Chrome privacy settings on Android: Medium level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on Chrome using Android. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Medium level protection.
Kaspersky Lab
8 minutes
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Privacy level
What are we setting up here?

Check your Google account settings

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Protect your Google account

If you use Chrome with a Google account, privacy and safety of your data in the browser depends directly on your account's security. Therefore, check your Google account settings in addition to your Chrome settings.

How to protect yourself from malicious websites and programs

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Enable automatic Chrome update

What for: To keep your protection up to date.

Chrome developers consistently add new features and fix vulnerabilities, so it is important to use the latest version of the app. Make sure you have automatic update installation enabled on your smartphone:

  1. Open Play Store;
  2. Tap your avatar in the right part of the search field;
  3. Go to the Settings section and select Network preferences;
  4. Tap Auto-update apps;
  5. Choose if updates should be downloaded: while connected to any network or over Wi-Fi only;
  6. Tap Done.

Downside: All apps, not just Chrome, will be updated automatically. This may use a lot of traffic.

Use incognito mode

What for: To leave no tracks.

Google Chrome usually saves information about the pages you visit, the passwords you enter, the permissions you give, cookie, and some other website data. If you want to hide these — for example, when using someone else's phone — browse in incognito mode. While in this mode, Google Chrome will delete all passwords, browser history, and site data immediately after you close all program windows launched in incognito mode.

To turn on incognito mode on your Android device:

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select New Incognito tab.

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Disable account syncing

What for: To stop Google from storing info about your Internet activity on its servers.

Chrome allows you to sync and manage your browsing history, extension, PWA, credentials, and other profile data across all devices signed in to your Google account. For example, when you bookmark a website on your smartphone, you'll be able to find it in the bookmarks section on your PC. To enable this, Google saves your personal information on its servers, including the pages you visit, content you watch, the tabs you have open, URLs, and other information. If you don't want to share your information, you can disable syncing for greater privacy.

To turn off syncing in Google Chromer:

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Sync section;
  4. Disable the Sync everything option.
  5. To delete all account data from your Android device (for example, if you signed in to your account on someone else's smartphone), select Sign out and turn off sync. In the window that opens, check the box next to Also clear your Chrome data from this device and tap Continue.

Sync may still continue to work on other devices — for instance, if you have it enabled in Chrome on your computer.

To completely disable this feature and delete all saved data:

  1. Open the Data from Google Chrome sync page;
  2. Sign in to your account;
  3. Scroll down, tap Clear Data, and confirm your choice.

Google will delete your account information from its servers and sync will be disabled on all devices.

Downside: You won't be able to access passwords, bookmarks, and other Google account data from other devices.

If you don't want to disable syncing entirely, choose which data to sync:

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Sync section;
  4. Disable Sync Everything and uncheck boxes near the data you don't want to sync.

Disable data collection for greater privacy and Chrome performance improvement

What for: To keep information about how you use the browser away from Google.

Users can automatically send Google the URLs they visit, the content they see, search queries, browser error reports, and other data. Google claims that this helps them improve app performance, fix bugs, and increase security. However, it means that data about your browser activity will be stored on the company's servers. If you don't want to share this information, disable Google Services syncing.

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Google services section;
  4. Disable the following:
  5. Autocomplete searches and URLs;
  6. Help improve Chrome's features and performance;
  7. Make searches and browsing better.

Stop browser from tracking your location

What for: To prevent Google from knowing where you go.

The browser can access your phone's location services to use the information for more precise searches and add choices. For example, if you want to book a table at a restaurant, the top search results will be of places near you. To enable this, Chrome transmits your location to Google servers, which puts you at risk of a data breach. To stop the browser from accessing this information:

  1. Go to Settings on your smartphone;
  2. Go to the Apps & notifications section;
  3. Select App Permissions;
  4. Tap Location;
  5. Find Chrome in the application list;
  6. Select Deny and confirm your decision.

Downside: Search results may be less accurate.

How to protect your data

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Check your saved passwords

What for: To protect against leaks.

When you sign in to a website, Google Chrome prompts you to save your password. This allows it to fill in your login credentials for you next time. Chrome can check whether your passwords have been exposed in a data leak. How to start a scan:

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Passwords section;
  4. Tap Check passwords.

If your passwords have been leaked, you'll see a message about it. If so, change the vulnerable passwords as soon as possible.

Delete your contact details from Chrome

What for: To avoid exposing your contact information in case of a leak.

Chrome can remember your address, place of work, phone number, and other contact details. These are used for autofill on websites and in apps — for instance, when planning routes in Google Maps. If you turn on sync, Google servers will store your contact information, which reduces security and privacy, as it increases the risk of data leak. You can improve your privacy by deleting this information from Chrome:

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Addresses and more section;
  4. Tap the address you want to delete;
  5. Tap the trashcan icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Downside: You will have to enter your address and other contact details manually.

To disable automatic address saving:

  1. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings;
  3. Go to the Addresses and more section;
  4. Disable Save and fill addresses.

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What are we setting up here?
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