Despite being the most popular browser, Google Chrome isn’t without its fair share of issues. Sure, it may be the fastest browser out there, but it is by no means the most secure browser out there. In fact, vulnerabilities have been found from time to time, leading to security issues for many that could’ve been easily avoided. This is on Google, but it’s up to us to protect ourselves from security flaws in the browser.
I’ve compiled a few things you can do to make your browsing experience more secure — any bit helps.
Disable Cookies & Tracking
Cookies streamline our online experience by storing important data (emails, passwords, website details, location etc.). While they’re convenient, their use can lead to some security issues that just aren’t worth the trouble.
If you don’t mind relogging into your email every time you open your browser, I highly recommend disabling cookies. Parallel to that is disabling tracking. Without tracking, a website will be unable to figure out your physical location—not something they need 99% of the time.
Of course, you can always turn these back on whenever you want, but I feel the security benefits outweigh the minor inconveniences.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Turning off cookies and tracking will help slightly in your search for better security, but there’s always more you can do. If you feel like your accounts aren’t secure enough, you should take advantage of two-factor authentication (2FA).
Two-factor authentication bars you from accessing your account until your identity has been verified, either through email or through text. Some accounts even take advantage of voice calls in order to verify identities.
I deem two-factor authentication downright necessary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a message telling me someone was attempting to get into my Sony account. Two-factor authentication doesn’t hurt to set up and is extremely useful.
Install a VPN Extension
Enough about accounts, let’s focus on browser security as a whole. When you visit a website on Chrome, your data is in fact visible. In fact, if you were to log in to, let’s say, your bank account on a public network, you run the risk of someone intercepting the data and stealing your information.
Fortunately, you can easily install a VPN browser extension for Chrome to help you with this. A VPN encrypts your data, keeping others from stealing your information. And with an extension, it’ll always be on, you can turn it on and off at your discretion. I can’t think of any reason not to use one!
Update Your Browser
From time to time, Google likes to send out updates for Chrome, and you should take advantage of these updates. These updates not only provide better speed or compatibility with certain programs but also improve the security of Chrome.
The golden rule of tech is to update your system constantly, and updating your browser is no exception. If you haven’t updated Chrome in a while, be sure to do it sooner than later.
Use an Anti-Virus Program
Anti-virus programs have protected millions of devices over the past two decades. I’m sure that without them many would find themselves facing off against a deadly bout of viruses.
They not only protect your system, but the browser you use. After all, where else would those viruses come from if not the Internet?
On Windows, you probably already have an antivirus program-one referred to as Windows Defender. If you don’t have that or are on Linux or Mac, you’ll want to install an antivirus program as soon as possible. It’s always “better safe than sorry” as the saying goes.