Increase Your Google Privacy Settings in 4 Easy Steps

  • By David Lukic
  • Aug 20, 2020

In this time of digital transparency and data breaches, it’s more important than ever to feel like you have some control over your personal privacy. Whether you are shopping for shoes online or digging deep in the dark web for information, you deserve to have your online activities secure and private. Using Google Chrome’s privacy settings, you can do just that.

Updated Google Privacy Settings

On the heels of FTC violations and massive fines, Google has made changes to its Chrome browser privacy settings to help consumers achieve the goal of protecting their online life. One of the most useful features is an automatic delete of user data on a schedule. 

Some of the data that Chrome collects and sends to Google servers do useful things like allowing you to sync your bookmarks across all your devices. Therefore, carefully review each setting before you choose to use it or not.

At any time, if you just want to browse the web privately, open Chrome, go to the top menu and choose File > New incognito Window. According to Google, this new browser window is completely private. Bookmarks and downloads will be saved, however. During an incognito browser session Chrome will not save:

  • Your browsing history
  • Cookies and site data
  • Information entered in forms

However, your online activity might still be visible to:

  • Websites you visit
  • Your employer or school
  • Your internet service provider

How Do You Increase Privacy Settings in Chrome?

1. Choose Which Online Services Google Can Use

By default, Chrome uses web and app activity tracking to store and use your credit card data and location as well as serving up personalized ads just for you. Some people won’t want these items exposed or used by Google. Thankfully, you can turn them off easily by:

  1. Opening Chrome and going to Settings > Manage your Google Account
  2. On the left, choose Data and personalization 
  3. Use the toggle switch to turn off Web and App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.

2. Watch Your Credit Cards

Google Chrome attempts to save payment methods and uses Autofill to help when you make a purchase. However, this can expose your credit card data to cybercriminals. To turn this feature off: 

  1. Open Chrome and go to Settings
  2. Scroll down to Autofill.
  3. Click on Payment methods.
  4. Use the toggle switch to turn on/off Save and fill payment methods.

google privacy settings

3. Set Up How Many Synchronization You Want

If you sign in with your Google account, Chrome will synchronize all your browsing data, history, and activity to your account. You can use this feature to swap between devices and use saved bookmarks anywhere you use Chrome. However, you may not want this. To turn this setting off completely:

  1. Open Chrome and go to Settings
  2. The first thing you will see is your logged in account with a “Turn off” button next to it.
  3. Click the button to stop using your Google account to sync anything.

If you want instead to fine-tune your settings, expand the Sync feature just below that, and review the setting options. From inside here, you can control how your data is used and stored. You can also turn on/off information sent to Google and choose your encryption type

4. Review App Permissions

google security settings

When installing apps, is it automatic for us to hit “accept,” when the app requests permissions? Unfortunately, we don’t stop to consider what we just provided access to. Some apps request access to all the data in your Google account. It is imperative to check these settings periodically and revoke access to apps you are no longer using.

Go to any Google login page (Gmail, Analytics, Drive, etc.) and click the icon in the top-right corner. Then choose to Manage Your Google Account. In the search bar at the top type in “third-party access.” This will show you a list of the apps and their permissions. You can revoke their access by clicking the blue “Revoke” button. 

Other Essential Google Security Settings in Chrome

Google Chrome comes packed with other privacy settings that you will want to explore and configure according to your personal situation. To access the privacy and security settings in Chrome:

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. On the left-hand menu, choose Advanced > Privacy and security.

  3. You will see the list of privacy settings below.

In the Site Settings area, there is another big list. 

A couple of important things to turn off/on in there are Cookies and site data, Location, CameraPop-ups, and redirects. Be careful when allowing your camera, microphone, and location to be used without your permission. The best setting for each of these is, “Ask before accessing.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to allow sites to store cookies on your machine. It makes logging into a website easier but also leaves you at risk. 

Be sure to turn on 2-factor authentication on your Google account so no one can gain access without your code.

It’s also a good idea from time to time to clear the cookies in your browser. It helps to keep your computer clean but remember, you will lose all saved logins.

About the Author
IDStrong Logo

Related Articles

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

Any good IT article on computers and network security will address the importance of strong, secur ... Read More

Secure Wi-Fi and Wireless Technology Security Tips

Your Wi-Fi network is another handy access point that hackers use to infiltrate your computers, st ... Read More

How Does a VPN Work and How to Choose one

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It allows you to hide your public IP address and browse pr ... Read More

Complete Guide to Android Security

The Android platform offers a ton of flexibility and customization for users. However, all that fr ... Read More

Instagram Privacy Policy: What You Should Know?

Instagram is a great place to share your best photos and messages with your followers, but have yo ... Read More

Latest Articles

Nelnet Data Breach Impacts 2.5 Million Students

Nelnet Data Breach Impacts 2.5 Million Students

Nelnet is a student loan service based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Recently, it suffered a data breach that revealed the personal information of over 2.

Facebook has Been Receiving a Plethora of Medical Information

Facebook has Been Receiving a Plethora of Medical Information

In early June of 2022, the nonprofit news reporter The Markup discovered that an ad-based service, Meta Pixel, was being used by 33 of the top 100 hospitals in the US. Meta is now being sued for allegedly sending sensitive medical information to Facebook, along with two of the involved hospitals.

What is the Geek Squad Email Scam and How to Avoid It

What is the Geek Squad Email Scam and How to Avoid It

Computers are, arguably, one of the most essential items necessary for life in modernity. Through them, not only can we be entertained, but we can be informed or critiqued.

Featured Articles

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

Buying your own home is the American Dream, but it might seem out of reach to those with bad credit. However, the good news is, if your credit is less than perfect, you do still have options and in most cases, can still buy a home.

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

Any good IT article on computers and network security will address the importance of strong, secure passwords. However, the challenge of good passwords is that most people have a hard time remembering them, so they use simple or obvious ones that pose a security risk.

Top 10 Senior Scams and How to Prevent Them

Top 10 Senior Scams and How to Prevent Them

Senior scams are becoming a major epidemic for two reasons. First, seniors often have a lot of money in the bank from a life of working hard and saving.

Free Identity Threat Scan
Instantly Check if Your Personal Information is Exposed
All fields below are required
Please enter first name
Please enter last name
Please enter a city
Please select a state
Please enter an email address
Close