Written byShubham Sharma
Often, we hear complaints about Chrome extensions that promise some fancy capability but perform malicious tasks instead.
The complaints have been consistent with no direct way to identify when an add-on is clean and when it's not.
But now, a new report seems to suggest that the browser will soon have an option to detect and kill bad extensions.
Here's how it would work.
A recent code change from the Chromium team has introduced a new 'activity log stream' feature.
This option, when enabled from a flag, lets you assess the activity of every single extension you have installed on your browser.
It shows two separate tabs, one showing the historical activity and the other displaying the real-time work of the extension in question.
With this feature, you can keep a tab on the behavior of every single extension on your browser.
Obviously, analyzing the log list may require a bit of technical knowledge.
But, once you get a hang of it, it would be easy to identify a rogue extension that may be mining data from your browser or doing something other than promised.
Once available, the handy activity log would be accessed with a few basic steps.
First, you'd have to enable a flag dubbed 'enable-extension-activity-logging command' on your browser.
After this, you'd have to visit the 'chrome://extensions' page where all extensions are listed and click on the 'Details' button for the extension you want to analyze.
Here, you'll find the 'View Activity Log' option.
While the History tab lists past activity of the extension (with new ones being added at end), the real-time tab will show what it is doing at present. This tab will also have an option to record activity, in case you find something suspicious.
As of now, the feature can be accessed in Chrome Canary by enabling the flag mentioned above.
However, do note that there's no word on when the capability might move into a stable release of Chrome.
Either way, the decision to include a way to see extension activity is a smart move from Google, especially considering the risk they could pose.
The latest feature adds one more capability into the list of features that Chrome is getting. To recall, the browser is already on track to receive a dedicated dark mode with an option to recolor web pages and an option to flag 'lookalike' URLs.
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