Chrome OS is considered to be secure without much effort from users. It verifies the OS every time you boot your Chromebook. It auto-updates the operating system and your extensions. But this does not mean that there is nothing that you can do to make your Chromebook secure.
Here is a list of 6 things you can do right now to make your Chromebook secure.
1. Send a ‘Do Not Track request with your browsing traffic
For the privacy-conscious, this is a good option to enable. By enabling this feature, you will send a request to all websites you visit, not to track you. This is just a request, but there are many websites that honor this request.
To enable this, go to Settings > Advanced and look for “Send a “Do not track” request with your browsing traffic“.
2. Enable “Require Password to Wake from Sleep”
Chromebook sleeps when you close the lid, right? It wakes up pretty fast when you open the lid again. It wakes up in a second or less. Good. But, I prefer losing a couple of seconds there for the sake of extra security. I have enabled “Require password to wake from sleep”.
When this is enabled, my password is required to unlock the Chromebook when I open the lid again or you come back to the Chromebook after leaving it idle for a while. Good. I don’ want anyone else playing with my Chromebook when I have logged in and had my stuff open.
To enable this feature, go to settings and type wake in the search box and you should see this option.
3. Restrict Sign-in Of New Users
Chromebooks are “sharing friendly”. But it is “too sharing friendly” for me. Anyone can add their Google ID from the login screen and start using the Chromebook.
Isn’t that too much?
I think so. I disable this by restricting new users. Search “restrict” and you will see “Manager users’ click that to see the option “restrict sign-in to following users”. Once this is enabled, only users you manually add from this page will be able to log in to your Chromebook.
4. Install Disconnect for Chrome
I will let you read the official description for the extension.
Thousands of companies and organizations secretly collect your personal data when you use the web, creating a shadow web of connections between sites you go to and trackers you probably never heard of. Disconnect for Chrome graphs the spread of your data from sites to trackers, in real-time, to expose and, optionally, break these hidden connections.
Install this extension from here.
For sharing, the Guest mode is good enough.
5 Do Not Install Extensions from Outside Chrome Web Store.
I try not to link to any website other than the Chrome Web Store for installing extensions, apps, and themes. It is not always safe to download and install extensions from external websites.
The only exception that I make is some experimental extensions shared by people I trust, say, François Beaufort.
6. Review Extensions You Installed
Got lots of extensions installed on your Chromebook? Go ahead and do a security audit. You can review the permissions provided to each extension. If you find something fishy, uninstall them. It is always good to do a clean-up and get rid of things you no longer need.
Do you have a Chromebook security tip to share? Let me know in the comments.