How to Improve Security in Google Chrome Browser

How To Encrypt Google Chrome

We talk a lot about security on Make Tech Easier. Whether you’re securing FireFox or using a browser dedicated to privacy, we understand the importance of security in our connected, digital world. If you’re a user of Google Chrome, you may be neglecting your browser security.

The web browser is the primary way that most users interact with the Internet, and it’s perhaps the largest vector of attack that can be used by viruses, malware and malicious third parties. Having proper browser security is important, now more than ever, especially if you’re managing things like PayPal accounts and bank details.

Fortunately for you, there are a few ways to increase the security of your Chrome browser. Why else would we be here if there weren’t?

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Chief among the ways of making Google Chrome have better security is installing extensions that enhance your privacy and Internet security. The easiest one would be HTTPS Everywhere which you may recognize from my previous FireFox security article. That article is worth mentioning, too, since a lot of the things you can do to secure your installation of FireFox can also be done on Chrome.

The extensions from that article include:

  • Disconnect – An extension that allows you to block sites that track you across the web. In addition to privacy, this speeds up your Internet connection significantly.
  • uBlock Origin – An adblocker that’s better than AdBlock Plus. What more do you need?
  • Web of Trust – Rates websites based on worldwide community feedback. Fishy websites will be flagged on Web of Trust, so keeping an eye on Web of Trust ratings is a simple, easy way to make sure you’re browsing safe, no matter where you go.

Here are a few more, for good measure.

  • Secure Profile. – Your Chrome installation stores all kinds of userdata by default, including a huge list of passwords that can be accessed by anyone who knows the password to your computer. To add an extra layer of protection to your stored passwords, use this extension.
  • Credit Card Nanny. – Not every site will treat your credit card info properly. Credit Card Nanny will tell you if a site is doing something it shouldn’t with your secure payment information.

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Here’s what many people consider to be a nuclear option. Want full browser security? Use a VPN! A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, encrypts and routes all your data through external, secure servers so that no one – not your ISP, not the NSA – knows what you’re doing with your Internet connection.

The best VPNs are paid and can be applied across your whole computer – these include Private Internet Access and NordVPN.

However, there are free VPN browser solutions. Looking among the available Chrome options, the two most highly-rated and used are Hola’s Unlimited Free VPN and DotVPN. Unlimited Free VPN is great for circumventing content blocks, but its usage as an actual full VPN client may be up for debaate. Meanwhile, DotVPN is great, when it works, but sometimes it doesn’t, according to reviews.

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The NSA security scandal was and is a big deal, especially for the big tech companies who were revealed to be vulnerable during that incident. Despite Google’s reputation as an advertiser, Google actually cares quite a bit about security and privacy of its user data. That’s why it’s been working on securing the Internet lately. They push for proper encryption on all websites using the HTTPS standard. Google isn’t alone; a lot of tech and web companies are on the search giant’s side here.

In order to support this, Google is developing an end-to-end extension designed to encrypt all web traffic done through its Chrome browser. At the time of writing (Feb 2016), this project isn’t yet done and likely has many bugs. An alpha version of the extension is on github, and it’ll be in development for a while.

Overall, what you do with your browser is up to you. Using the options I’ve given you above, however, you should find that your browsing data is more secure than ever! Just be sure to stay away from suspicious sites, and take care of security and maintenance on the rest of your computer.

5 comments

  1. “Secure Chrome” is an oxymoron. No matter what add-ons or extensions one installs, Chrome will always be open to Google’s data harvesting.

    “Google actually cares quite a bit about security and privacy of its user data. ”
    Google only cares about the security and privacy of the user data that it has harvested and resides on THEIR servers. If Google cares so much about “security and privacy” of user data, it should make all of its searches anonymous, like DuckDuckGo. Google speak with forked tongue.

  2. Use Chromium, the open source version of Chrome, instead. And then also do all of the things in this article.

  3. Ok…. all right ..!! Lets say my opinion to security , of course the security of Surfing no matter what browser you are using..!!

    First of all , There is only one rule to the Internet : You cannot hide , but you can run (pointless…!! now days)

    1] The minute an ISP (you pay, we all pay) gives you a “random” IP…. is tracking you.! What I mean … The ISPs are operating under law and they are keeping logs (in a place where you as a user do not have access , I mean physically) of what you are doing, where are you and what is your preferences. (of course , they make the rules..!!)
    I will come to this later on…

    2] The known browsers are closed source so you do not know what they are doing so I strongly agree with dragonmouth. So using these browsers with extensions or TOR is pointless..!

