Browser and Web Safety-A Timely Tool

Posted on March 10, 2014, under Time and Technology.

Browser and Web SafetyBrowser and web safety are important considerations if you are an internet-based business – or really if you are any user of the internet.

You can lose untold amounts of time when malware, spyware, adware, or other malicious agents like viruses and trojans, invade your computer – often via your browser or your e-mail system.

Now, these terms all have specific meanings and in some cases, they aren’t all necessarily negative.  Adware is a good example of this.

Some people may see it as a useful tool which analyzes people’s on-line behavior and then offers advertisements that will be relevant to them.  However, adware can be insidious and many see it as a threat. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the more negative aspects of adware:

While some sources rate adware only as an “irritant”, others classify it as an “online threat” or even rate it as seriously as computer viruses and trojans. The precise definition of the term in this context also varies. Adware that observes the computer user’s activities without their consent and reports it to the software’s author is called spyware.

Enter Extension Defender. This is a very simple, browser-specific add-on that scans your computer for potentially unwanted extensions (adware, spyware or malware).

Here’s how they describe their mission:

With all the recent news about Adware vendors purchasing Chrome extensions, and the increasing popularity of adware and malware extensions, users are left with no solutions in place to stay protected.

That’s why we’ve designed a service to catalog and database extensions doing malicious things. In addition we’ve created an extension that can help you scan your computer for these potentially unwanted extensions.

Once running Extension Defender also checks any new extensions you’re about to download before you install them.  It will warn you immediately if there are problems.  At that point you’ll see a “Remove” button to uninstall the add-on right away.  Then you can use the “Re-scan” option to check again and make sure that you are in the clear.

Extension Defender is currently available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and if you are not comfortable with installing this software and having it scan your extensions, you can visit their website and check their list of currently-identified dangerous extensions.  This list is browser-specific, so it will depend on which version of Extension Defender you are looking at.  Check the sidebar and choose either the Chrome or the Firefox database.

Extension Defender offers a Blog that you can check for updates, as well as an area for user input and suggestions.  If you are concerned about adware and want to monitor your browser extensions and add-ons, this looks like it could be a very helpful tool.

To your time success …

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have no material connection with the brands, topics, or products that are mentioned here, and have not received any compensation for writing this content.

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