Discover best chrome browser settings to maximize your privacy and security.
Users of Chrome and any browser, in general, are faced with the difficult decision to choose between the comfort of using your browser or improve the protection of your privacy. You can customize Google chrome settings to maximize privacy and security while surfing internet. No matter which pages you are visiting. Here’s how to get that balance to use Chrome comfortably while maintaining your privacy.
1) Limit the synchronization of your data
One of the great virtues of Google Chrome is to be able to synchronize your browsing data, bookmarks, and passwords on all the devices you use, so you can save a page in bookmarks from your PC and open it later from your smartphone to do a lot of navigation more comfortable.
However, this means having to send all this data to Google to synchronize with the rest of your devices, something that seriously compromises your privacy.
To avoid this, you only have to limit the amount of data to synchronize between your devices.
To do so, just click on the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of Google Chrome and go to the Settings menu. If you aren’t signed in using your gmail id, you will not find Synchronization option. Otherwise, you’ll see Sync section. Click on it to find Advance Sync Settings and deactivate all the data that you do not want Google to synchronize with the rest of your devices when you log in to their respective browsers.
That way, your navigation may not be as comfortable, but at least you’ll keep some control over what Google knows about you.
2) Encrypts data that you synchronize with Google
Directly related to the previous point, you can improve the encryption of the data that you share with Google in the synchronization of your navigation data, in order to avoid that they can be intercepted and are accessible by third parties. We say encryption is improved because, in origin, this data is already encrypted but is linked to your Google account, so if someone has intercepted your login and knows your username and password, you can easily decrypt it.
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The encryption enhancement options for synchronized data are found in the Encryption options section that is displayed just below the synchronization options you configured in the previous step.
Simply check the Encrypt data synchronized with your own sync passphrase option. Then, enter a new password other than your Google account to increase the security of your data and confirm it. Then click Save to apply that setting.
From that point on, every time you want to sync your data to a new Chrome session, you’ll be prompted for this additional password instead of automatically entering your Google Account data.
3) Avoid Google Support Services
Chrome uses web services to check the spelling of the texts you type from the browser or to improve your security by analyzing the pages you visit. This implies having to send information of your navigation or of the texts that you write in your browser to Google, reason why your privacy would be affected.
However, you can prevent your browser from sending Google all that information from the Chrome settings.
To do so, simply go to the Chrome Settings page and scroll to the end to click on the Advanced Settings link and unlock the other options.
Then in the Privacy and Security section, you disable all services you do not need. Ideally, you should disable them all and keep the Send a non-follow-up request enabled with your browsing traffic. With this option you send the pages you visit a “Do Not Track” request so they do not track you while you are browsing, although the harsh reality is that many of them ignore it.
4) Beware of browsing cookies
Cookies are like a trail of bread crumbs through the Internet that allows websites that visit to know which pages you have visited during your browsing. These cookies, although mostly encrypted, can also pose a risk to your security as some of them may contain usernames and even passwords that would seriously jeopardize your privacy.
Google Chrome permits you to configure how cookies should be managed. You will find this option just below the options we discussed in the previous step under the Content Settings statement.
When you click on this option, you access other options between which you will find the entry Cookies.
In this section, you can configure how the browser should behave when the pages offer their cookies. The ideal option would be to not accept any cookie, but some pages need them to use certain online shopping services, so this option is not always possible.
However, what you can do is limit the cookies that Chrome accepts by activating the option Block third-party cookies and deleting stored cookies when closing the browser so that cookies from different sessions will not accumulate.
5) Disable Browser Plugins in Chrome Settings
You only have to access that option and click on the various add-ons and options to block access to websites those elements or at least the browser to ask you before using it.
Thus, when you visit a website you need to use any of those add-ons, Chrome will display a pop-up with a button that lets you activate directly.
6) Turn off Google Activity Tracking
Apart from the data that Chrome could collect, Google also collects your browsing data independently so that from the moment you sign in with your Google account, your entire browsing history is saved.
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This option is called Web Activity and Applications and is enabled by default when creating your Google user account, but you can turn it off or re-enable it whenever you want.
To do so, sign in to Google and go to the Account Control page of your account. Here, click on the switch to deactivate the service that saves all your history, leaving the option to include the navigation history of Chrome.
That way, you’ll have managed to configure Chrome to improve your privacy and security.