Malwarebytes Browser Guard for Firefox and Chrome leaves Beta

Malwarebytes launched a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in early 2018 that it called Malwarebytes for Chrome and Malwarebytes for Firefox initially. The company changed the name to Malwarebytes Browser Extension later on, and announced on September 1, 2019 that it launched the first stable version of the extension.Going forward, that extension is known as Malwarebytes Browser Guard. The extension is available for Chrome only currently as the Firefox extension was pulled by Malwarebytes because of a few issues that needed fixing.Tip: Malwarebytes launched the first beta of Malwarebytes 4 recently.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard

malwarebytes browser control

Malwarebytes Browser Guard is available on the Chrome Web Store. It should work in most Chromium-based web browsers and not just Google Chrome. The extension adds an icon to the browser's toolbar that indicates the number of elements found on the active page. A click on the icon opens the management interface that lists the enabled protection types and the elements found on the page.
Browser Guard protects against four core types of threats: ads & trackers, malware, scams, and potentially unwanted programs. Blocked elements are listed in the interface but there are not any options to interact with them, e.g. whitelist individual items, in any way. It appears that only ad networks and trackers that got blocked are listed there; the statistics showed blocked malware during tests but no information was provided where the malware was found and what it was.Malwarebytes Browser Guard users may disable some or all of the protection types on select websites. Just use the toggle to set protections to on or off while on the active site. Options to turn specific protections off for all sites are found in the Settings.

malwarebytes browser guard options

The Settings page is bare-bones; besides toggling protections for all sites, there is only one other option to pause and resume the extension.

A Statistics page lists how many items of each type were blocked in the past 30 days by default. You may change the date range.

The extension may display an intermediary page if a site itself is identified as malicious by the extension; this would be the case for known phishing or ransomware websites.

Closing Words

Malwarebytes Browser Guard is a protective browser extension that blocks certain types of outright malicious content and content that may be unwanted. I did not run into any issues using the extension and the ad-blocking part worked fairly well during initial tests.

One of the issues here is that the extension offers no controls other than toggling a protection entirely for a site or globally, another that the extension does not provide a whole lot of information. It is also unclear why the extension needs the " Communicate with cooperating websites" permission and what the cooperation with entails.

The extension has a larger memory footprint than uBlock Origin; it was about 50% larger during tests.

Malwarebytes users who trust company products already may be the most suitable candidates for installation of the browser extension. The extensions extend the functionality of Malwarebytes offerings.

Now You: What is your take on Browser Guard? (via Techdows)


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