We all love to customize things. We like to make them our own and give them a little touch of our personalities. With our cell phones, we buy colorful cases, download apps, and install custom ringtones. On our computers, we change the wallpaper and screen saver, install or uninstall programs and apps, and even install “extensions” in our web browsers.
Browser extensions, plugins, or add-ons, are small programs that increase or enhance the functionality of your web browser. these little programs can power-up your browser to handle a variety of tasks which most browsers wouldn’t be able to perform. Their ultimate goal, of course, is to make your online life easier and give you a better browsing experience.
How can browser extensions customize my internet experience?
Extensions can modify websites as they appear on your computer through adding, removing, or modifying content. In December 2015 there was a scare about seeing spoilers of the new Star Wars movie. Someone made a web extension that would block these spoilers from being seen until the fan got to see the movie for themselves.
Extensions can also give your online security a boost. Ad blockers like AbBlock Plus or uBlock Origin can blocks malicious pop-up, and keep annoying and potentially fraudulent ads from being displayed. Helping to keep you from falling for some of the more common computer scams.
Extensions can add additional features to your browser. An Extension called Web of Trust adds a safety feature to your web searching This extension shows you if a website is safe on the results page by adding a red, yellow or green dot next to the webpage.
Extensions can even combine with other services or apps. For example, you use Evernote, there is an extension called “Web Clipper” that allows you to highlight and automatically clips notes into your Evernote for use across all your technological devices.
One important thing to keep in mind about using browser extensions is that malicious extensions do exist. The best way to ensure that you don’t accidentally do more harm than good by loading one of these rogue extensions is to make sure that you only download and install extensions from your browser’s own web store.
Another thing to keep in mind is the more extensions you have running at once, the more RAM it takes for your browser to run, so try not to overdo it.
Of course, if you have any questions about browser extensions, or any other computer related question, feel free to reach out to Tech Force. We’re always happy to help!
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