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Google has received more than 100,000 complaints since January 1, 2015, regarding browser extensions that are injecting unwanted ads into web pages, reports The Register.
The search giant has banned 192 Chrome Extensions in a bid to clean-up its service, while it will also publish a full report next month highlighting the full extent of the problem. In early figures released this week, Google said around five percent of visitors to its sites had at least one ad injector installed, with 50 percent of those having more than one, and a third of those having four or more bypassing their browser.
More worryingly for those users, Google’s study of more than 100 million page views found that 34 percent of Chrome extensions injecting ads could be classified as outright malware.
“Unwanted ad injectors aren’t part of a healthy ads ecosystem. They’re part of an environment where bad practices hurt users, advertisers, and publishers alike,” said Nav Jagpal, a software engineer for Google’s Safe Browsing program.
While ad injectors can make for a frustrating user experience, they can also pose a security threat, as proven by the recent Lenovo Superfish incident that put data, passwords and even financial details at risk. Google is hoping to protect users by raising awareness of the risk associated with ad injectors and browser extensions.
The company will release its full report on May 1, but you can read a summary of information found so far on its online security blog.
In the meantime, to tidy up and secure your browser, remember the five top tips from our video below;
Photo: Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock.com
Author Kyle Ellison, ESET