We’re used to running antivirus scans on our computers, but that doesn’t cover your online safety. For that, Google Chrome offers a tool that lets you perform a similar checkup to secure your web browsing. Here’s how to run a safety check on Chrome.
Launch the Google Chrome web browser on your Windows 10, Mac, Chrome OS, or Linux computer and click the three-dot menu button found in the top-right corner.
Head into “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
Scroll down to find the “Safety Check” section and click the blue “Check Now” option.
Google Chrome will kick off the “Safety Check” test. Depending on how much browsing data you have, this can take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.
In this process, Google Chrome scans a total of four core modules to look for any malicious code and see if they are up to the mark. It will make sure that the browser app is on the most recent version for protection against the latest internet viruses and that all of your installed third-party extensions are harmless. It will also check whether any of your saved passwords have been compromised in a data breach and that “Safe Browsing,” a setting that warns you against suspicious sites, is enabled.
Once the Safety Check is complete, Chrome will pull up shortcuts for anything that may need your immediate attention, such as reviewing compromised credentials.
After taking the recommended steps, you can also run the Safety Check again to ensure that your new security settings are active.
There’s a lot more you can do to optimize Chrome for maximum privacy, such as switching on “Enhanced Safe Browsing,” an advanced mode that allows Google to assess your browsing for potential threats and suggest privacy-focused improvements. However, do note that when you activate the “Enhanced Safe Browsing” option, you choose to share a copy of your browsing data with Google.