How to improve Chrome's privacy

Let's be honest. Google Chrome is not the browser for you if you are worried about privacy. In terms of privacy, it is better to use options such as Firefox or Brave. However, if you do not want or cannot leave Chrome aside, here are some tricks and settings that will help you protect your data a little more.

Delete cookies and other browser data

Let's start by talking about all the privacy options available in the Chrome browser. To access them, open the main menu and tap on Settings.

Open Chrome’s settingsOpen Chrome’s settings

In the options list, open the Privacy and security section.

Privacy and security optionsPrivacy and security options

Go to Clear browsing data.

Clear the browsing dataClear the browsing data

Tap Advanced, select All time in the dropdown, and use the Clear data button to confirm.

Advanced modeAdvanced mode

By doing this, you will delete all data that Google Chrome has stored, such as cookies and cache. Doing so may be beneficial for performance and also for your privacy, as it completely nips in the bud the tracking of your activity by certain companies.

Use the correct safety setting

Without leaving Privacy and Security, now go to Safe browsing.

Security settingsSecurity settings

There, select the standard protection. Do not select Enhanced protection under any circumstances.

Standard protectionStandard protection

Although this option supposedly improves browsing security, it increases the data about you that Chrome sends to Google's servers.

Access to payment methods and preloading of websites

In the same section of the settings, it is also recommended to disable the Access payment methods and Preload pages for faster browsing and searching options.

Other privacy settingsOther privacy settings

The first prevents websites from accessing the payment data you have stored in Chrome. The second prevents Google from receiving information about your browsing patterns.

Make a do-not-follow request

Browsers can send a do-not-track request to pages to prevent them from tracking you. In Chrome for Android, this option is in the Privacy and Security section and is identified by the name Do Not Track. In this case, what you have to do is to activate it.

Enable a Do Not Track RequestEnable a Do Not Track Request

However, you must be very clear that accepting this request will depend on each website and Chrome is not able to ensure that it will be respected.

Disable testing of the alternative to cookies, FLoC

FLoC is a supposedly privacy-enhancing system proposed by Google as an alternative to cookies. Instead of tracking individual users, it adds them to groups with common interests. However, for now, it is advisable to stay away and use a configuration that blocks traditional cookies. Without exiting the privacy settings, open Privacy Sandbox.

FLoC system settingsFLoC system settings

Uncheck the slider next to Privacy Sandbox trials.

Disable the FLoC trialDisable the FLoC trial

Block third-party cookies

If you have already disabled Google FLoCs, now is the time to block third-party cookies. Do this from the settings, by tapping on the Site settings section.

Website settingsWebsite settings

Then, open Cookies.

Cookies optionsCookies options

Enable the option Block third-party cookies.

Block third-party cookiesBlock third-party cookies

This will prevent third-party tracking when visiting a website, but will not prevent the site from storing cookies necessary for its proper functioning. However, sometimes the site may have some bugs. In this case, use the Add site exception option to add it as an exception.

See other website permissions

Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the website settings, take a look at the permissions granted.

Check other permissionsCheck other permissions

Certain sections, such as localization and camera, are particularly important.

Say goodbye to synchronization

Synchronizing your data with Google is useful, but provides little privacy. Open the Sync section in the settings menu.

Sync with GoogleSync with Google

Next, tap on Sign out and disable synchronization.

Log out of your Google accountLog out of your Google account

Chrome will quickly log you out and stop saving your data. Now, pause web activity tracking. Do this by tapping on Google activity controls.

Google’s browsing logGoogle’s browsing log

Disable the Web & App Activity option.

Disable web activityDisable web activity

Goodbye Google, hello DuckDuckGo

At the heart of Google is its search engine. Simply using an alternative such as DuckDuckGo already significantly improves privacy when using Chrome. Open the settings and go to Search Engine.

Change the default browserChange the default browser

Select DuckDuckGo.

Use DuckDuckGoUse DuckDuckGo

From now on, Chrome will use this search engine for queries.

Do not let Chrome save your passwords

Go to Passwords in the settings to decide whether Chrome should store your passwords. This will prevent other users from accessing your online services without too much hassle.

Password optionsPassword options

On the next screen, disable the Save passwords option.

Do not save passwordsDo not save passwords

Chrome will stop saving your passwords from that moment on.

Beware of Android permissions

Removing Chrome's root access to some resources is easier from the Android App info section. There, by tapping on Permissions, you will be able to see what things the browser can and cannot do.

Application permissionsApplication permissions

The permissions shown under Allowed are those that are enabled. Tap on any of them to modify this parameter.

Permission grantedPermission granted

Select Deny to remove access.

Disable the permission grantedDisable the permission granted

Chrome is likely to re-request access to permission when a website requires a system resource to function.