Submitted by David Cadelina @TechWarn.com
(Image from unsplash.com)
Despite being the world’s most popular browser, with close a staggering 70 percent market share, Google’s Chrome is not without its flaws.
In April the tech giant released an update for the web browser that included a fix for a critical security issue. Without citing too many specifics, Google noted that the issue involved ‘use after free in speech recognizer.’
According to a security researcher at NakedSecurity, the bug means hackers can potentially bypass a browser’s standard security checks, and, critically, the ‘are you sure?’ dialogs.
Although Chrome should automatically update for many users, it’s wise to double-check the update has been completed properly. Above and beyond that, there are a few other ways savvy Chrome users can make sure their browser is secure.
Use a security extension
To keep your data safe while you browse, a VPN Chrome browser extension is essential. Because Chrome is well-suited to add-ons and very stable, encrypting your traffic with an extension will not affect your browser’s performance and you can rest easy in the knowledge your VPN software is shielding you from prying eyes and threat actors.
Choose a full extension from a reputable company as opposed to the proxy versions that some companies offer.
Check your third-party integrations
Because Chrome is so amenable to add-ons and makes it fast and easy for users to sign up for extensions using their Google account, you may be sharing more data with third-party integrations than you care to realize.
That’s not the worst of it though. Did you know that many Chrome extensions and apps require access to some of your online activity?
Luckily, remedying this is simple. Every now and again, check over your installed apps and extensions and get rid of any that you no longer need. As an added bonus, your browser should perform faster with fewer unnecessary hangers-on.
Just type chrome:extensions into the address bar and you’ll be presented with a list of all your installed extras. Use the remove button to delete the add-ons. Try and do this regularly and bear in mind that if a service is free, there’s always a chance that your data is the product.
Plug any unexpected security gaps
As you’re probably aware, most websites should use the secure HTTPS protocol. Sites with HTTPS mean that any data you send to the site is encrypted and the site is, in fact, what it says it is. You can quickly and easily check a site’s security protocol by looking for the lock icon to the left of Chrome’s address bar.
HTTPS is now pretty standard, but unfortunately, not all sites got the message and are still running the older, and less secure HTTP protocol.
You can make the web a safer place to be by installing and using the HTTPS Everywhere app. This nifty tool automatically switches unsecured sites to secured sites keeping any data you send hidden from snoopers or hackers.
Opt for two-step verification with a security key
While two-step verification is great by itself, it’s even better when paired with a security key and can help keep hackers far away from your Google account. It’s the ideal way for anyone with sensitive data to use the internet safely.
To set this up, you need to get the security key itself first. If you’re using a mobile device, you can use your phone’s compatible in-built key.
Otherwise, you need to source a compatible key from the Play Store or a reputable online seller. Next, enroll your security key and sign in using your key. You will also need to have two-factor authentication enabled.
Taking a few extra steps towards proper security means you can keep enjoying the many benefits of Chrome without worrying about the downsides.