7 Essential Privacy Tips for Teachers Using Chrome

While the Internet has radically transformed the way we live, connect, interact and learn, and while it has empowered us with unlimited means and resources for growth and prosperity, but this has come with  a high price: our privacy. In a digitally focused world where dependence on the net and more particularly on social media websites is becoming bigger and bigger, our personal info become commodities in the hands of corporate giants. As someone has eloquently stated it ‘if you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.’ You have probably seen the recent Facebook data scandal and how a political consulting firm (Cambridge Analytica) has accessed private data of millions of Facebook users. If anything, this proves that in the virtual world privacy is almost becoming a ‘myth’. The optimistic side of this is that we can, at least, control and monitor part of what we share and with whom we share it.
The purpose of today’s post is to introduce you to some useful Chrome features that can help ‘enhance’ your privacy while browsing the web.  You will get to learn how to clear your browsing data, how to view and delete your saved passwords and autofil entries, how to stop Chrome from collecting your passwords,  how to block sites permissions and cookies, and how to check the security of websites.  All of the tips and instructions below are take from Chrome Help.
1- Clear browsing data

This feature allows you to clear either all of your browsing data or just part of it from a particular period of time. Browsing data is divided into: basic browsing data which include browsing history, cookies, and cached images and files; and advanced browsing data that include: download history, records of passwords, your autofill entries, settings and permissions you granted to websites, media licenses, and hosted app data. Here is how to delete your browsing data:
‘On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More
Click More tools Clear browsing data.
Choose a time range, like last hour or all time.
Select the types of information you want to remove.
Click Clear browsing data.’

2- See your saved passwords

When you sign in to websites on Chrome you are often asked (by Chrome) if you want to save your account info for that site so that you don’t have to repeat the sign in process in future visits. When you click on ‘save’ your passwords are saved. To see a list of all your saved passwords on Chrome, do the following: 

3- Stop Chrome from asking to save passwords

You have the option to turn off the ‘save your password’ feature on Chrome:

‘On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More Settings.
At the bottom, click Advanced.
Under “Password and forms,” click Manage passwords.
Turn the setting off.’

4- Delete saved passwords

To delete your saved passwords on Chrome do the following:
‘On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More Settings.
At the bottom, click Advanced.
Under “Passwords and forms,” click Manage passwords.
Under “Saved passwords,” to the right of the website, click More Remove.’

5- Allow or block cookies for a specific site

Cookies are ‘files created by websites you visit. They make your online experience easier by saving browsing information. With cookies, sites can keep you signed in, remember your site preferences, and give you locally relevant content.’ When you delete cookies ‘you’ll be signed out of websites and your saved preferences could be deleted.’ In case you want to block or allow cookies for a specific site, here is how to do it:

‘On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More Settings.
At the bottom, click Advanced.
Under “Privacy and security,” click Content settings.
Click Cookies.
Next to “Block,” “Clear on exit,” or “Allow,” click Add.
Enter the web address.
To create an exception for an entire domain, insert [*.] before the domain name. For example, [*.]google.com will match drive.google.com and calendar.google.com.
You can also put an IP address or a web address that doesn’t start with http://.
Click Add.’

6- Change site permissions

This feature enables you to ‘control what content websites can show you, and what information they can use as you browse.’ Permissions include : cookies, images, handlers, flash, popups, ads, notifications, microphone, camera, automatic downloads, PDF documents and many more. You can either block permissions for all sites as indicated below:
On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click More Settings.
At the bottom, click Advanced.
Under “Privacy and security,” click Content settings.
Click the permission you want to update.

Or block them for a particular site:

‘On your computer, open Chrome .
Go to a website.
To the left of the web address, click the icon you see: Lock , Info , or Dangerous .
Click Site settings.
Change a permission setting. Your changes will automatically save.’

7- Check if a site’s connection is secure

The level of security of a site is shown in Chrome browser via the symbol displayed on the left of the web address. There are three types of security symbols you need to know about: 

Secure : ‘Information you send or get through the site is private.Even if you see this icon, always be careful when sharing private information. Look at the address bar to make sure you’re on the site you want to visit.’ Info or Not secure : ‘The site isn’t using a private connection. Someone might be able to see or change the information you send or get through this site. ‘ Not secure or Dangerous: It is suggested that you don’t ‘ enter any private or personal information on this page. If possible, don’t use the site.’

‘Not secure: Proceed with caution. Something is severely wrong with the privacy of this site’s connection. Someone might be able to see the information you send or get through this site.

Dangerous: Avoid this site. If you see a full-page red warning screen, the site has been flagged as unsafe by Safe Browsing. Using the site will likely put your private information at risk.’

More Stories
Some Good Productivity Apps for Teachers and Educators