How to configure your Chromebook for maximum security
A Chromebook is indeed a very secure computer once it is out of the box. Because it doesn’t run a traditional operating system and takes advantage of many of the security measures that Google supports, Chrome OS is well guarded against the evils lurking out there on the web.
But you can always do more, especially if you want to reduce the effects of your online roaming, or prevent every action you take online from contributing to an advertising profile.
You can share your Chromebook with others or want a setup that is immune to the latest security threats. Maybe it’s time to do a little Google searching in your life, as the Mountain View giant can gather a lot of information about you.
Whatever your reasons, here are a few ways to strengthen your Chromebook’s security architecture.
Own your own Google security
Chrome OS takes advantage of Google’s ongoing security efforts to identify malicious websites and sandbox every browser tab so that no single website can destroy your entire computer.
Good security starts with you and how you manage your private data. In this case, it means making sure that you have properly secured your Google account. Since it’s the main gateway to your Chromebook, you need to have a strong password and use Google two-factor authentication. This generates a text message or code through the Google Authenticator app that is required for any new login.
In your Chromebook’s settings, you can tweak a number of different features. For maximum security, restrict logging in to your account only (below).
A Chromebook gives you complete control over who can be granted access.
This means that no one else can sign in and use your Chromebook. Nosy relatives or corrupt youth will be denied at every turn.
If others are determined to use your Chromebook, you can at least assert more control. Create a moderated profile that lets you see which websites have been visited by other profiles, block extensions, and change other settings. To do this, go to Settings > Manage Other Users > Enable Supervised Users.
Moreover, if you are going to loan your Chromebook to someone else or plan to resell it, there is a very easy way to erase your data. Use the Powerwash feature in Settings > Show advanced settings > Powerwash.
Leave no trace
You may have had the experience of checking out a new tent on Amazon, for example, and then all of a sudden ads for that sleeping shelter pop up on every site you visit.
You can stop the madness. Consider a VPN if you want to hide your browsing from your ISP or other prying eyes. TunnelBear is an excellent choice for a Chromebook for several reasons.
First, TunnelBear offers an extension for Chrome, while many other VPNs require a Windows or macOS client. Additionally, Chromebooks with the Google Play Store can install the TunnelBear Android app.
Derek Walter / I.D.J
TunnelBear is an excellent and easy to use VPN.
Another way to explore is a privacy-focused extension like Privacy Badger, an extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The extension blocks trackers, though you may be able to accept some cookies or whitelist specific sites. From time to time I’ve found that it can make the site’s performance a bit shaky, so expect to hit some bumps on the road.
Chrome will give you the goods on cookies and other permissions that each site you visit requests.
Another useful extension from EFF’s privacy advocates is HTTPS Everywhere. Once you install this on Chrome, the browser will force a secure connection to All The websites you visit on the web. Although Google and others have gone to great lengths to make HTTPS the default connection, insecure sites still persist.
Also, keep a close eye on your extensions. Google has been busy lately ramping up the security it does in checking the extensions you can install in Chrome. However, it is best to stick with extensions from reputable companies. Check out the reviews on the Chrome Web Store as well to see what others have to say.
Back on Google
Perhaps you want to give Google a little more information to keep talking about you (all of these details can lead to some interesting results). One solution is to switch the default search provider to DuckDuckGo. It is a privacy-focused search engine that does not track your search history.
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine.
To do this, go to DuckDuckGo, right-click in the address bar, and select Edit search engines. Then from the list of search engines, click make default button next to DuckDuckGo. Now when you type a search query in Chrome, it will be triggered by the annoying search engine that keeps your secrets safe.
Chrome guest mode enables you to browse with Chrome without any history attached to your Google account. All you have to do is log out of your current session and log in as a guest. It’s perfect for when you don’t want your browsing history to follow you all the time.
You can reduce Google’s retention of your personal information further by turning off Auto-fill and Auto-sync in Chrome. While the auto-fill feature is certainly convenient, you may not want to have this feature ready to put your name, address, email, and more into an online form. Turning off syncing means that your search history and other preferences will remain local to this device.
go to Settings>Advanced sync settings and uncheck Autofill Box. If you like the convenience of synchronized data and passwords, but don’t want to give them to Google, consider a password manager.
Manage sync settings to keep track of your previous internet use.
To get deeper into the privacy forests, you can switch your DNS server to one that does not log or maintain these lookups. By default, this information may be retained by the administrator or ISP.
To change the DNS settings on your Chromebook, first head over to the Chrome menu and choose Settings > Internet connection , then tap the name of your network.
Then head to network tab and choose Dedicated Name Servers. You can enter the following details from DNS Watch, which advocates for data privacy. Enters 126.96.36.199 for server 1 and 188.8.131.52 For server 2. Choose Disconnect. Then select Network again and choose Connection. This will change the switchboard from sending your traffic through your ISP.
Even though your Chromebook is already about as secure a computer as you can get, it wouldn’t hurt to go the extra mile. With a few strategic moves, your Chromebook will be immune to the web’s wild jungles.