But uptake has slowed.
Three easy steps to make Chrome more secure
Google has announced upcoming changes to how its Chrome browser and OS will handle certificates for SSL connections. But there are plenty of things Chrome users can do today to browse the web more securely.
The memo posted on the CA/Browser Forum by the Google Chrome team is thick reading, but the bottom line is that:
1) "Chrome will begin warning users who attempt to access sites with certificates issued by publicly trusted CAs." This includes certificates with key sizes less than 2048 bits (excluding, at least temporarily, root certificates).
2) "In order to improve the security of Extended Validation (EV) certificates, Google Chrome intends to require Certificate Transparency for all EV certificates issued after (a date to be determined)."
These policy changes, designed to protect Chrome users from rogue sites, go into effect early next year. In the meantime, Chrome offers users several existing tools to improve security.
Don't just sync data, secure it
One of the real conveniences of the Chrome browser is that it syncs your saved data and settings across multiple devices running Chrome. I use Chrome on my laptop, my HTC One and my Nexus 7, and the sync feature makes my digital life vastly more efficient.
The problem here is that the saved data includes most of your passwords. And since you only need your Google account password to sync data on any Chrome-enabled device, all of your other passwords could be exposed should someone hack your Google account password.
But Chrome allows you to encrypt all of your synced data using a custom syncing passphrase. This passphrase, by the way, is stored on your computer and isn't sent to Google.
Google provides instructions here for setting your own sync passphrase. (You need to be signed into Chrome to do this.) Once your sync passphrase is set up, you’ll have to enter it every time you sign in to Chrome on a new computer.
I should note that you also can choose to exclude syncing passwords through Chrome's "Advanced sync settings."
Lock down your Google account
If you use multiple Google services (as I do), it's smart to up your security level across devices. One tool you can use is Google's 2-step Verification, which can be accessed from the Google Account Security page.
This page explains in detail how 2-step works, but basically when you sign into Google, you enter your password as usual, then you'll be asked for a code that will be sent to your phone via text, voice or mobile app. The only way someone can penetrate your password security is if they have your phone (which is an entirely different problem that Google recently has addressed).
Stay in the know(tification)
From the same Google Account Security page, you can activate security notification settings. This allows Google to notify you via text or email when it detects suspicious activity such as a password change you didn't make or someone who isn't you tries to sign into your account.
Google's plan to bring Chrome packaged apps to Android and iOS is part of its strategy to make the web the primary platform for users. Converting Apple device owners will be a challenge.
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