Google Chrome is a powerful browser. However, you should be careful in protecting your data especially when you use a shared computer to browse the internet. In this article, we will discuss how you can use Chrome extensions to password protect your browser.
Why You Need to Protect Browser?
You may want to block other users from accessing your personal browsing information like browsing history. While you can set different profiles for every user or setup a guest profile for others, you cannot be confident that your information is safe. Some users will still switch to your account and view your browsing data or even change your Chrome settings.
It is also essential to keep your data safe and private from your kids using the same computer. Previously, Google Chrome supported the Parental Control feature but in the later versions, the feature is not available. However, there are many Chrome extensions for protecting your browser.
1. Password Protect Chrome with LockPW Extension
The LockPW is an extension for Chrome that allows you to set up password and prompts you to enter the password whenever you open the browser.
- Visit the Chrome Web Store and search for “LockPW” under the extensions. Click the “Add to Chrome” button on the extension to install it on your browser.
- This automatically leads you to the extension’s settings page.
- First, you need to allow the extension in Incognito and then go back and click “Next” to configure the settings.
- On the left panel of the settings page, switch on your preferred lock option and on the right side type and confirm your password.
- The extension also allows you to add a password hint and limit the number of password attempts.
- Once done, click the save button.
- The power button next allows you to turn off the password protection.
- Whenever you open Chrome, the extension will prompt you to login with a password.
2. Set Password for Chrome with Chrome Lock
This extension helps you to lock your browser with a password to prevent unauthorized access, keeping your private browsing data safe. Once installed, the extension prompts for a password whenever you launch Google Chrome locking out others users from your Chrome profile.
- Go to the Chrome Web Store and add the Chrome lock extension to Chrome.
- A small window will pop-up prompting you to setup the password for the first time. Enter a simple default password (preferably two characters) and click “Ok”.
- Click “Ok” again to close save the password and close the browser.
- Now, every time you are opening the browser, you will need to provide the default password you entered above to start browsing. Enter the password and click the “Ok” button.
- To change your default password, click the extension’s icon on the toolbar and select “Options”.
- Enter the old pass code (default) and the type your new password and click the “Save” button.
- You may also enable the “Dynamic Password” feature by checking the box.
Note: The only major disadvantage of this extension is that it shows your password as you type during log in but it is still a perfect option for locking your browser when other people gain the access to your PC.
3. Protecting Chrome with Lock for Google Chrome
Unlike the above two options which prompts for password when launching Google Chrome, this extension allows you to lock a page in Chrome after a specified time interval. For instance, you can set the extension to lock the browser after 1 to 90 minutes.
- Install the “Lock for Google Chrome” from Chrome Web Store.
- Click the lock icon (yellow padlock) on the Chrome toolbar to turn-on the timer.
- A pop up will appear prompting you to enter the password that you will use to unlock the page.
- Enter your preferred password and click the “Ok” button.
- The timer starts at 1 min, but you can increase the interval up to 90 minutes by clicking on the icon.
- Once your set time interval is up, the extension will lock the page and an authentication dialog will pop up. You can enter the password to unlock the page.
- To turn off the lock, click the time when reading 90min and it will show the “Off” status.
Remember, this extension will not prevent users from launching Chrome. Lock for Google Chrome extension can be useful when you want to leave Chrome browser running for sometimes but you would like to block access after a specific time interval.
If you are sharing Chrome on a family computer or when you lend your PC to a friend, you may need to block other users from accessing your browsing data. Even though you trust your family members or friend, they may be tempted to check on your browsing history or change your browser settings. To prevent this, you can password protect your Chrome profile or the entire browser to block unauthorized users from viewing your personal information. You can use one of the above three options to achieve this.