While no web browser or computer system can be 100% secure, there are tools that can better protect your computer system from hackers and malware. Here are some of the tools which are built right into Google Chrome that can help make Internet usage more secure.
Chrome’s built-in features automatically secure parts of the user experience. For example, Chrome performs background updates routinely which helps to thwart hackers and malware attacks. In addition, the Chrome sandboxing function is used to run untrusted, unsecured or otherwise suspicious content in “scratch space” on the disk, where the resources are tightly controlled and network access is heavily restricted.
Google Chrome also comes stocked with phishing and malware protection. The browser displays a warning screen prompting the user to leave any potentially malicious site visited. While simple, these background features provide the foundation of an online defense system and prove undeniably effective in protecting users.
Google, not only provides automatic security options, but also additional security features under their Privacy Settings. Many users do not know these options exist, but they can help provide an additional level of defense especially for those Internet users who are less security-savvy. Through the Privacy Settings option, administrators can set privilege restrictions for different users and control which sites can and cannot be accessed.
The Google URL autocorrect tends to be another feature users do not readily employ. This web service will automatically predict and correct misspelled URL addresses, preventing typosquatting, a form of URL hijacking which creates a URL based off of common mistakes for a popular URL. This feature can also be enabled via the Privacy Settings sections and can prevent users from falling victim to common cyber security threats.
Potential Issues and How to Avoid Them
Program vulnerabilities constantly pose a threat to online security. In order to combat this issue, Chrome gives users the ability to disable such applications so that they must opt-in prior to running it on the website. This prevents applications, such as Flash or Java which are often exploited by malware, from causing a serious issue on the user’s computer and placing personal information at risk.
Saved passwords, billing address and other personal information, while useful, can also prove to be a security issue when it comes to web browsers. While browsers such as Firefox give the user the ability to encrypt or protect this saved information with another passphrase, Chrome currently does not have a system to prevent users from viewing saved passwords. One way to counter this vulnerability is simply to have multiple Windows user accounts on your computer for guests to use while your personal account stays locked. However, for those who do not wish to have multiple accounts, Chrome extensions or third-party password management software can be downloaded to protect such sensitive information.
Extra Steps to Protect Yourself
While the above information covers all the basics, more steps can be taken to truly ensure that online data is secure, especially when using multiple features across Google accounts. The Google syncing features, while convenient, could allow hackers to synch a user’s Google account to their computer, placing personal or sensitive data at risk. Luckily, it is possible to preemptively set a separate passphrase for syncing, essentially creating an extra layer of security.
Another great way to protect your Google account from being compromised is by setting up a 2-Step verification process. This will prompt email/mobile notifications when there is any significant or suspicious account activity, such as password changes or suspicious login attempts. This will also make users enter a special code, sent via email or text, in order to log in from a new PC or mobile device, an added layer of security that can go a long way in discouraging malicious activity.
While data can never be fully secured on the Internet, the best way to combat any threat of a digital attack is through creating a strong defense. The above information will help any Chrome user easily create a proactive defensive line and protect digital information from malicious attacks.
Andrew works for a cyber-security training provider named Phoenix TS.