Browser Security: Google Chrome

January 3, 2013

The first thing you want to be aware of when discussing security features on Google’s Chrome browser is that many of the best options aren’t built into the browser, but rather are offered as extensions, apps, and plugins in the Chrome webstore

google chrome

However, there are some very helpful security features built directly into Chrome. You can find them in the Chrome settings sections. You have to scroll down and click “show advanced settings…” the first section is ‘Privacy.’ There is a lot of pretty technical stuff in here that will affect your browsing experience if you mess with it so we’re just going to stick with the simple stuff. You can choose to block pop-ups. You can also make it so that sites must seek permission when they want to track your physical location or you can disallow this sort of tracking altogether. There are also sites that will want to use your camera or microphone. You have the option of turning this off all the time or at the very least making it so these sites need your permission before using these devices.

Back in the advanced settings area, you can check a box to enable phishing and malware protection. When this is enabled and you hit a site that Google has flagged as being potentially malicious, Chrome will throw this warning page ( at you, letting you know that the page you are attempting to visit may harm your computer in some way or attempt to steal your personal information.

Beneath that option is the passwords and forms section. As we mentioned in the Firefox browser security article, there is no way to protect these passwords once someone is on your computer. If you let Chrome save your passwords for you, they are stored in this section. When you click “manage saved passwords”, your saved passwords appear obscured, but all you have to do is click on any of the individual accounts, choose show, and there they are, in plain text.

The ‘Do Not Track’ feature that we discussed in the Firefox article was implemented in Chrome 23, which came out late last year and provides a good baseline of protection against ad tracking. In the meantime, there are some great privacy and security plugins that we discuss here.