Google cracks down on malware with a new extensions policy

google has updated its chrome extensions policy to combat malware chome web store
Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock
It’s official: Google intends to boost its efforts to fight off malware, and it will do so through its Web browser, Chrome.

The search engine giant announced on May 13 that it will now require Windows-based extensions to be installed from its Web store, according to a post on the official Chrome blog. And Mac product users will not be immune to Google’s changes, either. The company noted that it will force Mac operators to only download from its Web store in the coming months.

“The extension platform unlocks powerful features that can help users get the most out of Chrome,” wrote Jake Leichtling, Extensions platform product manager at Google, in the blog post. “However, it is crucial that our users stay safe from the reaches of malicious software developers.”

Google’s goal isn’t to annoy its browser users, but rather prevent them from unknowingly downloading malicious files. On the bright side, the company noted that it will continue to allow inline installations, according to Ars Technica. Inline installations involve third-party sites that link to an extension hosted by Google.

In his post, Leichtling mentioned a policy that was rolled out in 2014, which prevented Windows users from downloading Chrome extensions outside of the Chrome Web Store. As a result of that change, the company saw a 75 percent drop in user support requests relating to extensions. Following these positive results, Google made its official decision to apply the policy to all Windows and iOS users.

“Extending this protection is one more step to ensure that users of Chrome can enjoy all the web has to offer without the need to worry as they browse,” Leichtling continued.

In April 2015, Google announced the release of Chrome 42 into the stable channel. Notably, the new version had 45 security fixes, many of which were resolved with assistance from external researchers. This edition also revealed a move away from traditional plugins, such as Java and Silverlight.

Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

Microsoft asks Edge Insiders for help with its new browser development

If you want to be among the first to try Microsoft's new Edge browser that's built on Google's open-source Chromium rendering engine, you can sign up to be an Edge Insider. Microsoft is asking users to provide feedback.
Computing

Google denies claim that it’s tracking internet users when incognito mode is on

Google is denying claims leveled against it by rival privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo. The rival alleged that even when incognito mode is on, Google is tracking users in order to deliver personalized search results.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Computing

Leak reveals that Nvidia’s RTX 2060 gaming chipsets will be headed to laptops

The latest leaks of Nvidia's upcoming RTX 2060 have given performance benchmarks and further detail about the future chipset and its capabilities, while a RTX 2060 Max-Q variant has also been discovered for thin and light gaming machines.
Computing

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Computing

The Titan RTX graphics card is nearly here. Here's what you need to know

The Nvidia Titan RTX is arguably the most powerful consumer graphics card ever made, even if it's not really aimed at consumers. It bridges the 2080 Ti and RTX Quadro cards with boat loads of power.
Computing

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.