You haven’t been hacked, these aren’t devices spying on you and these errors aren’t your fault

  • Help — I’ve been hacked
  • People are spying on me using the Network
  • There are devices that connect to my computer
  • It shows that there are a lot of errors — what did I do wrong?

Let’s be very clear here: these tools are for developers to find out what is happening to their products while they develop them and to find out problems that need fixing. They aren’t giving any important or actionable information to you as a consumer of the web.

These tools do not mean that:

  • You’ve been hacked — these tools don’t have any access to your account information
  • You’ve done something wrong that you need to work on — all these errors and warnings are coming from the web site you’re looking at or extensions you installed. They are meant only for developers to track down why something isn’t working.
  • Something external and sinister is connecting to your computer — these tools only show what is happening on your computer and you can’t use them to change anything on the web — everything people do in these developer tools happens locally on their computer.

Nothing happened to your computer or your account information by opening browser developer tools. You can close them and not worry about them as they aren’t meant for people surfing the web, but for developers who build products for it.

If you want some more explanations of the different things that caused the confusion, here are some quick notes.

The Elements Tool

The Console Tool

The Network Tool

Device Emulation

The great thing about the web is that it works on many different devices. The problem for developers is that testing your web product on many different devices costs a lot of time and possibly money as you need to buy, maintain and know how to use these. That’s why Developer Tools have a device emulation tool that allows you to see the web site you are working on in the dimensions of a different device. For example, this is christianheilmann.com as a laptop would show it:

Don’t fear the tools — they help us build great web products for you

You can also refer to the official documentation and read up on things in more detail. We’re trying to make the documentation easy to understand and would love to know what we can do better. If you got interested in developer tools, you may also check out what they can do for you as a non-developer.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store