Google Chrome made news recently for something completely new: Extension written by other companies were tracking user information. This was a big deal for Google, as the Chrome browser has been, for several years, the absolute safest browser. Internet Explorer is literally riddled with more holes than a '20's Chicago storefront, and Firefox, an open source browser that was the answer to computer users' security prayers 7 years ago, has simply become more bogged down with extensions, and gradually declined to the point of being almost unusable, becoming the target of many a message board gripe.
However, Chrome has prided itself on it's sheer speed and security for years. And being at the top, makes you a target. Over the last couple weeks, many companies have written extensions to spy on and track users of the Chrome browser. This of course made huge headlines, not strictly because it happened, but because Chrome has such an impeccable reputation for quality, speed and safety. It was news because this just DOESN'T HAPPEN ON CHROME.
And once the news hit, the web exploded with articles about companies selling extensions injected with adware.
The good news is, the tech community is full of incredibly talented folks, and the guys over at How-To Geek have released a list of the extensions to REMOVE IMMEDIATELY and avoid if you haven't grabbed them. Their list follows:
List of Tracking Extensions
- Hover Zoom (Million users)
- Power Zoom
- Eat my cookies
- Orbvious interest
- Autocopy original
- Fabulous (500,000 users)
- All extensions by wips.com (tracking is in the code, not always enabled)
- Youtube Ratings Preview (Author removed the tracking... but don't trust that)
List of Adware Extensions
- Iminent (million users)
- Bookmark Sentry
- Allow Right Click
- Clickable links
- Reload all tabs
- ruul screen ruler
- Clickonce for chrome
- Mail checker plus for google mail
- Send using Gmail™ (no button)
- Troll emoticons
- Sexy undo Close Tab
- 40-50 small extensions by brandthunder.com
- yet another google bookmarks
- HoverZoom (million users)
- Neat Bookmarks
- Smooth Scroll
- Translate Selection
- Webpage Screenshot Capture
- Window Resizer
- GetThemAll Downloader
- Facebook Secret Emoticons
- Add to Feedly (Removed already)
- Tweet This Page (Removed already)
It's worth noting that a lot of these extensions will end up temporarily removing their ads as a result of all the press coverage. They should not be trusted going forward though."
For a complete breakdown of their findings and the extensive detail they went to, see their article HERE.