Chrome comes with a built-in password manager to save all your passwords and makes it a breeze to automatically fill credentials. You might be able to enjoy this feature on your home/work computer, but what if you want to access this information from all of your devices? Thankfully, Chrome also comes with a data sync feature to sync most of your Chrome data (including passwords) over all your devices using your Google account.
In this article we will show you how you can sync your Chrome data with all your other devices. The Chrome data sync feature is a bit vulnerable as well, so we will also show you how to keep your data secured while you take advantage of data syncing.
Syncing Chrome Data
To use the data sync feature of Chrome, you need to sign in to Chrome using your Google account. Chrome will use your Google account to identify you and sync the data. To do so, click on the main menu button at the top-right corner (three horizontal lines), and select “Settings” from the menu.
At the top you will see the button “Sign in to Chrome;” click on it and provide your Google account credentials to sign in.
After signing in, you will be immediately asked to choose which data you would like to sync. By default, all the data selected will be synced, but you can select the option “Choose what to sync” from the above drop-down menu to select data yourself. The data you can sync includes, Passwords, Extensions, Apps, Browsing history, Settings, Bookmarks, Themes, Autofill, Open tabs and Credit cards.
Google will also encrypt your passwords using your Google account credentials for an extra layer of security. When you will click “OK,” all your selected data will be synced to your Google account.
Now all you have to do is download Chrome on one of your devices (PC or Smartphone), and Chrome will automatically ask you to sign in with your Google account to sync data. As soon as you sign in, all your selected data will be synced to that device.
Access Passwords from Any Device or Browser
For your passwords, you don’t necessarily have to sign in to Chrome to access them. Google also has an online web portal to see all your passwords. Just access passwords.google.com from any browser and enter your Google account credentials. You will see all your saved passwords along with username and website name.
Protect Your Chrome Data
When you sync data with your Google account, you are actually putting all your data up online. This means if anyone can access your Google Account – like a hacker maybe – then they can also access all of your data, including saved passwords. Below are some steps you can take to protect the synced data.
Add 2-Step Verification to Your Google Account
As your synced data is protected by your Google account, you first need to ensure your Google account is secured. You can add 2-Step Verification to your Google account to make it almost impossible for a hacker to hack your account without your phone. In 2-Step Verification, you will have to provide a short code (sent to your phone) along with your Google account password to access your account.
You can check our detailed article to secure your Google account with 2-Step verification.
Encrypt All the Synced Data
You can also encrypt all the synced data with a personal passphrase that no one but you know. To encrypt all the data, go to the Chrome “Settings” again and click on the “Advanced sync settings” button under the “Sign in” heading.
Here, choose the option “Encrypt all synced data with your own sync passphrase” under the “Encryption options,” and enter the passphrase twice. When you click on “OK,” all your data will be encrypted using this passphrase. You will be asked to enter this passphrase before syncing data to any of your devices.
Note: the passphrase is not stored anywhere, so you will have to memorize or write it down somewhere. Make sure you don’t forget it or you will have to reset sync, as there is no way to recover the password using Google.
Chrome’s automatic data sync is very convenient to keep your data with you everywhere, and 2-Step Verification and Data Encryption will ensure this data stays safe. However, it should be kept in mind that anyone with physical access to your device can still access this data. So it is advised that you at least store your passwords with a third-party password manager like Lastpass to keep them safe.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.
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