Google Chrome is a popular web browser used by many people. Unfortunately, a significant flaw in its security was recently discovered by Identity Finder, a data management firm. What they found is that when someone uses Google Chrome and goes to even a secure website and types in personal information into forms such as name, phone number, bank account number, credit card number or other information that you might insert into an online form while doing financial transactions online, this information is automatically stored in an unencrypted manner in a History Provider Cache on your computer’s hard drive. Even if you were to delete this information, it would still be accessible on your hard drive, which would be a significant security danger if you sell your computer thinking that you have deleted and have not saved this personal information. In addition, the storing of this information on your computer makes it very susceptible to common malware that could steal this information and make you a victim of identity theft.
Until Google Chrome takes the necessary steps to correct this serious security problem, the place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm. Whenever you insert personal information, such as your Social Security number into a form online you should personally remove the information from your hard drive by clicking on “Customize and control Google Chrome” which will take you to “Settings.” There scroll down to “Show advanced settings” and click on “Clear browsing data.” When the Clear browsing data dialog popup appears, check “Clear saved Autofill form data,” “Empty the cache” and “Clear browsing history.” Put in the time setting to include the period of time during which you inserted the information. I believe it is important to do this immediately after inserting data so you should check “the past hour” and then click on the button on the bottom right where it indicates “Clear browsing data.” Then you can restart Google Chrome. If this seems like a lot of work (and it is), you might want to consider using another browser when you are going to websites where you will be inputting personal data.