10 Tips to Enhance the Security of Your Google Chrome Browser

Google Chrome is the world's most popular web browser. Its market share hovers around 65%, meaning almost two-thirds of internet users rely on Chrome for their daily browsing needs.

However, with great popularity comes heightened risk, making Chrome an appealing target for cyberattacks.

Fortunately, Chrome offers robust built-in security features, which you can further strengthen by tweiling settings and utilizing helpful browser extensions.

1. Run Regular Safety Checks

1. Run Regular Safety Checks
1. Run Regular Safety Checks

Chrome's integrated Safety Check tool scrutinizes your browser's security hygiene.

Use it often to check for updates, compromised passwords, malicious extensions, and necessary tweaks.

Click the three-dot menu > Settings > Privacy and security > Safety check. Then click Check now. Address any issues Chrome flags.

2. Activate Enhanced Safe Browsing Protection

Safe Browsing shields you from dangerous sites and downloads. For maximum security, enable Enhanced Protection.

This mode proactively warns you about emerging threats and password breaches.

Activate it by going to Settings > Privacy and security > Security > Enhanced Protection.

3. Avoid Chrome's Built-In Password Manager

Chrome can save your passwords so you don't have to remember them.

However, security experts warn against using built-in password managers because they store passwords insecurely.

Instead, get a dedicated password manager like LastPass or 1Password. These apps encrypt your passwords and make signing in safer across all your devices.

4. Install a Script Blocker

Malicious scripts lurk on shady sites, poised to hack your browser. Script blockers like NoScript stop them from running automatically.

This adds an extra layer of protection beyond Chrome's defenses. On install, NoScript asks which sites you trust so legitimate scripts still work.

5. Lock Your Chrome Profile

Prevent snoops from accessing your personal Chrome data, including browsing history, bookmarks, and passwords.

The Lock My Profile extension secures your profile with a PIN code or password.

So even if someone gets physical access to your device, they can't peek at your private Chrome activity without getting past Lock My Profile first.

6. Clear Browser Data Frequently

Chrome stores data like browsing history, cached pages, cookies, and site permissions. While convenient, this data poses privacy issues and could aid hackers.

Regularly clear it by going to Settings > Privacy and Security > Clear browsing data. For optimal privacy, choose the beginning of time as the time range.

7. Monitor Site Permissions

Websites sometimes request access to your mic, camera, or location to enable certain features. Review permissions under Settings > Privacy and security > Site settings.

Revoke access from any sites you don't fully trust. Also toggle off permissions entirely if you rarely use associated features.

8. Disable Third-Party Cookies

Cookies let sites remember you. Unfortunately, third-party cookies from advertisers and analytics companies enable extensive tracking across the web.

Block them by navigating to Settings > Privacy and security > Cookies and other site data > Block third-party cookies.

9. Use DuckDuckGo as Default Search Engine

Google logs and profiles your searches to serve personalized (i.e. surveillance-based) ads. DuckDuckGo — a privacy-focused search engine — does not.

Under Settings > Search engine, set DuckDuckGo as default for anonymous search. You can still access Google via the address bar when needed.

10. Install the Facebook Container Extension

10. Install the Facebook Container Extension
10. Install the Facebook Container Extension

Prevent Facebook from tracking your activity across non-Facebook sites with this nifty extension.

It opens Facebook in a separate container, blocking its trackers from profiling you elsewhere and limiting data access. Get Facebook Container on the Chrome Web Store.

11. Employ a VPN for Enhanced Security

A VPN routes your traffic through an encrypted tunnel, hiding your IP address and location. This thwarts snooping by cybercriminals and ISPs.

VPNs also guard against geo-blocks, helping you access region-restricted content.

Top services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer user-friendly Chrome extensions that make connecting straightforward.

12. Use Guest Mode for Sensitive Browsing

Chrome's Guest mode offers heightened privacy for sensitive sessions. Browsing data from Guest windows don't stick around after you close them.

Open an incognito window and click your profile icon to launch Guest mode.

Just note Guest windows don't provide full anonymity, so a VPN still helps when dealing with extremely sensitive matters.