Google's Linux-based Chrome OS and their browser Google Chrome has features geared towards safeguarding privacy and improving security when you go online. The recent years haven't done much to contribute to Google's stand when it comes to being conscious and respectful of user privacy.
Despite that, the options available in Chromebooks is a saving grace. With just a handful of tweaks, Chromebooks can provide a relatively safe way geared towards protecting privacy while online without installing anything. These tips are applicable even when you're using Google Chrome on Windows or MacOS, although the settings will vary a little bit according to the platform.
Disable a few of these ‘Privacy and Security’ settings
Although Google has built features into Chrome that are designed to improve the web browsing experience, a lot of these services involve sending data to the company's servers, which it can add to your user account. Google analyzes your data in order to sell increasingly personalized ads.
A few of these features send data to Google every time you enter a letter into the navigation bar. This means that Google gets to see everything you search for and every website you visit. In order to disable these features, head over to the Privacy and security section. Features you should disable are the follows:
• Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar or the app launcher search box
• Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly
• Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors
• Help improve Safe Browsing
• Automatically send diagnostic and usage data to Google
• Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors
Enable ‘Safe Browsing’ and ‘Do not track’
The settings that you should enable under 'Privacy and Settings' are as follows:
Safe Browsing that prevents malicious or poorly secured sites from opening your browser
Do Not Track stops websites from monitoring your behavior.
Disable or Enable Data Syncing
Web browsers are designed to make it easier to connect us to the web, but your bookmarks and browsing history are typically saved on your computer. If you have enabled syncing, you take data from your computer and give it to Google. You can keep a copy off of Google's servers by disabling syncing.
You can disable syncing going to People>Sync. You can also turn off Sync everything and untoggle various categories.
Disable location tracking
Although websites can get an idea about where you live from your IP address, location tracking will give them your exact location. You can manage location tracking under Privacy and security > Content settings > Location.
Addresses and Payment methods
Having a copy of your personal information saved on your computer might lead to unintended consequences when you leave your laptop in a public space or let a family member use your computer.
Head over to People>Addresses and more to do what you want to about addresses and People>Payment methods for credit card information.
Your browser stores these files so that websites can function as you expect. Without these, you will be starting with a clean slate when you visit a page. But sites can store whatever they want on these sites so it is a wise thing to limit which cookies are permitted onto your computer.
To do this, go to Privacy and security > Content Settings > Cookies. Enable Block third=party cookies. And you can go a step further and enable 'Keep local data only until you quit your browser.'
Change the default search engine
The Google search engine is the default search option in Chrome and this provides with every search that we enter into the navigation bar.
You can limit this by changing your default search engine. You can opt for a search engine that prioritizes privacy.
You can change your default search engine by going to Search and Assistant > Manage search engines. You can right-click the navigation bar and select Edit search engines.