GOOGLE Chrome users have been urged to delete the app that could be putting them at risk of “surveillance, manipulation, and abuse.”
The tech giant recently issued a warning to its 2.6billion users about a security flaw in the browser that could be exploited by hackers.
While Google has maintained that it is working hard to protect users’ security, cyber experts say it’s time to leave Chrome behind.
The company disclosed the latest in a string of security flaws this year in a September 24 blog post.
The post confirmed that Chrome’s 11th “zero-day” exploit of the year was found and impacts Linux, macOS, and Windows users.
This classification means hackers were able to use the flaw to their advantage before the tech giant could fix it – upping the threat significantly, Forbes reported.
Google reportedly kept the hack details under wraps to protect users after the flaw was discovered by in-house employees.
It was revealed just weeks after Google admitted it “accidentally” allowed the secret tracking of millions of users, according to Forbes.
At the heart of Google’s latest tracking trouble is the roll-out of a new Chrome API that detects and reports when a user is “idle,” or not actively using their device.
Google has defended the feature from criticism by security experts who say it can be easily abused by malicious sites seeking sensitive information.
“This feature, which we only expect to be used by a small fraction of sites, requires the site to ask for the user’s permission to access this data,” Google told Forbes.
“It was built with privacy in mind, and helps messaging applications deliver notifications to only the device the user is currently using.”
Google did not immediately return The Sun’s request for comment on Monday.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR DATA
In the wake of Google’s warning last week, Chrome users were provided a series of top tips to help keep their personal data safe on cellphones and laptops.
Users can choose between two types of protection when surfing the net – either Standard or Enhanced.
The “standard protection” setting warns Americans about potentially unsafe websites before they are accessed.
Meanwhile, those who use enhanced protection may be recommended to change their passwords if there has been a potential data breach, according to the tech guide MakeUseOf.
Enhanced Protection can be activated via Chrome’s settings page under the privacy and security section.
Americans are encouraged not to visit harmful websites and check if the address features a padlock bar.
A padlock bar means the website has a secure connection and the URL typically begins with HTTPS.
Users may be exposed to malware if they are browsing or working on an older version of Chrome.
Americans can find out what browser of Chrome they are using on the settings page.
For those wanting an extra layer of security, using two-step verification can provide some reassurance.
To set it up, users should click the Security tab and they can choose their mobile for two-step verification.
Two-factor authentication is becoming increasingly popular and can involve you needing a password and a passcode that’s texted to you.
Once you’ve entered a password, you’ll then be sent a one-time code to your smartphone.
You’ll then have to enter the code to gain access to a Google Account.
It makes things more difficult for hackers because they would need to guess your password and somehow have access to your phone to try and steal your account.