity won’t help. 

Obviously, some browser extensions/add-ons are secure and have major utility for end-users. Ad blockers, screenshot tools, password managers, and instant messaging tools are often deployed through extensions by users to improve the functionality and security of their browsing experience. 

Examples of Risks

People have been using these browser extensions for some time. Just this last year, millions of users of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Chromium-based browsers such as Opera were victims of rogue extensions/add-ons. These extensions collected people’s data through capturing titles and URLs of the websites they clicked on. This unauthorized data collection included sensitive data such as medical records and credit card information. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, the collected web histories of these users were published by a paid service called Nacho Analytics. 

Google Is Stepping Up

Soon after the news broke, Google went ahead and set a policy that is aimed at improving the security of the extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. They launched a full-scale audit of the system, which they called Project Strobe. The findings of this audit led them to change the policy of third-party extensions. Now extensions will only be able to request access to the minimum amount of user data necessary to function.

The company also announced they will extend the requirements around its privacy policies. The new changes will be implemented throughout the end of 2019 and into 2020. There are currently 180,000 extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. Essentially, the shift is going to make it more difficult for these third-party extensions to grab user information. 

Data security has to be a major point of emphasis for any business or organization that relies on information systems to function effectively. Call the IT experts at BNMC today at 978-482-2020 to learn more.

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, January 19 2020

Captcha Image

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Business Computing Cloud Privacy User Tips Productivity Email Microsoft Network Security Hackers Computer Software Hosted Solutions Malware Google Data Business Communication Tech Term IT Services Efficiency Hardware Small Business Mobile Devices Internet IT Support Workplace Tips Ransomware Innovation Cloud Computing Managed IT Services Backup Upgrade Data Recovery Smartphone Outsourced IT Saving Money Android Users Mobile Device Information Windows Smartphones Facebook Data Backup Cybersecurity Social Media Miscellaneous Business Continuity Business Management Office 365 Windows 10 Managed IT Services Browser Server Microsoft Office Phishing Data Management Windows 10 communications Internet of Things Vulnerability Remote Monitoring App Passwords Gmail Productivity Network Gadgets Word Apps Managed Service Disaster Recovery Infrastructure Encryption Artificial Intelligence VoIP Chrome Employer-Employee Relationship VPN Save Money Website Analytics Quick Tips Virtual Reality Tip of the week Settings IT Support BYOD Managed Service Provider Money Applications Router Networking YouTube Google Drive Company Culture Bandwidth Access Control Risk Management Robot Content Filtering Paperless Office IT Management Data Security Employee-Employer Relationship Office Tips Automation Apple Virtual Private Network Education Storage Unified Threat Management Development Big Data Government Hacker Data storage Computers Collaboration Maintenance Avoiding Downtime Antivirus Display Business Intelligence Social Solid State Drive LiFi Wireless Humor Hosted Solution Information Technology Search Monitors Administration Vendor Management Mouse Hard Disk Drive Chromebook Business Technology MSP Server Management Augmented Reality Managing Stress Touchscreen End of Support Laptop Remote Workers OneNote The Internet of Things Data Breach Printing Data loss Tablet Telephone Systems Windows 7 Password desktop IT SaaS Social Network Downtime HIPAA Virtualization Firewall BDR Holiday Two-factor Authentication Managed IT Service Mobile Security Retail Alert Outlook Customer Relationship Management Scam Spam Computing Document Management Bring Your Own Device Operating System WiFi Break Fix Compliance Halloween iOS Hybrid Cloud Time Management Printer Hotspot Payment Card Internet Exlporer Troubleshooting Business Analysis Customer Service Budget Security Cameras Profiles Office Typing Samsung Logistics Connectivity Spying National Security Private Cloud Identity Theft Black Friday IT Technicians Optimization Human Error Memory Best Practice Emergency Modem FinTech Analysis Students Current Events Tech Support Training Corporate Profile Servers Google Calendar Staff Leominster Dark Web Regulations Scary Stories Scalability Conferencing G Suite Network Management Language Value Virus Automobile Recycling Running Cable Managed Services Utility Computing Social Engineering Cryptocurrency Dell Asset Management IoT Updates Cyber Monday Mirgation Device Reducing Cost Google Docs Cabling Cookies Buisness Mixed Reality IT solutions Going Green Websites WannaCry Legislation K-12 Schools Google Maps Microsoft Excel Social Networking Sports Migration Consulting Hacks SharePoint Computing Infrastructure Professional Services LED Virtual Desktop Threats Chatbots eWaste Laptops Safety Bitcoin Techology Memes Star Wars PowerPoint Google Wallet Managed IT Smart Technology Mobility Batteries Business Growth Remote Computing How To Lenovo Nanotechnology Statistics Wearable Technology Network upgrade Network Congestion Legal Mail Merge Blockchain Motherboard Cables Downloads Alerts USB Co-Managed IT Distributed Denial of Service Identity Continuity Software as a Service Managed Services Provider Windows 8 VoIP Unified Threat Management Fraud Cost Management Onboarding GDPR Unified Communications Drones Digital Payment Shortcut Cybercrime Print Toner Myths Writing Disaster Firefox Superfish Screen Reader Charging Slack Hard Disk Drives Wi-Fi Digital Bluetooth Comparison Smart Office Deep Learning Address Permissions Wires Marketing Messaging Mobile Device Management Licensing Dongle Content Huawei Patch Management Solar Entertainment Vendor User Error Holidays Assessment Digital Signage Data Warehouse Dark Data Update Shortcuts Mobile Management Alt Codes Uninterrupted Power Supply Distribution Smart Tech Monitoring Solid State Drives Spyware Specifications Work Processor File Sharing Voice over Internet Protocol Employee-Employer Relationships Politics Computer Care IBM Heating/Cooling Multi-Factor Security Cooperation Service Level Agreement Streaming How To Work/Life Balance Recovery Error Point of Sale Ben McDonald shares Health Black Market Travel Law Enforcement Inventory Printers Notifications Electronic Medical Records Supercomputer CrashOverride Twitter Motion Sickness Physical Security Staffing Emoji Administrator Upgrades Gadget Taxes Shadow IT Crowdsourcing Web Server what was your? IT Budget Personal Information Botnet GPS Cortana 3D Printing IT Consultant Financial Cameras Processors Meetings Machine Learning Tracking Unsupported Software Cleaning CCTV Webcam Regulation Computer Repair Relocation Mobile Data Mobile Computing

What Our Clients Say

  • BNMC has provided us with nothing less than outstanding service and results for all of our IT needs for the past few years. Every member of their staff is professional, knowledgeable, friendly and eager to solve any problem...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3