It’s hard to browse online these days because of the widespread cyber threats, not to mention the continuous evolution of malware attacks. If you’re using the Google ecosystem to connect to the world — whether it’s Gmail, Drive, Google+, and so on, then you’re pretty much signing up to have your personal information scanned by the company’s algorithm bots. But at least you can protect yourself to an extent when using Chrome, which has several privacy options that can somehow provide you some fair amount of protection.

Check what those are below.

Change Your Search Engine to a Non-Tracking One

This is one of the simplest privacy steps you can do on Chrome, but then it’s also very easy to disregard when using the browser to search for things because it’s just “there” all the time. So it’s better to set your search engine to a more privacy-friendly one to use as your default instead.

DuckDuckGo is one of the most effective option these days because it doesn’t track any of your search terms, encrypts your data, and all the usual privacy bells and whistles. Another one that is worth considering is Startpage, which runs Google searches by proxy, so that it gets all the power of Google’s search results with Google knowing it’s you doing the browsing. When looking through search results, you can click the By Proxy option under each result so that the site you click through will not be able to track you and your activities.

Disable the Location History

Unbeknownst to most people, this feature tracks your movements literally wherever you go, letting you (or, say, someone who’s stolen your phone or accessed your Google account) see where you’ve been every second of every day that you’re logged into a Google account.

To disable this feature, go to your account page by clicking your profile picture at the upper-right hand corner of Google, Gmail, or other Google service, then clicking My Account. Next, click Personal info & privacy > My Activity > Activity Controls, and then scroll down to Location History. Click Manage Activity here to see just how accurately this service has been tracking you. Click on the switch opposite Location History to turn it off.

Automatically Clear Cookies

At this point, most people are already aware that cookies allow websites to create files on the computer that store information about a user’s web behavior within given websites. Sites such as Amazon, for example, use them to present you with tailored shopping recommendations on the homepage.

For some, this is no big deal, but for those who do can set the cookies to get deleted automatically each time they close the browser. To do this, click the menu icon at the upper-right hand corner of the screen, then go to Settings > Show advanced settings button > Privacy > Content settings. Then under the Cookies section, click Keep local data only until you quit your browser.

Turn On the “Do Not Track” Feature

People have mixed feelings on this one because it technically prevents sites from tracking your web activity, it’s completely optional. So even if you enable it, whether or not it will work will be at the discretion of the websites you visit.

Here’s how to turn it on — click the menu icon, then select Settings and then scroll down and click the Show advanced settings button. Now, look under the Privacy section, then check the box next to Send a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic.

Use Google’s Privacy Checkup

Privacy Check-up is a lightweight web tool that lets you play around with your sharing/privacy settings across various Google services like Photos, YouTube, Google+, and so on. It’s pretty straightforward once you’re on the page and is a neatly-presented way of making sure that certain activities of yours are as private as you want them to be.

Tags: ,

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 6:22:33 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

Leave a Response