Google has taken further steps to protect its users against the threat of malware by blocking browser extensions from Google Chrome.
Extensions are a popular way of adding extras to their browser like games or utilities.
After announcing its plans to do this back in November, Google implemented its block on Tuesday. Now users of Google Chrome on Windows PCs will be unable to add on browser extensions apart from those purchased in the Chrome Web Store, and those that they already have will be automatically disabled. You will not have the option to re-enable or re-install the extensions unless they come from the Chrome web store.
You may still see the option to install extensions through the Evernote Clearly extension that can be downloaded through Evernote’s site. However, the extension is coming from Google as a feature called inline installs, which simply allows users to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store without leaving the site they’re currently looking at.
Google have spent years promoting an open internet, so why is it seemingly closing down the option of looking elsewhere for extensions? According to Google, their new policy is a virtual brick wall against damaging malware that is an increasing problem on Windows, and is not a negative impact on the freedom of the web.
In a blog post announcing the new policy implementation Erik Kay, Google’s engineering director, said: “Malware can change how browsers work by silently installing extensions on your machine that do things like inject ads or track your browsing activity.”