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How to Make Google Chrome More Secure

Rafi is a technologist and has a passion to write about not only technology but also what he likes doing outside of technology.

Google Chrome Web Browser.

Google Chrome Web Browser.

The internet has become a key tool in the online world, and with this has come to a need for increased security and privacy. This is because we're living in a time where there are so many internet risks and identity theft is very common.

Security is primarily used to ensure that someone cannot access your information without permission, while privacy is primarily used to ensure that you are able to control who has access to your information.

Both security and privacy are essentials for a safe internet browsing experience. When you search online, or any other website, it's crucial to feel safe. That can only happen through protecting your personal life on the web - whether that means not sharing too much information on sites you're not sure are protected or being meticulous with passwords.

Let's explore 5 built-in security features of Google Chrome that you may have overlooked. You may find similar features in other browsers with different names. They are easy to use for any beginner or novice computer user!

Security and Privacy on the Web

Security and Privacy on the Web

1- Incognito Mode

Incognito mode allows surfing the web without leaving digital footprints. It is a slightly more private way of browsing the internet and for whatever browser you use. It keeps all your information safe and hidden so what happens on this tab won't matter. This means that all your history and search queries will vanish as soon as you log out from the session. When using Incognito or private mode, your local browsing will be kept private so you can only hide the websites you visit from the people using your computer.

For example, you might consider using a private browsing window or incognito mode when browsing or buying discreet items, especially if you are sharing a computer or device. One other possible reason could be that you are searching for something without a personalized search. This means the items involved are not ones you have viewed before.

However, the incognito mode will not stop your ISP, school, or company from seeing where you have been online.

How to Launch Incognito Window in Google Chrome

The keyboard shortcut for opening an Incognito window in Windows is Ctrl-Shift-N and for MacOS it's Command-Shift-N.

Through the browser’s menu:

  1. Select the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the Google Chrome web browser.
  2. Click on "New Incognito Window."
How to Launch Incognito Window in Google Chrome.

How to Launch Incognito Window in Google Chrome.

This will load a new browser window, enabling users to browse the web without saving data like cache, history, passwords, or cookies. When done surfing in private browsing mode, close the window to browse normally.

Incognito Window.

Incognito Window.

2- Google Safe Browsing

Google's Safe Browsing tool identifies dangerous websites and will warn you if you attempt to visit one. The tool also ensures that other Google services will not show spam, survey traps, or other deceptive content where someone could gain access to your personal information such as credit card info, usernames and passwords. This is something that home users should be taking advantage of!

Google's Safe Browsing feature comes with two different protection modes (Standard and Enhanced). By default, the “Standard Protection” mode is on.

The “Standard Protection” mode:

It is enough for most users to keep them safe. When you browse the web and go to any site with this feature, it will automatically check for malware or phishing attacks. If it finds something, you will see a big red warning!

The “Enhanced Protection” mode:

It is an added layer of security that automatically warns about password breaches, suspected downloads Chrome sends additional information to Google about your activity for more accurate and proactive threat assessments. However, it can present a privacy concern for many users.

How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome:

  1. Select the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the Google Chrome web browser.
  2. Choose "Settings" from the menu.



1-How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

1-How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

3. Click on “privacy and security”.

2- How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

2- How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

4. Click on “Security”.

3- How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

3- How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

5. Select the radio button to enable “Enhanced Protection.”

4- How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

4- How to Enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Google Chrome.

3- Safety Check

Although we are used to scanning computers for malware and viruses, it is important to remember that this does not cover online safety. To do this, Google Chrome provides a tool that scans five core modules for malicious code to secure your web browsing.

How to run the “Safety Check” tool

  1. Click on the three dots (in the top right corner on Chrome).
  2. Choose “Settings" from the menu.
1- How to Run Safety Check Tool in Google Chrome.

1- How to Run Safety Check Tool in Google Chrome.

3. On the left side, click “privacy and security”.

2- How to Run Safety Check Tool in Google Chrome.

2- How to Run Safety Check Tool in Google Chrome.

4. On the right side, click “Check now” under the Safety check heading.

3- How to Run Safety Check Tool in Google Chrome.

3- How to Run Safety Check Tool in Google Chrome.

