Chromebooks are very unique machines for many reasons: they are fast, light, often portable, very affordable and can take care of most things the average consumer uses a computer for. Security is also a factor we know many of you are wondering about, because word around the streets and inter webs says these computers can not get a virus.
Let’s start by mentioning no device is 100% virus free, if a good hacker looks hard enough he will probably find ways to attack your system. This stands true even for the almighty Macintosh computers, which have had (extremely) rare infections , despite their fame of being virus-proof.
With that said, we will have to say Chromebooks are about as safe as you can get when it comes to computer security. These devices operate completely in the cloud, making them a glorified browser that takes advantage of all the Chrome features Google pushes out.
These do include security features such as sandboxing and categorizing websites that may be harmful. Chromebooks are amazing at catching malware and viruses, so odds are you won’t run into any problems of this sort. Now, this does not mean you have nothing to worry about when using a Chromebook or Chrome OS computer.
Logic is your best protection
As it goes with anything in life, common sense and logic should be applied to your online uses. Don’t give your personal information to random sites across the web, and be careful for impostors.
The most common impostors use a technique named “phishing”, in which a malicious user creates a fake site, usually impersonating large financial institutions. Maybe they will create a fake website for your bank and send you an email, trying to get your personal information.
You can imagine how much damage a person with your financial information can do. Phishing is a way to attack you without having to access your computer. In essence, you are the one willingly walking up to them to hand over the information other hackers work so hard to get.
Sadly, phishing doesn’t work on a system level, which means even Chromebooks are susceptible to such threats.
Ways to protect yourself
First and foremost, don’t trust any website or email you get. Look for clues that prove these traps are not legitimate. These phishers usually don’t know your name, for example. They will send emails as your bank institution, for example, referring to you as “dear customer” or something along those lines.
I also like to use the Avast! Online Security extension. This is a community-driven extension that tells you whether a site is safe or not. It also measures its popularity in some ways, which can help you identify a fake website. Legitimate bank websites are likely to have a lot of traffic and good scores.
These are simply tools, though. Not even the best OS or virus-protection is foolproof. You need to make sure you are being careful with your information and keep high standards on your trusting habits.