What is the full configuration of Chrome to Protect your Privacy
We will explain in-depth how to configure Chrome to have almost total privacy. When it comes to using your browser, it is always time to choose between browsing comfort or maximize your privacy, especially when your browser is being developed by a company specialized in advertising that could use your browsing data to your advantage.
Chrome is a browser that, like many others, has options that seek to give you many facilities when browsing and interacting with the content. But many of these options have a negative point, and in exchange for these facilities, you may be paying with your privacy. Some will tell you that the solution is to change Chrome for another browser, but if you do not want to do without it today we will indicate some settings that you can change.
Everything we are going to do will be within the browser, and without having to resort to third-party services. These are basic tips on how to use the many options in Chrome, so if you are an inexperienced user you can make informed decisions before changing anything. And if you are a veteran user and consider that there is some other advisable change, do not hesitate to tell us in the comments to be able to add it and share it with others.
The most radical solution: close your session
Chrome synchronizes by default several web surfing data in your Google account so that they are always accessible from all devices where you use the browser with your account. If you want to avoid any possibility that these data are synchronized and stored, the most radical remedy is to unlink your browser account to avoid linking all this data to it.
To do this, go to the browser Settings menu, both through its menu and by typing chrome://settings/ in your address bar. In the configuration, the first box of options is that of Users, and in it, you must click on the Disable button that will appear to the right of your profile name.
When you click on that button, a window will appear in which you have to click on Disable to confirm that you want to do it. If you do, your Google account session will be closed in the browser, and both your bookmark and history, passwords and other items will no longer be synchronized. You can also check the option to delete these items before clicking on the Disable button.
Even if you close your Google session in Chrome, by default the browser will start it again when you enter your account at any company service, such as Gmail. To avoid this, go to Chrome Settings, and go down at all. There,
When you access the advanced options, you have to deactivate the Allow Chrome sign-in option by clicking on the lever on your right. After doing so you will have to restart your computer, and when you do it Chrome will automatically stop logging in when you do it on one of the Google websites.
Less radical: configure what you sync to your account
But you may not want to make such a radical decision, and although there is data that you do not want Google to synchronize there are also others that for convenience do want to do so. To decide what is synchronized without deactivating everything, in the configuration click on the Google Services and synchronization option that is first in the Users section.
Once you are in Google Services and synchronization, click on the option Manage synchronization to access the menu where you can decide which elements are kept synchronized in your Google account.
Then, simply go deactivating browser items that you don’t want to be uploaded to your Google account. To do this, disable the option Synchronize all and then go deactivating what you do not want to be synchronized. The items you can enable or disable are applications, bookmarks, extensions, history, settings, themes, open tabs, passwords, payment methods or your addresses, phone numbers and more.
Here, the more items you deactivate, the less data Google will exchange about you between your devices. You may be especially interested in deactivating the history or your passwords. However, deactivating these items does not always mean that Google stops collecting information for itself. If you want Google to stop obtaining certain data, it is best that you configure it from your own Google account.
Decide what data Google keeps about your browsing
If you want to decide what types of data about your web surfing Google is saving about you, you can manage it by entering the myaccount.google.com website. Once you are on this page where you can control all aspects of your Google account, click on the Data and personalization section that will appear in the left column.
When you are in Data and personalization, go to the card Controls the activity of your account and deactivate all the elements that you do not want Google to store about you. The most important thing for Chrome would be to deactivate the Activity option on the Web and in Applications since this will not save what you do when you browse.
You can also deactivate other types of data that Google collects through all your devices, such as the history of locations that you get with your mobile, voice and audio activity when you speak with the assistant, information about the devices on which you use your account Google or the history of searches and views on YouTube.
Manage the cookies that your browser saves
Cookies are data files that a page sends to a browser. They can be used to remember your access to the web and keep your sessions started, but also to know the information about your browsing habits and the websites you visit. Therefore, it is a very important parameter to control, especially third-party cookies. To get started, go to Chrome’s settings and click on the Advanced Settings option below.
Once the advanced configuration options are displayed, you have to click on the Website configuration option. It will appear in the Privacy and security block, which is the first one you will see when you enter the advanced settings.
In Website Settings, you can see the permissions that the different web pages you access have. Many of them are secondary and Chrome always asks you whether to grant them, such as location or camera permission. In this menu, click on the Cookies option that will appear first.
When you enter the cookie settings, the first thing you will see are three options that you can enable or disable. To understand all three concepts, here is a definition of each one of them:
Allow sites to save and read cookie data. The pages you visit may send cookies to your computer and read them later. These types of cookies are those used to keep the sessions initiated on the web pages, and since they do not usually use identifiers, it is not strictly necessary to delete them.
Keep local data only until you exit the browser. Whether you have web cookies or third-party cookies enabled, they will only be in your browser until you close it. Then all will be deleted. This means that you will have to log in again on all websites when you reopen the browser.
