Browser Extensions for Grocery Delivery Timeslots Bring New Risks to Consumers

Cutting the Line for Online Grocery Delivery May Not Save You Time

Record numbers of grocery and food delivery apps have been downloaded so far this year. Securing a coveted grocery delivery timeslot using these apps is now a key challenge for many who are sheltering in place. Users have even become obsessed with finding a slot or a particular item and use multiple applications at once to increase their chances of success. Adding browser extensions or scripts to this game of roulette can certainly make that task easier, but these add-ons come with risks that many consumers might ignore in their quest to win a slot.

Today’s browsers offer consumers some protections against malware, such as limiting the data extensions can access, as well as requiring extensions to request permission to perform non-standard actions when installed. Unlike extensions that run within the framework of the browser, downloaded scripts can perform any task involving one’s files or execute other malicious code. In the long run, the time consumers spend fighting malware, and the potential damage and data loss it may cause, might not be worth the time they save finding a grocery delivery slot.

What You Need to Know About Extensions and Scripts

Browser extensions—even from reputable companies—will often perform tasks beyond the original reason you installed them. In some cases, they could be infected or malicious, harvesting your personally identifiable information (PII) for future use, or logging keystrokes to get passwords and account numbers that you don’t want to share. Extensions also could be injecting intrusive and not-safe-for-work (NSFW) ads into the sites you browse. These ads may promote alternate products or too-good-to-be-true offers on unfamiliar sites. These ads disrupt your path to purchase and are an annoyance that no shopper needs, especially now.

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