Once complete, you will see something like this:

how-to-make-google-chrome-more-secure

Updates

This checks to make sure your Google Chrome is up to date. It is a good way of checking that you are using the newest version, which might include security updates and other fixes. It will alert you if you are not up to date with the most recent security fixes, and will automatically update your browser.

Passwords

Google “Password Checkup” tool checks all passwords saved in Chrome and alerts you if any of your passwords have been leaked or involved in a data breach. The tool is also accessible through Google's "Password Manager".

1. Type "passwords.google.com" into the address bar of chrome and hit Enter.

2. Click on “Go to Password Checkup”.

1- Password Manager in Google Chrome.

1- Password Manager in Google Chrome.

3. Click on “Check Passwords”.

2- Password Checkup in Google Chrome.

2- Password Checkup in Google Chrome.

Once complete, and no issues have been found, you will see something like this:

3- Password Checkup in Google Chrome.

3- Password Checkup in Google Chrome.

If password problems are found, Chrome displays a list of all the problems it discovered, categorized into three groups:

1. Passwords that have been used more than once.

2. Passwords that have been compromised and leaked online.

3. Passwords that are not sufficiently strong.

Click the "Review" button to take a look. You will see the warnings and suggestions on how to fix the found issues.

how-to-make-google-chrome-more-secure

Safe Browsing

This alerts whether or not Safe Browsing is currently enabled on your browser. If you use the feature, you will see which setting you have enabled either "Standard" or "Enhanced" mode. You can learn more about the available Safe Browsing options by clicking on that option in the Safety Check results. Make sure you are using the setting that best suits you or enables one if you have it turned off.

how-to-make-google-chrome-more-secure

Extensions

Chrome extensions can harm your browser. It checks the extensions installed on Chrome and alerts you if any extension is found that might be harmful. On the "Review" window, you will see a warning below the name of any extension you should be aware of.

Device Software (Malware Scanner)

Malicious software may be downloaded to your computer via fraudulent websites. If you see a popup, get redirected to a site, or experience any other unusual behaviour, your device might be infected. You can find harmful software on your computer and remove it by following these steps:

1. Click on the three dots (in the top right corner on Chrome).

2. Choose “Settings" from the menu.

1- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

1- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

3. On the left side, click “Advanced”.

4. Click on “Reset and clean up”.

2- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

2- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

5. On the right side, click "Clean up computer".

3- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

3- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

6. Click on the “Find” tab.

4- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

4- Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

It will begin a quick scan for malware, browser hijacking, malevolent extensions, and other bad practices. Once complete, and if no issues have been found, you will see something like this:

Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

Google Chrome's Malware Scanner.

4- Guest Mode

Before using someone else's computer or giving them access to yours, or using a public computer, like one at a library or cafe, be aware of the possible security risks. To protect your privacy, switch Chrome into "Guest" mode.

How to switch to “Guest” mode:

1. At the top right, click Profile.

2. Choose "Guest" from the drop-down menu in the "Other profiles" box.

Guest Mode in Google Chrome.

Guest Mode in Google Chrome.

This mode destroys everything that has been viewed after the guest window is closed, so no unknown saved passwords, undesirable cookies, or personal site history are kept.

Guest Mode in Google Chrome.

Guest Mode in Google Chrome.

5- Remove Your Tracks

What if you were told to delete all your bookmarks, history, and passwords permanently from the device in just a matter of seconds?. That is what it would take when leaving a job and handing down a computer. You can quickly do this using the following steps:

1. Click on the three dots (in the top right corner on Chrome).

2. Choose “Settings" from the menu.

1- Remove Your Track.

1- Remove Your Track.

3. On the right side, click the “Turn off” tab under the “You and Google” heading.

2- Remove Your Tracks.

2- Remove Your Tracks.

4. Make sure the checkbox is ticked.

5. Click on the "Turn off" tab.

3- Remove Your Tracks.

3- Remove Your Tracks.

This will erase all your tracks including "bookmarks, history, passwords from your machine.

Conclusion

With so many cyber-attacks happening every single day, you can not afford not to be aware of all your options for safe browsing. You might be surprised by how many features browsers offer that can protect your computer from malware and cyber-attacks. It is important to know about the built-in security and privacy features of Google Chrome, so you know what steps you need to take to browse safely.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Rafi Muqaddar

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