I’ve frequently suggested Google’s Chrome browser as an alternative to Internet Explorer. But Trish still has some concerns about the world’s most popular browser:

“Cyn, my reluctance to use Google Chrome is that I’ll have to allow it access to my PC, where it searches out sites I visit for whatever data it wants. How am I incorrect in my thinking? Can you set me straight?”

Google Chrome is currently the most popular of desktop browsers. It’s used by almost 60% of folks accessing the Internet on a desktop or laptop computer.

If you’re going to install a program on your PC, it does require access to your PC. But it’s not like Chrome is searching through your hard drive looking for your files. It doesn’t have any more access to your PC than any other browser you might use.  Since it is the program that’s going to the sites you visit online, it’s going to see where you go, as does any other browser.

Chrome does use where you go to help target ads to you online.  Ads are how Google is able to offer free services like mail, Google search, and a free browser. But as long as you aren’t logged into your Google account, it really doesn’t know you from Adam.  You can always choose to browse in Incognito mode. (Click here to learn all about it.) You might also want to take a look at Mozilla’s Firefox browser. It’s considered to offer the most privacy.

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Google’s data collection occurs when you use their services. So if you aren’t logged into your Google account when you use Chrome and you aren’t doing Google searches, you’ll offer them a lot less info.  There are also ways to control your privacy in Chrome. Let’s look at them.

If your Google account is connected, you can disconnect it fairly simply. Click the 3-dot menu bar at the top of Chrome browser and choose Settings.

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Look under People. If you’re signed into Google, you can choose Sign Out.  If you’d like to sync some Google services but not all, click the arrow beside Sync.

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Switch off Sync all.

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When these things are synced, you’ll have autofill and other settings available for Chrome no matter what device you use to log on.  Just slide the toggle switch to turn them off.

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You can also control how Google uses your search history to personalize your services.

 

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Click Show all activity controls to see more options.

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Scroll down to turn off Location History, Device Information, Voice & Audio Activity (if you use Google for voice search, you may want to leave this on as it helps devices understand your commands), and YouTube history.

With these turned off, you’ll limit what your browser remembers about your activity.