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Chrome to block external web extensions

Google is boosting security for its Chrome web browser, starting in January you will no longer be able to install extensions from outside of the Chrome store meaning some useful tools will be lost, but it should also put an end to malicious software.

Google has deemed this necessary due to the amount of complaints received and problems caused by malicious software installations. Chrome Engineering Director, Erik Kay said:

“Extensions are a great way to enhance the browsing experience; whether users want to quickly post to social networks or to stay up to date with their favorite sports teams.

His statement continues: “However, bad actors have abused this mechanism, bypassing the prompt to silently install malicious extensions that override browser settings and alter the user experience in undesired ways, such as replacing the New Tab Page without approval. In fact, this is a leading cause of complaints from our Windows users.”


Sometimes these things happen, you accidentally install some malicious software or something intrusive that you didn't want but came bundled with a program and it ruins the Chrome experience. It isn't always an obvious or easy thing to fix either, especially when the average user is concerned. Not everyone is tech savvy and even those who are, can make the odd careless mistake.

While this move will reduce the amount of malicious software users can be affected by, it will also block some useful tools such as Media Hint which can be used instead of a VPN to access region restricted content. Software makers who have legitimate extensions for Chrome should get them on to the browser's store soon.

Kitguru Says: I'm all for security but this means Google has total control over what's allowed to be used on the web browser which means if one day it wanted to get rid of Adblock or any extension, it could. Media Hint was previously on the Chrome store but was removed for allowing users to access content from around the world so that one might be done for good. Are there any unofficial extensions you guys are currently using and wouldn't want to lose?

Source: The Inquirer

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