    3] For open source browsers like chromium or else , I want to ask a serious question to the users : WHO ACTUALLY REVIEW THE SOURCE CODE FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END??? The answer is NONE except the people who actually contribute to the cost of making the source code. In addition you have to be a programmer to truly understand the code and this is not right at all because if you are a programmer it is impossible to know a lot of programming languages to understand the routines and what they actually do..!! Ok lets say something else … lets say you are a good programmer , you found a flaw to a browser open source code and you fix it for yourself. !!!! You recompile all code and you are using it yourself. All ok to this BUT… you have to publish this flaw to the community who is responsible to the program and then wait for an update IF THEY APPROVE this.!!! If the do not then you have to go on public this and you may get a response if you are lucky and everyone takes you seriously.!!! If the do not approve then you have to do this every time there is a new release or update to the code.. you understand the meaning …after sometime you loose your interest and you will give in to the community.! THAT IS THE TRUTH with open source code. (Actually it is not open as you think [ it is more open like the others ] because these people are following an agenda which is secretly closed to others like political agendas , economical agendas and war agendas..!! For example , question yourself why countries DO NOT USE open source codes or kernels from linux nor from Microsoft to trust army systems or surveillance equipment.! Do not be fooled by movies or by the equipment who they are selling to the common people.! (like me and you of course..)

    4] Going buck to the ISPs when you entered the internet you are logged and if you are using a services like TOR then it is a little bit harder for someone to track you (but in the end they will find you.) from the destination point server. Ask yourself again who build this system and all the protocols which goes to security??? Yes you understand now that there is no security at all??? These people and every respective programmer or builder always knows the system well ..!!! ;) because he/she build it.!! They know how to DONE and to UNDONE things inside the system. Everything is monitored and you do not have a clue. You trust these guys and you are buying , exchange money , pay your bills .
    For example : If you want to pay a client using your web based bank services , you actually TRUST your bank web page or lets say the connection through your bank web page to do the transaction. All of the information goes to your bank server and then to the cluster in the same bank and then to the cloud , and then to the bank cloud of a different bank and then …. you got the point aaa??? and all of this is done by the encryption your bank is using -> https from your ISP to the Web page bank account server -> then different encryption inside the bank’s cloud (server to server) – then different encryption to the cloud generally and ………..lets say no more..!! Ask yourself again , Who do you actually trust????!!!!

    5) Ok this is far fetched but I have to say this as well. Lets say that everything is secure enough , the internet is secure and all of the transactions are secure as well , the Operating Systems are secure everything goes well. NOW pay attention please. The question is : WHAT ABOUT THE HARDWARE YOU ARE USING??? how about the secret directives ( detectives are the build in instructions the main processors have to do a lot of routines and subroutines like I/O operation or what ever..) that the chipsets or the main processors have???? What they do??? How can be triggered ?? What kind of information they are passing (without our knowledge) to the manufactures?? (Intel , AMD, Nvidia , ATI …e.t.c.) How secure is an O.S (Operating System) when you have a chipset with build in instructions / commands ??? The answer is : You DO NOT KNOW . Only Intel can answer this of course , for example …!!
    And here we can talk about Mod Chips and Modding as well..!! How on earth these groups like ALADDIN, DMS, Xecuter and more KNOWS exactly where to place and connect the mod chip to the system board of lets say a P.S. (Play Station). They are not magical people you know…!! most of them they previously WORKED ( and I do not mean as a simple employees but as a technicians in their labs) with these companies before or they have the technology to reverse engineering these systems but I doubt that.! You have to have a complete knowledge of the circuit board to build a mod chip.! And again imagine what the manufacturers can do inside a chip..!!!!

    That is all from me..!! I would like to hear your thoughts on this..!!
    Have a nice day.

  4. Great analysis arxaios. Its good to know more on the subject. For surfing though. Would be extremely useful to point out few steps to take to be as safe as possible.

  5. Secure Profile?

    Just launch google chrome twice & close the password dialog box. Done

    Or

    Just add –disable-extensions in shortcut when launched

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