Are you looking after your web browser?
Got an IT question? Ask us!
You might not realise it, but your web browser knows a lot about you. Most of the learning, work and recreation we do online happens in a web browser, giving it access to a lot of information. The most common web browsers are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Opera.
Because your web browser has access to everything you do online, how you maintain your web browser is a vital part of keeping you safe.
Recently, a security alert related to malicious or fake web browser extensions affected millions of people worldwide. It was a timely reminder that – even though they seem handy or fun – browser extensions have a lot of power.
Hang on, what’s a browser extension?
A browser extension is a small software application that adds a capacity or functionality to a web browser. They’re also called plug-ins and add-ons.
Most common extensions do everything from blocking ads and creating screenshots to translating text and managing your tabs. Many extensions are given special authorisations within the browser, making them attractive targets for attackers.
How can I protect myself?
There’s a few things you can do to minimise your risk:
- Where possible, avoid installing browser extensions and plugins.
- If you’ve installed an extension, plugin or app, and it doesn’t seem to do what it’s supposed to, run malware checks. Your device could be compromised.
- Regularly review installed plugins and uninstall those you don’t need. This will also make your browsing experience faster.
Settings and security models are different for each browser. If you’re not sure how to check which extensions are installed on your browser, visit the relevant website for your device:
Where can I get more information?
To stay informed, visit and bookmark the Deakin cybersecurity blog or contact the IT Help Desk.