Google Chrome users are advised to change their settings to protect themselves.
Google Chrome users have been urged to take additional steps to protect themselves online by making simple changes to their settings. These extra steps could help users avoid dangerous and deceptive websites that could steal passwords or infect devices with malware.
One way to avoid such threats is to always update Chrome to the latest version. According to Google’s senior UX designer for Chrome Mollie Bates, Chrome checks for updates regularly, and when an update is available, it downloads and applies it immediately when the browser is closed and reopened. Bates added that if Chrome hasn’t been closed for a while, a pending update can be visible in the upper right corner of the browser window, and this update can be applied by simply clicking “Update” or by closing and reopening Chrome.
Another way to protect yourself is by storing strong and unique passwords on Chrome to make it less vulnerable to hackers. Bates said that if you’re using a password manager to store “fido1234” as your password for every site, you’re not making the most of the tool. Google Password Manager can suggest and save a strong, unique password of gobbledygook (like KZamPPzj43T9mQM). Then, Chrome will autofill the password next time it’s needed—on any device.
Chrome users are also advised not to ignore any Chrome download warnings that may pop up while browsing online. Bates stated that Google is constantly working to remove warnings that aren’t useful; for example, it recently re-evaluated its list of dangerous file types, which reduced low risk warnings by more than 90%. This means users can trust that a download warning really means danger.
Chrome users are also encouraged to turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing protection in Chrome settings to increase online protection from risky websites and downloads. This works by sharing real-time data with Google service Safe Browsing. Once signed in, Chrome and other Google apps such as Gmail and Google Drive can provide protection based on threats encountered on the web and attacks against a Google account. Bates said that people using Enhanced Safe Browsing are phished 20% to 35% less.
Lastly, Chrome users are encouraged to protect their Google accounts with two-step verification, and to ensure they’re signed in to that Google account while browsing on Chrome. “Signing in with both a password and a second step on your phone protects against password-stealing scams,” Bates said.
Overall, Google Chrome users are advised to take these simple steps to protect themselves online and avoid the risks of phishing scams, malware, and other online threats.