Google Chrome is one of the most secure Internet browsers available, but there are some extra things you can do further enhance the browser’s security. In this tutorial, I’ll tell you about some of the most important security features of Google Chrome and how to take full advantage of their capabilities.
Google Chrome – Privacy
Protecting your information on the Internet is one of the first things you need to do if you want to be safe from hacker attacks. Many hackers use fake websites and malicious codes to disclose personal information about users, but Google Chrome has several security features that render these methods useless.
The phishing and malware protection included in Google Chrome informs you if you visit a website that is considered malicious. It informs you if you want to visit a popular website, but are instead redirected to a phishing page. For example, hackers may purchase the domain “stempowered.com” and hope that many users will misspell “steampowered.com” and end up on their website instead.
Google Chrome has a special feature that enables a “spell checker” for URLs. If you want to enable it, you have to open the Settings panel and find the Privacy section (if you can’t find it, make sure that you have enabled advanced settings.). One you are there, tick the checkboxes next to Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors and Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors. While you are there, you might want to make sure that the box labeled Enable phishing and malware protection is also checked.
Google Chrome – Protect Passwords and Payment Details
When Chrome saves your passwords, they are saved as plain text. This means that anyone can access them through the Settings panel. While other browsers, for example Firefox, can set a Master password, Chrome can’t. Chrome can’t encrypt passwords and payment details, so you have to look for a solution.
One of the easiest things to do is create a separate Windows user account which is password protected. However, this may be a problem if your computer is used by many people. The easier method is to download a Chrome extension like Secure Profile, Browser Lock or ChromePW. These extensions allow you to password-protect the entire browser, so basically you are the only one who will be able to use it.
If you don’t want to protect Chrome with a password, then you will have to use a 3rd-party password manager application. Tools like KeePass and Xmarks can save you a lot of time and protect your passwords.
Google Chrome – Make Sure Your Synced Data is Secure
Chrome can automatically synchronize your settings and saved data (passwords). Although this feature is very convenient, it has one major flaw – it only requires your Google account password to authorize the synchronization. This means that if your Google account gets hacked, the malicious user can quickly access all your stored passwords. One way to get around this problem is to optimize the synchronization settings.
In my opinion, the best thing to do in this case is to set an encrypted syncing passphrase. Enabling this setting will add a second layer of protection to the synchronization process. Basically, if your Google account gets hacked, the hacker will have to input your passphrase too. If you want to set up a sync passphrase you need to go to Settings -> Advanced sync settings -> Choose my own passphrase. I advise you to set the sync tool to encrypt all synched data (by default, it only encrypts your passwords).
Google Chrome – Improve the Security of Your Google Account
Google services are quite secure, but you can make them even more secure if you take full advantage of the security features offered by Google. In order to do this, you have to visit your Google Account Security page and enable the 2-step Verification. When you enable this setting, you will receive a special code that you will have to input if you want to access your Google account from another device.
Another helpful feature offered by Google is the automatic notification in case of a changed password or security settings. You can be either notified by email or phone if your account’s settings are tempered with. Make sure to take a closer look at the recovery options in the security panel. If your account gets hacked, these options will help you recover it.
Google Chrome – Use Chrome Security Extensions
Google’s browser is quite secure, but there are still some things that need more protection. Thankfully, there are many security extensions that can be used to take care of some minor security flaws. For example, you can use AdBlock to remove malicious advertisements, Web of Trust for phishing website notifications, View Thru to see the destination of hidden URLs and KB SSL Enforcer to use the SSL encryption of websites that support it.