Stop using the Chrome Web Store to find extensions

It sounds upside down, but hear me out. If you’re looking for a new browser extension to try, or you’d like to download one recommended for you, stop using the Chrome Web Store for it this.

While I am confident that you, a tech-savvy Lifehacker reader, will not be sucked up by the scam extension on the Chrome Web Store, Adguard Recently reported that 300 or so rogue expansions were responsible for almost sucking 80 million Chrome user (minus any bots).

While a number Of these The extensions were your typical “crappy-dirty-sounding extensions that anyone should avoid brainwashing,” too many that were close to enough-sound detail to cause issues. for example:

  • Ad Block for YouTube
  • Adblocker for YouTube
  • A blocker
  • UBlocker
  • AdBlock – Stop Ads on Every Site
  • Adblocker x
  • AdBurner
  • Adbear
  • StopAds
  • Adkill

These were all bogus lists, which had since been removed from the Chrome Web Store, but only because AdGuard was able to attract Google’s attention. Up to that point, by the time they launched, these extension scams have bothered millions of total users. And none of the extensions in that list were valid for the record – the extension you were Want to is “Adblock for youtube, By AdRemover, but how is a regular person expected to know this?

It seems that we write such a story with alarming frequency. To me, this indicates that Chrome has a reasonably sized problem on its hands within the Chrome Web Store. It feels like the Wild West, where anyone can upload any extension that is either a malware-laden clone of someone else, or simply Even a little Google is a little different due to its not being suspicious.

Apparently, however, when “adblocker,” “ad-block,” and “adblock” all have the same details and icons, there is something clearly UP But if you’re not very tech-savvy, then how should you separate malware from extensions?

AdGuard does a great job summarizing the commonly offered guidance:

  • “If you’re going to install a browser extension, think again. Maybe you really don’t need it?
  • Install extensions only from developers you trust.
  • Do not believe what you have read in the description of the extension.
  • Reading users’ reviews will also not help. Most malicious extensions have excellent reviews and yet they are malicious. “

And I am pleased to see that his last point that I have been thinking about echoes recently:

  • Do not use Chrome Web Store internal search, follow links directly to trusted developers websites.

It seems a bit strange to say that the Google entity, of all things, is not trustworthy when it comes to searching (and instead of using it, you should just use … Google). I would not routinely recommend people to use the Chrome Web Store which they did not already know; Nevertheless, the chances of getting caught with malware are still great.

I mean shoot, I can do a simple search for “block ads” like any normal person, and all these results seem kinda sketch:

Stop using the Chrome Web Store to find extensions Illustration for article title Illustration for title article

Screenshot: David murphy

Do not install from the Chrome Web Store unless you are absolutely sure that what you are installing is a valid extension. To make sure you are not tempted or fooled by another crappy extension, find the original developer of an extension – a website, a GitHub, a Twitter account, whatever – or the review site you trust. , And use the link They Provide to get your extensions from Google. You will be more safe for this.