Chromebook Security | How Do You Make Sure That Your Chrome OS Is Secure?

Are the updates from your current operating system annoying and disruptive? Can you breathe easy while using your current OS, knowing that your personal information and online activities are safe?

Every time you browse the internet, there are tons of hungry hackers, spyware, and other types of malware seeking to steal your personal identity, passwords, contacts, etc. The stolen information is then sold to advertisers or used in committing different types of cybercrimes.

Operating systems come with their own security features. Even before installing an antivirus for Chromebook such as one of these or anti-spyware, or any other software to protect your device from malware attacks, the OS features help protect your device.

So, what security features do Chromebooks and Chrome OS offer? How do you ensure your Chromebooks device is secure? 

girl on acer chromebook

Handy Yet Hidden Chromebook Security Features 

Chromebooks devices feature multiple layers of protection using the "defense in depth" principle.

When one security layer is bypassed, you still have access to other layers that ensure your device is good and protected. As such, you can surf the internet with privacy and confidence that your device is secure from all types of malware attacks and hackers. Also, you may read about third-party safety software in our Trend Micro Maximum Security review and Spectrum Security Suite review.

So, what features does the Chromebook OS offer?

Automatic Updates 

One way of ensuring your computer and any other android device is secure is by ensuring every software is up-to-date. Thus, you are sure you are using the latest security features.

One issue that users of the Windows 10 OS have is that the updates are annoying and disruptive. They require you to apply the updates immediately or soonest possible and restart your device, which can disrupt your work or other activities. They also have a history of rendering devices unusable and breaking programs.

On the other hand, Chrome OS and other android apps installed updates are automatic and happen in the background. You won't even realize it as they happen since they are not disruptive, and they apply in the background when you boot your Chromebook device. All the updates that come after you boot your Chrome OS device are applied automatically without disruption.

The Chromebooks google security update is seamless, painless, and efficient. All you need is to use your Chromebook computer, turn it off after use, and the updates will apply when you turn it back on.

zoom meeting

Sandboxing 

With the Chrome OS, each app and webpage operates in an isolated environment known as a "sandbox" that doesn't share resources with anything else.

If a malicious code gets into a sandbox, it is restricted and can't get out to infect the operating system or other apps. If you open any tab that contains malware, it gets in the restricted sandbox. When you close the tab, the danger disappears.

Sandboxing is an exclusive feature of the chrome device that protects your downloads and other web activities.

Verified Boot

Assuming a malicious code or malware download escapes from the sandbox, does that mean your Chromebook device is exposed to attacks?

Well, not really. Every time your Chromebook device boots, Google compares the operating system with the latest verified version. If there are any threats, Google replaces the operating system with the latest and up-to-date version.

Note, the verified boot process only happens if you shut the Chromebook down. If you were using the Windows operating systems, you might have gotten used to putting the device in sleep mode. This saves you time when you come back to use the device.

You should make sure you turn the Chromebook down and then reboot it to enjoy the verified boot process.

acer chromebook

Data Encryption 

When you browse the internet using web apps on the Chromebooks machine, the essential data is saved in the cloud. Thus, in case of any eventuality, you can still recover your data from the cloud.

The Chromebook device encrypts the essential data using tamper-resistant hardware, making it impossible for anybody else to access it.

Recovery Mode

Chromebook OS is famous for its advanced security settings that protect your device from any attacks. However, even with the advanced features, no operating system is 100% secure.

So, what happens if the security features fail and your Chrome device is exposed? You can powerwash it, which is also known as recovery mode.

The recovery mode is what Google refers to as the factory settings.

The recovery mode cleans the Chrome device's hard drive and installs a new and latest version of the operating system. This ensures your device is still in good condition and protected from further damage.

Plus, you don't have to reinstall any apps after the powerwash. Before using the recovery mode, make sure to back up the apps. After completing the process, you'll only need to reload the programs and apps.

acer on the bed

How to Make Your Chromebook as Secure as Possible

Make Sure You Secure Your Google Account

The security of your Chromebook is as strong as the password of your Google account.

Therefore, your Google account should have a unique and strong password to keep it safe. Apart from the strong password, it will also help if you apply the two-factor authentication process by Google.

You can enable the two-factor authentication by visiting your Google account security page. Follow the prompts on the page to change the settings. You will also require a two-factor authentication mobile application such as Authy.

You can also use the secure account tool to revoke an app password for a device you no longer use.

The best action you can take for your Google account is to get a strong password.


Configure Chrome

Apart from the Chrome OS, the chrome browser also offers some settings.

You should make sure you change the browser default settings and enable the following:

  • Safe browsing
  • With your browsing traffic, send a "Do not track" request.

Also, disable:

  • Allow sites to check if you have any payment method
  • Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly

It is also essential that you prevent your browsing history from syncing with your Google account. Go to the sync setup by typing chrome://settings//syncsetup and then disable the setting on history.

typing on samsung laptop

 Make Sure the Chrome OS Is Up-to-date

Why should you bother with updates?

There are new features for every update the Chrome OS releases, and it also patches loopholes that it may have identified in its operating system.

Having the latest updates reduces your vulnerability.

The updates should apply soonest possible.


Download Google Find My Device From Google Play Store

The next step in securing your Chromebook involves installing Google Find My Device from the Google Play store.

After installing the app, choose the Google account to use and then enter your Google account password. Next, allow the app permission to access the location of the device.

If you misplace the Chromebook, go to Google Find My Device site and search for the device. Give it a little time if it doesn't locate the device immediately.

instagram on chromebook

Be Cautious with Chrome Extensions 

Chrome extensions seem to make it easy for users to operate. For that reason, some users become overzealous with extensions, and they will install extensions from any source.

However, some of the extensions are not safe, and they compromise the security of your personal data and online activities. Some extensions can even steal users' data.

Thus, you should not install every other extension that you see. Only install extensions that you need for your work, and you should vet the extensions thoroughly before using them.


Use Sleep Locking

How do you carry your Chromebook after some work?

Most users close the lid and then carry the machine. But once you open the lid again, you realize that you are allowed access without passwords. This makes you vulnerable to attacks as it means other prying eyes can also track you.

It would be helpful if you used the safe Show Lock Screen Waking From Sleep Option. It is the safest route, but it is tucked away. If you want to use it, go to Settings/ People/ Screen Lock/ Show Lock Screen While Waking From Sleep.

coffee while on chromebook

Conclusion 

Chromebook employs a "defense in depth" principle, which ensures your safety and privacy as you surf the internet. It also comes with security features that enable you to breathe easily as you surf. The features include sandboxing, automatic updates, among others. Above are handy tips that you can employ to enhance your Chromebook security.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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