Beginning in January, Google will block the installation of add-ons (i.e extensions) to the Chrome browser unless the extension is installed from the Chrome Web Store. This is good news since one of the more vulnerable ways for malicious browser extensions, malware and computer viruses to attack a system is to silently piggyback onto another extension during the installation process.

Silent extension installation is only a problem for Windows OS; OS X and Linux already have the means to block unwanted extensions from invading a system. Trying to rid a Windows system of an annoying extension can easily take hours. Meanwhile the unwanted extension has hijacked browser settings and search engines preferences, thereby making the browser experience very frustrating. And if the unwanted extension is malicious, the system is now infected with a virus, and is likely malfunction, lose data and the malware may have copied sensitive data from the system.

For these reasons, making the switch to Chrome from Internet Explorer and /or Firefox would be a great move. Besides, Chrome is a little faster, and as its name implies, a little sleeker.

Google has done a good job of designing the implementation so that businesses that use proprietary extensions within their organization will be able to host the extension in the Chrome Web Store without making the extension visible to the public. Similarly, developers will be able to initiate “in-line” installs from their own website, provided the extension is in the Chrome Web Store.

Web apps and the “Dev” build of Chrome will not be impacted by the requirement to be in the Chrome Web Store. Browser extensions for Chrome can be found at the Chrome Web Store.