Browser extensions offer a wide range of features that allow us to customise how we want to surf the web, but some of it can be more hostile than we anticipate. Google know this, and have built in provisions to protect Chrome users on Windows.

This software can usually be downloaded from within the browser itself as a reliable, safe source for add-ons. However, unwanted software finds its way onto the systems of millions of web users every day. The effects of this unwelcome software may be as subtle as modifying search results and redirecting users to other pages or injecting additional ads into pages that users visit. In some cases, the changes are so severe that it makes the web inoperable—you're redirected to a website full of ads that is nearly impossible to navigate away from.

Chrome already has options that filter unwanted software, like Safe Browsing, but Google admits "sometimes harmful software slips through." As a result, three additional features have been added to help Windows Chrome users recover from unwanted software infections.

The first of these additions was quietly released last month. You may have seen installers that offer to change your homepage or search engine after you download a browser extension. Or perhaps you've fired up your browser and noticed your homepage was something completely different. With Hijacked Settings Detection, Chrome will detect when your settings have been changed and offer to restore them for you.

The second new addition is what Google calls Chrome Cleanup. This feature works to alert users when Chrome detects unwanted software bundled together with software you download. Chrome offers to quickly remove the program and restore the browser to its default settings.

Lastly, the technology used in Chrome Cleanup has been upgraded to detect and remove unwanted software with greater efficiency. Google collaborated with IT security company ESET, to merge their detection engine with Chrome's sandbox technology. However, this is not a general purpose antivirus as it only removes software that doesn't comply with Google's unwanted software policy.

Let us know what you think. Will these features help to protect you while surfing the Internet? Drop a comment below with your thoughts.

via AP