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Modifying Google Chrome Settings For Improved Privacy

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

Google pushed out Google Chrome to dip a toe into the web browser market. But they are not giving away a free browser for nothing. No, sir. Google Chrome by default sends a good deal of browsing history, searches and much more to Google. Google is then free to do what it likes with this information.

This might not be so desirable as Google becomes the new Microsoft, with a toe dipped into so many pies that no one seems to know where Google ends, and as it does so it gathers more and more information about its users.

Sending data to Google through the Chrome browser does bring with it some benefits in the form of extra features that help when using the web. So each time one wrestles back a bit more control to protect their privacy, it has a corresponding impact on the usability of the browser itself. It is therefore up to the individual user to decide where that comfort zone is between ease of use and security-oriented peace of mind.

Instant Search Results

The Instant search feature runs much like Instant search does at Google. As you type each character, a new search is run and search results are generated for the partially typed-in search enquiry.

The issue with security here is that everything you type is therefore send to Google, regardless of your reason for typing it.

To turn this off, click the Wrench icon in the top-right of the browser. Then select Options. Under Search, uncheck the “Enable Instant for fast searching” check-box.

Syncing

Chrome can sync to a Gmail account of your choosing. The sync can keep bookmarks, installed extensions, passwords, and more.

With sync, it is possible to decide which aspect of the browser's usage you wish synced and which you wish to exclude. The choices are apps, autofill, bookmarks, extensions, passwords, preferences, and themes.

It is possible to encrypt date prior to transmission. This can be only for passwords or for all data. For the encryption key, it is possible to use the same password as used on the selected Gmail account or to create a separate key just for Chrome.

 

 

Privacy Settings

 

The privacy settings in the Under the Hood section have five important settings to turn off or on. All of these features send information to Google.

 

The first allows a look up online when a site cannot be found. This feature suggests alternative sites or a differently spelled site in case of a typo.

 

The second and third use predictive searching to suggest what you might be typing in, and predicts next actions & pre-loads parts of the page or follow on pages.

 

The fourth is a phishing and malware protection which looks up whether a site is considered suspicious by Google and displays a warning prior to loading the page into the web browser. This helps avoid the browser and system becoming infected.

 

Geo-location Tracking

 

Web sites can request information on your location. This can be used when providing local maps, weather reports, and such like.

 

Under the Content Settings pane, move to the Location section. From here, you can decide to allow sites to learn your location, selectively approve a site receiving this information or deny in all cases.

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