Block third-party cookies: Third-party cookies do not belong to the pages they visit, but to other services that, through these pages, install cookies with which to track your browsing habits to send you information related to your interests or advertising, but also to Identify yourself as a user according to the pages you visit.
Among these three options, the most important thing is to activate the Block third-party cookies, since these cookies are the ones that can be used to track you. Of course, some pages may not allow you access if you do not enable cookies, so again you will have to decide between privacy or comfort.
In addition to the first three options, the page also has an option View all cookies and website data to see the list of cookies on your PC and be able to detect those of possible advertisers or services that are tracking you. If you detect that there are especially harmful websites or that use too many cookies, you can also add them to the list of pages where all cookies are blocked or all are deleted when you exit the browser.
Manage Google web services
Chrome also has several web services with which it may be sending data related to you to its servers. As always, these data serve to offer you some facilities when browsing. If you want to manage it, click on the Google Services and sync option that will appear first when you enter the browser settings menu.
Once you enter the Google Services and sync menu, scroll down to the Other Google services section. In it, you will see a series of services that you can activate and deactivate as you prefer. Here is the list with all that is available, so you can decide to what extent you are interested in using them in exchange for sending data to Google or dispensing with them.
Autocomplete searches and URL: Chrome will send Google the searches you do in your address bar so that the search engine will show you suggestions as you type with the ones you’ve visited before. If you want to prevent Chrome from choking Google what you write, uncheck this option, but suggestions will no longer be shown.
Show suggestions from similar pages when a page is not found: When you cannot connect to a web page or you type in a web address incorrectly, Chrome will send the address you have written to Google, and the search engine will suggest similar pages that you might have wanted to write Deselecting the option will no longer suggest pages.
Safe Browsing: Chrome will automatically download a list of potentially dangerous pages from Google’s Safe Browsing service to alert you when you go into them. When you do, Chrome will check on Google’s servers if it is a dangerous website, protecting you from possible malware or phishing pages. It is a highly recommended security option.
Help improve Chrome’s security: With this option enabled, every time Chrome detects you enter a website or download a suspicious file, it will send Google information about these sites you have visited or downloads that have been made.
Help improve Chrome’s features and performance: Google will collect statistical data on what items you use in Chrome when your browser experiences a crash. This data will be used to find and fix bugs, and to improve the browser in general. You won’t notice direct changes in Chrome if you disconnect this option.
Improve search and navigation: Send Google the addresses of all the pages you visit so that you know your preferences better.
Improved spell checking: With this option active, Chrome will send everything you type in your browser’s text boxes to Google’s servers, and you will receive spelling corrections in case you typed something wrong. If you deselect it, instead of connecting with Google, Chrome will use its local spelling dictionary, which is less effective.
There are still more options that you can change
When you access Chrome’s advanced settings, in the same Privacy and Security panel you will also have other options that you can enable or disable depending on whether you want to use these services. Here is their description so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to use them or not.
Allow Chrome sign-in: We have already talked about this option. If you activate it, when you sign in to a Google service it will also start in Chrome. Turn it off if you want to use Chrome without a linked Google profile so you don’t get so much personal information.
Send a non-tracking request with your browsing traffic: With this option enabled Google will send you to the pages “Do Not Track” requests so that they do not track you through the web. However, you should know that some pages may ignore these requests.
Let websites know if you have a saved payment method: Google will share with the web pages information about whether or not you have set up a payment method in the browser. If you don’t usually make recurring payments, disable it so they can’t know this about you.
Preload pages for faster browsing and browsing: When you enter a website, Chrome will look at the IP of the links shown on this page. In this way, the browser will preload the pages you could enter and load the cookies they send. In this way, when you click on them the pages will load faster. Deselect the box to prevent this from happening.
Change Chrome’s default search engine
But even if you do all this, Google can also obtain data about the searches you do through its search engine. Therefore, another privacy measure is to change the browser’s default search engine, so that when you type things in the address bar, you don’t look for them in Chrome but in another search engine.
The way to proceed we already tell you, although it is as easy as entering the browser settings and selecting a new search engine in the Search option used in the address bar, within the Search section. This list will appear the search engines that you have installed.
And if there is a search engine that you want to use and you don’t see it on the list, you just have to enter its website. As you see in the capture, when you enter search engines you will see the option to Add to Chrome. Just click on it and you will install the search engine so that it starts to appear from now on the Chrome list.
Control which extensions you use
And finally, there are the extensions. In the Chrome menu, tap More tools, and then enter the Extensions option. This will see a list of all you have installed. It is important to use only those you need and watch out for not having any dangerous installed on your computer.
If you click on the Details button of the extensions that are on the list, you will be able to access a page where you will see the permissions granted by that extension and the data it is collecting from your computer. If you see that someone collects more than what you see logical that you need, go to their Chrome extension store profile and see their opinions. With it, you will know if other users detect something strange and if you should uninstall it.
In any case, as is also advisable in other areas such as Android applications, install only the extensions you trust, and if possible make sure they are the official service you want to use and not an imitation.