Saturday, February 8, 2014

Should you turn off auto-suggest in Google Chrome?

My browser of choice is Mozilla Firefox but I do give the Google Chrome Browser it's fair share of use. Today I was looking in the Google Chrome Browser settings and noticed a few things under the 'Privacy' settings that I was not familiar with. I'm not a huge privacy advocate when it comes to the internet because I know when it comes down to it privacy and the internet just don't go together. I do however like to know just what information I putting out there and block anything I consider to be too intrusive.

This is what caught my eye and both are enabled by default in Google Chrome.

  • Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors 
  • Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar
Both of those descriptions are better known as the 'auto-suggest' feature. While auto-suggest is a very useful feature and  as expected Google is using it to collect information on users. What they don't tell us though is that you are sending Google everything you type in the address bar or the Omnibox as Google has named it. To me that is going way too far.

Should you turn off auto-suggest in Google Chrome? While the information collected is in raw data form and it's unlikely Google knows exactly who is doing what my answer leans towards yes, you should turn it off.

How to turn off auto-suggest in Google Chrome.

  • Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar. 
  • Select Settings. 
  • Click Show advanced settings and find the "Privacy" section. Deselect the "Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors" checkbox to disable the feature.

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