Google Chrome will get more secure from malware starting with the next update. Google announced that it will wall off its users from sideloading extensions. These extensions are often accompanied by spyware or malware that can get installed on computers without the user noticing it.
Google official statement about the new policy:
“Malware can change how browsers work by silently installing extensions on your machine that do things like inject ads or track your browsing activity. If you notice strange ads, broken web pages or sluggish browsing after installing some new software or plugins, you could be affected.
From now on, to protect Windows users from an attack, extensions can be installed only if they’re hosted on the Chrome Web Store. With this change, extensions that were previously installed may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they’re hosted in the Chrome Web Store. “
It seems that protecting Windows from malware got so out of hand that Google is willing to go against its principles of promoting the open web to protect its users. This is not at all that surprising as Google is also trying to promote its Chrome OS. Showing that Google is willing to do anything to protect Windows users is certainly good for advertising. No words about iOS and Linux yet but their time is coming. Actually, Google is trying to show its mark everywhere it can. Featuring stand-alone apps, offline support and the Chrome OS like user interface in Chrome’s Metro app for Windows 8, Google it trying to show its power everywhere it can.
After the policy change you can still install extensions that seemingly are not part of the Web Store. This is possible trough the inline feature which will let you install extensions that are part of the Chrome Store without leaving the site you are currently on. Since almost all the extensions that you could possible need are also present on Chrome’s Web Store, this change should not ruin your browsing experience in any way. All unauthorized extensions will get deleted after the change. Enterprise users and developers will be allowed to sideload apps, typical users however won’t have that choice.