Last updated: May 21, 2021
The world’s most popular web browser can help improve your online safety. Google Chrome web browser includes a feature called Safety Check. Run Safety Check’s safe browsing tools to detect if you have any compromised saved passwords or malicious extensions installed. The free tool also checks to see if you have turned off Google’s Safe Browsing feature and if you have the latest version of Chrome installed.
Improving your online safety is no fool’s journey. We read about potential password breaches and malicious browser extensions somewhat regularly these days. In the past week alone, Passwordstate warned its customers of a recent security incident. So did Reverb.com and MangaDex, among others. In each of these cases, the breached site advised users to change their passwords out of an abundance of caution. Last month, researchers at Cato Networks discovered two dozen malicious Chrome extensions. It makes sense to take your online safety seriously. Use Chrome to keep safe. Chrome’s Safety Check can help.
Use Safety Check in Chrome
To run Safety Check, launch Google Chrome. Click the Customize and control (three-dot) menu and choose Settings. In the left navigation, choose Safety check. Click the blue Check now button to begin the process.
Watch as Safety Check ensures your Chrome installation is up to date, you have strong, uncompromised passwords, Safe Browsing is on, and your extensions are copacetic.
After Safety Check runs, the results display within the Safety check section of the Settings page. Here is what the results mean.
By default, Chrome updates automatically. In some cases, users may want to update Chrome manually should a particularly nefarious security issue require an immediate remedy. The Updates section informs you if Chrome is up to date or if it requires an update. Updates download immediately if one is available, and a Relaunch button displays to finish the update.
The password check results show if your saved passwords in Chrome are weak or compromised. Click the right-arrow in the Passwords section to review and change weak passwords. If Safety Check discovers compromised passwords, click the Review button to see which websites reported data breaches. Change those passwords as soon as possible.
Standard Safe Browsing, enabled by default, protects against dangerous websites, downloads, and extensions. Click the right-arrow in the Safe browsing section to review related settings. Options include Enhanced Protection for faster, proactive protection that also requires you to send browsing data to Google.
The last item reviewed by Safety Check is Extensions. If Safety Check discovers potentially harmful extensions, click the Review button. A list of installed Chrome extensions displays. Potentially harmful extensions display a notation in red text such as This extension contains malware or This extension violates the Chrome Web Store policy. Either toggle those extensions off or click the Remove button to uninstall them.
If any items required your attention, consider running Safety Check again to confirm the changes you made. To do so, click the Reload icon at the top of the section.
Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to use Chrome to keep safe online.
Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails, music venues, or sausage shacks when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter