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How to Stop Chrome Extensions from Reading and Changing Your Data on the Web

How to Stop Chrome Extensions from Reading and Changing Your Data on the Web

Browser extensions are convenient and useful, but they also almost invade your privacy.

Google Chrome is used by millions of people because of its friendly user experience and the wide variety of extensions created by third party developers for it.

Chrome extensions make web browsing easier. If you use Chrome for work, then there are plenty of extensions that can make your business workflow faster and more efficient. However, using Chrome extensions has its drawbacks. Like, most of the extensions require permission to access and modify your data while you are browsing the web.

By default, permission to ‘read and modify site data’ is granted to extensions for any website you visit in the browser. But fortunately, Chrome allows you to change it and restrict it to specific websites, or only allows extensions to access your data when you click the extension icon.

Why You Should Adjust Extension Permissions in Chrome

While some known extensions require this information to perform certain tasks on web pages. For example, an ad blocking extension needs to read the website code to check if the ad is set to view automatically so that it can block signals from the advertiser’s servers. There may be unsafe extensions that could collect your browsing information and sell it to third parties, causing serious privacy concerns.

In addition, using too many extensions consumes a large amount of system resources such as RAM, Processor and Network data which sometimes makes your PC unresponsive.

Luckily, changing extension permissions to ‘read and change site data’ is fairly easy in Chrome. You can do this in a few clicks. However, it has to be done individually for each extension, Chrome doesn’t yet support bulk operations to change extension permissions.

Restrict Extension Permissions to Read and Change Site Data in Chrome

To manage extension permissions for ‘read and change site data’, right-click on the extension icon and hover your mouse over the “It can read and change site data” option to expand and see more options.

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You’ll see the following set of permissions that extensions can have to read and modify site data.

  • When you click an extension: Selecting this option restricts the extension from reading and changing data on any website until you click the extension icon. This is the safest option.
  • On sites open in current tab: If you want the extension to read and change data only for websites that are open on the active tab, select this option.
  • On all sites: This is the default option. Selecting this option will allow the extension to read and change data on every website you open.

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We recommend that you verify these permissions for all extensions you use in Chrome, and restrict extension access to your data by only using them on certain websites or blocking them completely unless you click the extension icon.

With this approach, you can allow or block permissions for extensions and restrict them from running on sensitive sites. Properly managing extensions will reduce risks and vulnerabilities on your system.

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