The Internet Superhero

Google Chrome Privacy Settings: How Robust is It?

Published 14/02/2018 in Internet Security - 2 Comments
Google Chrome Privacy Settings

Today, there are many web browsers from which users can choose. Each of these browsers has different user interfaces, accessibility options, plug-ins, and most importantly, security measures. Google’s web browser, Chrome, features a comprehensive, navigable, and customizable set of Google Chrome privacy settings. This is so that users can control how much of their personal information can be made public.

Why do browsers need privacy and security settings?

 

Web browsers are the gateway to the internet for most users. They give access to the World Wide Web, which is the greatest product of the internet. We can give credit to web browsers for the trends made towards the information era. Petabytes of data are now shared in every second! However, due to the potential to access such huge amount of traffic, browsers need to be integrated with the appropriate privacy and security settings. Personal information needs to be protected from being accessed by threat actors and malicious sites need to be blocked. This, in general, is aimed to protect the user from the negatives of gaining access to the internet.

Therefore, with the right kind of Google Chrome privacy settings and security settings in place, users can ensure that they are protected. Moreover, these settings ensure their privacy is upheld while still being able to access all the useful and interactive features of the Google Chrome browser.

Navigating to Google Chrome Privacy Settings

How to access Google Chrome Privacy Settings

Google Chrome Settings Advanced Option

Google Chrome privacy settings can be located by opening the Google Chrome browser. Click on the three horizontally arranged dots at the top right corner of the screen. On the drop-down menu that appears, there is a Settings option. To navigate to the general settings of the browser, users should click on this option. The Google Chrome privacy settings are located on the advanced level of the settings page. It can be accessed by scrolling down the page and clicking on the ‘Advanced’ button. Google Chrome privacy settings and security settings are the first to appear below the advanced section.

How to access Google Chrome Privacy SettingsThe Cost of Convenience

Most of the data collecting services within a browser usually come attached with the promise of convenience. Chrome, for instance, has the option of saving data such as passwords and usernames within it. The objective behind it is so that users can log in to websites at the click of a button. Autofill of URLs, spell checkers and other services also work in the same way. The information and data that may be saved may extend their reach to very crucial information. They include ID numbers, credit card details and bank account PINs during online business transactions. Users must be very cautious about these services. It is encouraged that any web service which offers convenient ways of accessing services in exchange for data are restricted by the user through Google Chrome Privacy and security settings.

Web Services

The first thing on the Google Chrome privacy settings form is an intro from Google on ‘web services’. It also provides information on how these services can be used to enhance a user’s browsing experience. It is important to note that web services mentioned here enhance browsing experience by collecting information from the user. Depending on how it will be used, this information can either be collected by Google or the website which a user is visiting. This information is collected and stored through cookies.

Navigation resolves and prediction services, for instance, will be collected by Google. This is so they can aid the user in case they would want to revisit a page. Also, if there is a regularly visited website, these services may come in handy. Quick loading pages also rely on information collected and stored in the browser. This allows users to access a limited amount of information from a website or web page even when they are offline. The cost here is that information such as browsing trends and search histories will be collected by Google. This may lead to potential security risks should the information fall into the hands of users with malicious intent.

“Do Not Track”

Websites can easily track a user. Use Google Chrome Privacy Settings to mitgate this.

Google Chrome provides users with a number of security-enhancing options to ensure safe browsing. ‘Do Not Track’ request is one such option. When a user turns this tool on, every data which is collected by websites accessed by the users are accompanied by a “Do Not Track” request. However, Google is quick to admit that this is only a request and not an enforcement. This means that should the website want to collect your information, they would still be able to do it. Google does not interfere or prevent the website from doing so in any way.

Dangerous Sites

Dangerous can know your every habit. Use Google Chrome Privacy Settings to mitigate this

Google Chrome provides an option to protect users from sites which may be dangerous for them. These include sites which users, themselves, have flagged as being dangerous, sites which have been flagged as dangerous by many users, sites which may contain sensitive material, and sites which do not have proper security certifications such as HTTP and SSL certifications. Attempts to visit these websites usually prompt a warning message from Chrome. It is recommended that users keep this option on at all times during browsing. In case users have to visit these pages, they should do so when they understand the implications they may have.

Content Setting

Content Settings have been grouped under Google Chrome Privacy Settings

There are many tools that take part in customizing a user’s browsing experience. They include data (such as cookies and location settings), inbuilt software and drivers (such as JavaScript), as well as some hardware and peripheral devices such as microphones, cameras and USB devices. These tools, however, require proper management if users are to prevent sites from using them as data collection facilitators. Content settings help users to take control of tools by customizing their accessibility to the websites they visit. They can opt to allow, deny or regulate their use by making websites request for these tools before utilizing them. Chrome implements a virtual sandbox which holds plugins that the user may find useful. Sometimes, web applications may want to use plugins that are not in the sandbox. Allowing these unsandboxed plugins is highly discouraged because they may have malware written into them.

Browsing History

Browsing Settings is the last option in the Google Chrome Privacy Settings

Browsing history entails search items which the user types in the web browser, URLs of visited web pages, cached images and files, and cookies. These items are collected automatically by the browser. Therefore, users should be keen on clearing them from time to time. The objective behind this is to avoid exposure of sensitive information to potentially malicious entities. Tabs which are no longer being used should also be closed to avoid any background activities from taking place.

2 comments

Teresa K. - 17/03/2018 Reply

I appreciate this knowledge: in the past I experienced the tools taken and used against me. It was HAVOC. Thanks for HELP. Te

    The Internet Samurai - 18/03/2018 Reply

    Hello Theresa. I am really glad to be of help 🙂

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