Among all those who are happy about using google chrome, you might not be actually aware of chrome sending out user data to its parent company Google. Although the data might well be used to get you maximum results and also targeted ads for the company, it is still not favorable for some of the chrome users who view privacy as a major concern. Well for those of you who still like to use the awesome browser without compromising on privacy there is a solution.
Chrome Privacy Guard
Chrome Privacy Guard is a tool which automatically deletes the unique Client ID that Google assigns to every Chrome installation when installed. The tool when run causes the “Local State” file to be canned inside the Chrome directory and removes all information regarding that Client ID which then automatically starts the Chrome browser.
Google Instant is a feature which enables faster results to be fetched as you type in the search query. So as you type in the address bar of the Chrome Browser, the data will be sent to google each and everything you type in the address bar. The default settings disables this feature and can be found by going to Options-> [CheckBox]Enable Instant for Faster Searching. Disable this feature by unchecking the option if you dont want chrome sending each data to Google.
Google synchronizes user data like bookmarks, saved passwords and plugins from your browser to the Google data servers. If you dont want to sync your personal data with the google servers you can either choose to sync only limited data with the google servers or you can also disconnect your account completely from synchronizing your data with Google by Clicking the Disconnect Button in Options->Personal Stuff.
You can also encrypt the data you store with Google in an unreadable format for better security or can also create a passphrase in your local browser which will sync data with Google which even google cannot understand.
Under the Hood
The privacy setting in the Under the hood tab lets you manage the level to which the data can be sent and retrieved from google for faster and safer browsing experience. It contains 5 options to manage your privacy level.
When google cannot find the website you typed in the address bar, it sends the data about the typed url and retrieves suggestions for the alternate results you would like.If you would like to disable the option of chrome sending data to google about the url, you can disable this feature by unchecking the “Use a web service to help resolve navigation Errors” option.
The Chrome Address bar acts like a default search engine and sends everything you type in to the search engine. It provides you with related previous searches and similar website names as you type in the address bar. Disable the “Use prediction service …” option in the Under the hood tab.
The “Predict network actions to improve page load performance” option helps to resolve IP address from the current page links and sometimes also loads pages in the background under network predictions for better loading time. Disable this feature by unchecking the option if you don’t want to send usage data to Google.
“Enable phishing and malware protection” checkbox downloads a list of potentially malicious sites list and warns you on visiting such websites. It even sends part of websites to google to check the site for safe browsing of websites. Disabling this option wont send the website data to google but you wont be able to check for malicious websites.
The last option is disabled by default and is used to send the performance and crash reports to google for improving their browser. It never sends the website browsing information to google.
Go to “Under the Hood”-> “Content Settings”
Enable the “Block third party cookies from being set ” option so that third party websites wont be able to track you for advertising purposes. It can sometimes cause problems for some third party websites to work properly.
“Allow local data to be set for current session only” option if enabled stores cookies for current websites till the browser is open.So when you close and open the browser again you may need to re enter the login details again. But this also prevents websites from tracking you everytime.
Websites often track the visitors behavior and location as the user visits the site. But if you dont want the sites from tracking your location data you should disable the location tracking in the Location tab. Set the option to “Do not allow any site to track my phyical location”.
These option settings above provides you a better privacy and controlled usage and monitoring of data. You may as well choose your favorable options in the settings than mentioned above to suite your needs and level of privacy. Cheers..:)