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PSA: If you’re using these Chrome and Firefox extensions, delete them right now

Imagine that, an extension collecting our data.

Chrome and mozilla firefox logo on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Browser company Mozilla removed four extensions made by Avast and AVG from the Firefox add-ons portal. Mozilla has user privacy as a core tenet of its business, and those extensions were harvesting user data and browsing histories.

Opera has also removed the offending extensions from their store. Your move, Google.

If you’re using any of these four extensions from Avast or AVG, delete them now

The sketchy behavior was reported by Wladimir Palant, the creator of the AdBlock Plus ad-blocking extension. He found that the Online Security extensions from both Avast and AVG were siphoning up far more data than they actually needed, including prohibited behavior like detailed user browsing history.

The same behavior was also found in the SafePrice extensions from both Avast and subsidiary AVG. Tsk.

The four extensions removed from the Mozilla add-ons store (and still available on the Chrome Web Store) are:

If you have any of these extensions installed, go uninstall them immediately. It’s pretty bad that extensions purporting to keep you safe online actually harm your safety, and it’s even worse that they do so in violation of both Mozilla and Google’s explicit rules against harvesting data.

An Avast spokesperson told ZDNet that the company is working to bring their extensions in line with Mozilla’s requirements, and expect to have updated versions back on the add-ons store in the near future.

What do you think? Surprised by the news? Did you have any of these extensions on your computer? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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