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Stop Using the Chrome Web Store to Find Extensions

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Illustration for article titled Stop Using the Chrome Web Store to Find Extensions
Photo: Mercigod (Shutterstock)

It sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. If you’re looking for a new browser extension to try, or you want to download one that has been recommended to you, stop using the Chrome Web Store to look for it.

While I have the utmost confidence that you, a tech-savvy Lifehacker reader, won’t get suckered by scam extensions on the Chrome Web Store, AdGuard recently reported that 300 or so rogue extensions were responsible for suckering nearly 80 million Chrome users (minus any bots).

While a number of these extensions were your typical “crappy-sounding extensions that anyone with a brain should avoid,” there were plenty that were close enough to a reasonably-sounding extension to cause issues. For example:

  • Ad-block for YouTube
  • Adblocker for YouTube
  • A-blocker
  • UBlocker
  • AdBlock — Stop Ad on every Site
  • Adblocker-X
  • AdBurner
  • AdBear
  • StopAds
  • Adkill

These were all bogus listings that have since been removed from the Chrome Web Store, but only because AdGuard was able to get Google’s attention. Until that point, these extension scams racked up millions of total users since whenever they launched. And none of the extensions in that list, for the record, were legitimate—the extension that you’d want is “Adblock for Youtube,” by AdRemover, but how is a regular person expected to know that?

It feels like we write this sort of story with an alarming frequency. To me, that indicates that Chrome has a reasonably sized problem on its hands within the Chrome Web Store. It feels a bit like the Wild West, where anyone can seemingly upload any extension that’s either a malware-laden clone of another one, or just the slightest bit different as to not make Google suspect there is something up.

Obviously, though, when “Adblocker,” “Ad-block,” and “Adblock” all have similar descriptions and icons, something is clearly up. But if you’re not very tech-savvy, again, how do you separate the malware from the must-have extensions?

AdGuard does a great job summarizing the guidance we’d typically offer:

  • “If you’re going to install a browser extension, think again. Maybe you don’t really need it?
  • Install extensions only from the developers you trust.
  • Don’t believe what you read in the extension’s description.
  • Reading the users’ reviews won’t help as well. Most of the malicious extensions have excellent reviews and yet they are malicious.”

And I’m pleased to see that their final point echoes what I’ve been thinking lately:

  • Don’t use the Chrome Web Store internal search, follow the links on the trusted developers’ websites directly.

It feels a little weird to say that a Google entity, of all things, isn’t that trustworthy when it comes to search (and instead of using it, you should just use…Google). I wouldn’t recommend regular people use the Chrome Web Store to find anything they didn’t already know about; even then, the chance of getting caught with malware is still too great.

I mean, shoot, I just ran a simple search for “block ads,” like any normal person might, and these results all seem a little sketchy:

Illustration for article titled Stop Using the Chrome Web Store to Find Extensions
Screenshot: David Murphy

Don’t install from the Chrome Web Store unless you are absolutely sure that what you’re installing is a legitimate extension. To make sure you’re not tempted or fooled by any other crappy extensions, find an extension’s original developer—a website, a GitHub, a Twitter account, whatever—or a reviews site that you trust, and use the links they provide to grab your extensions from Google. You’ll be that much safer for it.

Source : Gizmodo Read More

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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