Chrome is one of the safest browsers out there. It actively protects users against malicious websites by notifying them of potential dangers, it has automatic updates, and it generally offers quite good data protection. However, no browser is secure enough for you not to take any extra measures.
Pretty much all browsers (and Chrome is no exception) collect your personal data and sell it to third parties. So even a browser as secure as Chrome doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Plus, hackers know how to get into devices even if they use secure browsers and software. Below are 5 easy ways to make your Chrome browser more secure and your browsing more private.
Chrome offers a built-in password manager, but it’s best to use a separate one. First of all, it’s more secure from outsiders. Whoever browses Chrome on your account can log into any account that you added to the built-in password manager. If your device ends up getting stolen, that makes all of your cards open to them.
A separate Chrome password manager ensures that even those who have access to your device and your Chrome account cannot access your passwords. A separate password manager will have one master password that you must know to access all login information stored in it.
Many websites collect user data for marketing purposes. They say that it’s beneficial for you because you receive more relevant ads and a better user experience on the website. But how many of us really want to receive ads that are based on data collected while spying on our activity? Probably not many of us.
To keep your browsing activity private from third parties, you can disable website tracking. To do so, go to your Chrome settings, click on “Privacy and security”, and enable “Do not track”.
Cookies are there to help create a more personalized and friendly internet experience. Some cookies are temporary and are immediately erased once you exit a website, so you shouldn’t worry too much about these. However, some cookies are persistent and remain on your browser until you delete them yourself. Persistent cookies store all sorts of personal information, which might even include your credit card numbers or passwords. To ensure that no website has access to such important information, be sure to delete your browser’s cookies every once in a while.
Once you install an extension to your browser, you tie the security of your data to the security of the extension. If you let the extension interact with your sensitive data like login information or credit card info, a hacker can access that information by simply hacking into the extension.
It’s best to limit the number of extensions you use on your Chrome browser. If possible, stick to desktop applications instead of browser extensions to keep your browsing activity as secure as possible. Also, whether you’re using an extension or website application, make sure that they’re always on their latest version to reduce the chance of security vulnerabilities.
Some websites do not offer any sort of encryption, which makes your data very vulnerable when on such websites. For example, if you enter your password or credit card details on a website that is not encrypted, then the website owner can easily see all of that data. To make sure that a website is secure, check the URL. It should begin with “https”. Also, make sure that there’s a little lock icon at the beginning of the URL, which also indicates that the website is encrypted.
Your browsing history is far from private when you’re on Chrome. It can be sold to third parties who wish to display targeted ads. That’s why it’s a good idea to delete your browsing history from time to time.
With Incognito mode, your browsing history won’t be stored, taking away the hassle of having to keep deleting it. Although browsing in incognito mode is better than nothing, it’s not the perfect solution, and we’ll cover that in more detail in the next section.
Use a VPN
While incognito mode offers some security, it’s by far not 100% secure. Your IP address is not hidden, and no additional encryption is offered by incognito mode. To take your security a step further, get a VPN. A VPN means “virtual private network”. It’s a security tool that’s great at protecting your data no matter the browser or network you’re on.
As you just learned, Chrome isn’t very secure on its own. Although Google likes to advertise how safe all of its software, devices, and browsers are, they still have their own agenda: tracking your activity for their own advantage. Plus, experienced hackers can easily get through the built-in security measures of Chrome. To ensure that you’re as safe as possible while browsing Chrome, follow the tips in this article. Most importantly, always keep an eye out for potential threats and never be too naive online!