Chrome privacy settings for data security

Google Chrome is the browser chosen by millions of people around the world on PCs and smartphones, especially for its user-friendly interface, native support for Google apps and synchronization capabilities that allow you to use the same settings on all your devices.
The only problems with Chrome are related to information privacy, a hot topic of 2018.
The concerns about the tight control that a company like Google makes of using its Chrome browser are absolutely understandable and it is therefore important to know how to control the data that is shared.
In this guide we see how to configure Chrome options to obtain maximum security and privacy, denying permission to external sites to obtain information about the user.
To prevent Google and above all that other non-transparent and often intrusive sites can receive browsing data from Chrome, you must use your browser settings and make it safe, both on PC and on Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone and iPad .
READ ALSO: The safest browser: comparison between Chrome, Firefox and others
Note : Common opinion of the experts is that Chrome is a very safe browser, changing options to maintain privacy can significantly improve this security, at the expense of some often advantageous features.
All Chrome configurations are in the Options menu to click in the list that appears by pressing on the three dots at the top right, then going to Settings .
1) Synchronization
As mentioned above, among the best features of Chrome there is the synchronization of personal data so that you can use the browser from different computers, always with the same extensions and then also on smartphones with the same favorites, the stored passwords and others configuration data.
The synchronization takes place through the configured Google account, therefore in complete safety and guarantee that they cannot be read by external people and we have explained in another article how to synchronize data and passwords on Chrome and other browsers.
The problem is that, in synchronization, the entire history and references to the sites visited are also stored, which you may wish to hide.
Without renouncing this important functionality, it is possible, from a PC or smartphone, to open Chrome, log in with the Google account and then go to Settings and press on the word Synchronization (on Android and iPhone press on the account name).
It will therefore be possible to disable the synchronization of the history, the automatic compilation, the open tabs and also the passwords, if you prefer to keep them in mind or not stored in Google.
On Android and iPhone smartphones, by going to the Settings menu, it is possible to disable the automatic storage of Passwords and Autocompilation and payments .
In addition, in Chrome from PC and also on Android and iPhone, by pressing on the synchronization account, you can find the encryption options and not use the Google account to protect the stored passwords, but instead another password chosen at the moment.
Google Chrome offers the choice of using the password of the Google account as a password or a personalized passphrase that is stored only on the PC in use and that must be remembered or marked somewhere to use it in other PCs.
To make sure that Google cannot read personal data, the most trusted can use the personalized password, different from that of the Google account.
Keep in mind that, regarding privacy, the passwords saved in Chrome visible on every PC or other browser .
2) Privacy options
On Chrome PC, open the Settings, scroll down and click on the advanced settings to find the privacy settings section.
In Chrome for Android and iPhone the Privacy section is located in Settings, under the word Advanced .
In this special section of Chrome, who Should want to ensure total privacy or almost should disable all the options, or understand what they mean and disable only those that bring unnecessary functions.
To explain the privacy section, let's see what these options are, advising whether to activate it or not.
- Chrome resolves navigation errors by sending the address of the site that is unable to open to Google, which responds with a Google error page itself.
Unchecking the box prevents Chrome from informing Google of badly written addresses or unresponsive sites.
I personally keep it on, but it can be turned off.
- Chrome uses browser history to make predictions and automatically complete search terms and addresses.
Deactivating the second box means giving up auto-completion support, so as to be more free in searches, without being influenced by previous ones and without sending information to Google.
Personally I keep it active to find things already seen, but for privacy reasons it would be better to disable it.
- Forecast to speed up the loading of pages
This allows Chrome to scan links on a page and preload them in the background
This option can be deactivated for privacy reasons also because it gives few benefits and weighs down the PC and smartphone
- Send system information and page content to Chrome to detect hazards.
This is obviously an invasion of Google's privacy and should be deactivated.
- Protect your device from dangerous sites .
When you visit one of these sites, Google blocks browsing with a dangerous site warning.
Deactivating this feature means giving up protection but, those who have experience and know how to recognize deceptions, may prefer greater freedom to go even to non-recommended sites.
READ ALSO: Safe Browsing in Chrome blocks dangerous download sites
- The option Automatically send Google usage statistics and crash reports to Google is the only one that, by default, is turned off and is also the most intrusive.
By enabling it, Chrome sends detailed information about browser crashes and usage statistics.
In this case, Google ensures that no personal information will be sent, except for data on potentially harmful sites.
- Automatic spelling error correction is useful, but send what you write on the write boxes to Google so privacy is not guaranteed.
- Sending the Do not track request is used not to be tracked for website advertisements.
Further information on this option, which should be activated, are in the article on Chrome the "Do not track" and permissions for sites.
3) Cookies
Still in the privacy section, you can press the Content settings button to manage the data downloaded from the internet, including cookies, those small text files that contain information sent by the sites to the computers to recognize them.
By activating the " Block third-party cookies " checkbox, Chrome is prevented from accepting those cookies sent by advertising banners and online advertising circuits.
However, some websites may not function properly if you enable this option.
Cookies can be saved on the computer or you can choose to delete them every time you close the browser so as not to leave any trace on the use.
This option, if you want to maintain privacy, is certainly convenient compared to the total block of cookies which certainly causes the non-functioning of many sites and web applications that require registration.
4) Position detection
As written in another article, you can disable geolocation on IE, Chrome and Firefox or falsify it.
Some sites, such as Google Maps, automatically detect the geographic location from the browser to improve the service.
It is therefore advisable to set this option (found in the settings) so that you must authorize any site that asks to share the location.
The option is under the Privacy> Content settings section.
5) Clear the navigation tracks
Still in the privacy section, you can press the Clear browsing data button to delete all traces of use of the browser, always or only for the last hour, day or week.
In the advanced options, you can choose to keep some items stored and selectively delete others.
6) Chrome incognito
To navigate without leaving a trace, you can keep the default options and use the Chrome option incognito by pressing the wrench.
As seen in another post, you can also make it possible to browse incognito with Chrome automatically, only on some chosen sites.
7) Chrome permissions
Chrome provides additional settings to keep your data more confidential.
By tapping " Site settings " in Chrome on Android or Settings contained in Chrome on PC you can configure various permissions such as camera or webcam, microphone, location access, popup, ad blocker.
In general, it is always better to use the Ask first option for everything, except for Javascript which is essential.
All Chrome privacy options can be managed from a single single selection and deselection menu if you install the Privacy Manager extension which brings up a button at the top right from which to configure all these settings mentioned above.
READ ALSO: 10 Chrome extensions to browse safely and protect your browser
Finally, remember that if you like Chrome but you don't want to be linked to Google in any way, you can use one of the alternative browsers based on Chromium but without Google .

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