So, what is an extension? An extension is a piece of software that adds new functions to a browser. These features customize how you interact with your browser and can provide valuable built-in tools. Almost all browsers have extension libraries that provide thousands of options so you can find the right ones for you. Keep in mind that certain extensions only work for certain browsers.
How Are They Useful
So why are extensions useful? For starters, many extensions provide quick access to built-in programs and web pages. Password vaults have corresponding extensions that allow you to autofill your log-in information across websites safely. Other extensions provide useful design changes to your browser like dark mode, which can be used for easy reading. The variety of useful extension-based tools is endless!
The Dark Side
On the flip side, some extensions are malicious. Third-party actors have designed extensions meant to execute malicious actions of a colorful variety. One such example is an adware extension designed to spam ads to your desktop by using the browser's pop-up permission.
How to Avoid Malicious Extensions
Firstly, you should take caution against websites that you browse daily and never give permission to websites you’ve never been to before. We should always be aware of what we’re installing on our computers anyway so why let extensions be the exception, right? It is possible for an extension or two to sneak in, much like when you’re trying to download a recipe, and instead of clicking the right button, you click an ad that installs “antivirus” software onto your device.
One of the most popular browser extensions is Grammarly. Grammarly is a great tool that will correct your grammar and punctuation as your type. This is helpful for lengthy emails, blog posts, eBooks, etc.
Another great extension is Google Translate for Google Chrome, but other browsers have their own version as well. Google Translate is useful while traveling or trying to read an article written in a different language. Google Translate detects what language the webpage currently is in and allows you to change it to whatever language you prefer.
A password manager, like LastPass, has an extension that assists in creating and storing secure passwords. This helps eliminate the guessing game of entering your password into each account a million times and also helps with security because you're able to use tougher passwords.
How to Enable and Disable
Enabling or disabling extensions is pretty straightforward. For Google Chrome, you’ll navigate to your kebab menu on the upper right, go to More Tools, then select Extensions. Here you will see which extensions are installed and you can toggle the switch to enable or disable them. If you need to search for an extension to add, click the hamburger menu on the upper left, and at the bottom of the menu that pops out, you will see Open Chrome Web Store.
With Firefox, the hamburger menu is on the upper right side where you can select Add-ons and Themes. Once you select Extensions on the left, you’ll be able to see what extensions are installed. You can also search from here to find specific extensions.
Microsoft Edge uses a meatball menu (or ellipsis icon) where you can find your Extensions. Here you have a small menu that will show the extensions already installed. You can navigate to Manage Extensions to manage what’s installed or select Open Microsoft Edge add-ons to search for the one you need.
Browser Extensions Are a Great Tool
Browser extensions can save you time and energy, and even increase your productivity at work. You can watch our Youtube video here for more info. If you and your business needs further support, shoot us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 512-600-1127. You can also drop by our website at www.systemverse.com.